Technological innovation has brought significant changes into the modern workplace. A variety of sophisticated electronic gadgets and advanced software makes it possible to telecommute, hold virtual meetings, automate tedious business processes, and even make hiring or promotion decisions. This week, we look at how social software, new devices, and a flood of Big Data are changing the way we work and placing new demands on the 21st century work environment.
Wellness App Aims to Improve Workplace Nutrition – The New York Times
Numerous studies have linked nutrition with productivity, alertness, and ability to maintain focus. However, a hectic work schedule, sedentary lifestyle, and stress can make it difficult to stick to a healthy diet. This is why a growing number of companies are starting to offer their employees digital tools to help improve their eating habits. This article talks about one such digital wellness tool – Zipongo – which has been successfully adopted by companies like Google and IBM.
Can’t Attend the Meeting? Send Your Robot – Small Business Trends
Research and innovation company Double Robotics is shaping the future of business meetings with their newly developed Double 2 – a telepresence robot. This device is actually a mobile robot equipped with a camera that gives a telecommuter the freedom to move around the office, interact with coworkers through its audio-visual system, and even use its own screen to lead presentations or record meetings. Video conferencing is a valuable tool in the world of business communication, and Double 2 raises virtually “being there” to a whole new level.
Big Data promises to predict employee behavior. Companies are coming to realize that the wealth of data they have accumulated about their own employees could potentially be used for people-analytics. In other words, information in the hands of human resources could be analyzed to quantitatively determine who to promote, in which role each employee would be most successful, where a new employee would best fit in the company, and so on. For example, human-resources analytics could measure a wide range of employee statistics to determine what makes a great salesperson, and then use those results to select the best candidates for the job. People-analytics software may be a powerful tool of the future, but as any newly developed program, it can be tricky and misleading.
Inside the Virtual Workforce – Information Age
Robots are now capable of taking white-collar jobs and helping organizations boost their productivity, increase efficiency, and lower administrative costs. Software robots cover manual, often repetitive tasks – data entry, account maintenance, creation of invoices, etc. These tasks are time-consuming, and companies are discovering that delegating the tedious administrative work to software robots allows their employees dedicate more time to strategic and creative areas, thus adding more value to their companies. How far the rise of robotic automation goes is yet to be seen.
This article describes four ways that embracing technology in the workplace can help organizations manage their employee engagement and collaboration in more effective and creative ways.