If there’s one thing I’ve learned working in collaboration, it’s that people work differently. Whether it’s a team in another department or even the person sitting next to you, your workstyle is uniquely your own—the things that motivate you and drive your productivity may do nothing for your colleagues. And that’s okay.
The technology that drives our workday forward has grown, evolved and adapted to facilitate different workstyles, processes and preferences. Here are just a few examples of how technology is powering modern workstyles:
Smarter Mobile Apps – for Telecommuters, Flex Workers, Road Warriors
Mobile applications are nothing new and have been driving an increasingly on-the-go workforce for years now. Flexible workers, telecommuters, sales teams and more rely on their mobile devices for the information and connections they need to get work done.
Apps are getting smarter, though, and the hardware at their disposal more sophisticated and intelligent.
In particular, the intelligent implementation of push notifications—bringing information and potential actions directly to a user’s attention—makes today’s mobile applications more virtual personal assistant than software. For example, Agenday, PGi’s smart calendar mobile app, leverages push notifications as meeting reminders of course, but also to give you the ability to jump directly into your meeting from the notification itself.
It’s all about removing steps from the process, and making mobile work as seamless and frictionless as possible.
Self-Service Technology – for Small or Independent Teams, Departments
The rise of the “as a Service” model has put practically any business function you can think of within reach of any team, regardless of size, infrastructure or technical know-how. Many of these applications, platforms and more can be purchased and activated within seconds, instantly filling gaps in your organization’s technology needs. While this can create problems for IT, especially in larger organizations (as so-called “shadow IT,” or unauthorized software purchases, can cause problems for security and stability if not carefully monitored), the ease and agility of the overall experience can’t be overlooked.
Regardless of your need—virtual meeting software, large-scale web event software like self-service webcasting by TalkPoint (a PGi Company), project management, CRM, you name it—there’s more than likely an “as a Service” version that will meet the requirements of your team, department or organization.
Asynchronous Collaboration – for Distributed Teams
But for some teams, projects or tasks, meeting in real-time isn’t always the best option. In today’s increasingly globalized workplace, often teams are scattered across time zones, making even virtual meetings difficult—if not impossible—to schedule. And frankly, some workers would just prefer to handle things outside of meetings.
Email is an option many rely on, but it is quickly showing its age; version control, endless inter-connected threads and more unnecessary complexity makes email a poor collaboration tool.
Enter asynchronous collaboration platforms. These virtual team workspaces give workers a cloud-based central location to work together. All of the document and file versioning is handled by the platform itself, ensuring everyone on the team always has access to the most up-to-date file. And comment threads and conversations are stored in relevant places for your project.
The speed at which technology evolves can be intimidating. But the practical benefit is that our tech is constantly adapting to the needs of the marketplace. Regardless of your unique workstyle and needs, there is hardware, software, applications and services out there designed to help you work your best.