The pressure is on organisations to adapt in order to compete in this technology-driven age. To survive and thrive in this highly competitive, always-on era, businesses need to get much better at identifying the tools and processes that will deliver a long-term, tangible impact. This is driven further by the fact that the first crop of digital native employees are entering the workplace. These are people who have never known a world without the Internet and expect the world around them to be automated, on demand and always connected – yet, the workplace is where the digital life they are accustomed to starts to change.
Work technologies still lag behind those used by consumers. To this digitally savvy generation, stepping into an office is often like a step back in time to decades past. One where jobs were done manually, collaboration was only ever face-to-face, and clouds were a possible sign of a rainy day. Today’s young employees divide their attention across multiple devices and are as comfortable collaborating with people in the same room as with those thousands of miles away. However, in the workplace they are commonly hampered by outdated devices that are often limited by outdated corporate policy and processes. They have no choice but to step into the past in order to get work done, all the while knowing that the very devices and technologies they are forced to use are holding back their productivity. To remain competitive and continue to attract top talent, the workplace has to adapt.
While creating the workforce of the future may seem daunting, it is extremely rewarding to draw a clear path for the years ahead, with an understanding at every junction about how to maximise and leverage all of the wonderful innovations around us. Technology is there to help. If you can’t make a meeting don’t delay teams for another week, but instead, you can simply video conference them – a tool only 7% of employees are using at the moment. Add to that the fact that only 17% of employees currently use instant messaging tools in the office, such as Skype for Business, and you start to see a lag.
Thirtysomethings grew up with the new-age technologies, but fortysomethings are just as fluent. All ages use social networks and they all use instant messenger, whether that’s Skype, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. So why does IT slow down for them when they come into work? Video conferencing isn’t widely used despite employees using Facetime regularly at the weekend. Control of computers is by keyboard and mouse, or maybe a touch screen, but they’ve been talking to Alexa, Cortana and Siri in their spare time. This is going to make for a frustrated workforce unless something is done. Just under half of British workers said that a slow Internet connection was their top time waster at work, while 36% criticised their laptops for being too slow. So it unsurprising that many companies cite technology limitations as their biggest frustration right now.
The issue for most is that the upgrades are available, but organisations don’t appear to be buying them. Meanwhile this leaves employees using old-fashioned emails, phone calls and face to face meetings, with 45% still expecting email to remain the primary means of communication in five-years time. That’s why the Excell team has made it our mission to change this by making collaborating and communicating simple, flexible and secure for your employees, partners and customers. We deliver and support the bespoke managed communication services our clients need to thrive. Ultimately, we bring people closer together so that businesses become more agile, workers more productive and customers better engaged.
Staff in 2018:
Statistics from TalkTalk Business Workforces Report 2025
We will set out an exciting vision for the future, placing technology front and centre, and helping you understand how to future-proof your business for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We will then provide helpful tips for how businesses can close the digital distance between their workforce and technology. The world is changing, and it is an exciting time to talk about innovation in business. Technology is the way to empower people for a more productive and motivated workforce, and I strongly believe technology will make British businesses stronger and better.
Commentary from Dan Owers,
Excell Business Development Manager