Within the next few years, businesses and the lives of their employees will transform beyond many peoples’ imagination. As we enter an age of complete connectivity, high-speed mobile and cloud technology already enable flexible working from home and adapting people’s schedules to their needs. The question is how it will improve businesses’ productivity? Will it change the way companies operate?
A new business world
Already, companies are seeing the effects of new digital and social trends. New regulations for flexible working in European countries including the UK will lead workers to increasingly expect new schedule agreements. By the year 2020, employees will gain even more autonomy thanks to 5G connectivity, which is predicted to be up to 100 times faster than 4G.
Thanks to high-speed connections, it won’t be necessary for employees to live close to their company’s offices, or even in the same country. Workers could soon choose to work for employers anywhere in the world and oversee the most rewarding projects from the comfort of their homes, while being adapting their schedule to their own needs, provided they achieve the project’s goals.
Whether they are digital at the core or not, every company will be influenced by permanent connectivity. In this way, a novice electrician will carry out his job wearing a camera, while taking instructions from a senior electrician located elsewhere. Similarly, one doctor will be able to guide another’s movements in an operating room on the other side of the world, in real time. With the proper tools and documents accessible to the right people through a shared cloud, it won’t matter anymore where team members are working on a project.
What’s more, large investments in desk-bound computers are coming to an end as many businesses implement BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, meaning they won’t necessarily have to allocate large amounts of budget to reap the benefits of 5G connectivity. As well as the IT departments, employees – who prefer to use operating systems and mobile devices they know well – will have a big say in technology decisions.
By embracing new ways of working and comprehending new cloud based project management platforms, businesses are operating more efficiently and increasing their competitiveness while their organisational cultures are becoming more collaborative.
More and more, employees are using online collaboration tools to exchange knowledge, solve problems and better manage projects. By being more connected, teams are essentially becoming increasingly productive and engaged.
Changes in project management
Thanks to full service project management tools, managers and team members can work on any type of project, no matter how complex, from anywhere in the world. Cloud technology enables easy and secure access to any type of file from laptops, phones and tablets, and allows several team members to work on the same document simultaneously without version conflicts. The latest project management platforms also allow instant messaging among team members, promoting open and transparent communication.
A good example of how this can be done is the use of Kanban boards, visual systems in which task cards are placed in columns labelled ‘To do’, ‘In Progress’ and ‘Done’. While they have long been seen as useful tools, it is their digital version which is truly taking centre stage. Digital Kanban boards have the potential to be at the heart of all communications and actions, offering a clear sense of evolution as work progresses and relevant task cards are moved into the appropriate columns.
We often think of technological changes as being complex. But in truth, the always connected world enables a return to simplicity and structure, as management is made easier and people are freed from the constraints of place and time.
Cloud technology is already helping teams to become more and more involved in decision making. Collaborative cloud based tools are facilitating communication, contributing to making team members more effective while making them feel that they are part of a tight group.
Not only are teams working on their own terms, but they are also becoming increasingly productive, ultimately driving business growth.
Thanks to cloud technology and the advent of 5G networks, an uninterrupted, always connected environment is changing the way we live and work. Within the permanently connected world, the keys to business and personal growth will be to constantly adapt, stay on top of developments and harness new communication technologies.