We’re living in the age of convenience. New ways of doing business and offering services to customers has significantly changed how organisations and companies operate and compete. The technological genie is well and truly out of the bottle and the implications for businesses are enormous. Only those who adopt smartly – both for the benefit of their customers and their staff – will push ahead of the others.
Brilliant minds have always sought new ways of working and new inventions to make our lives easier. From the industrial revolution right up to today’s cutting-edge digital apps, making our everyday lives more convenient has been at the heart of the most successful new inventions. Think about all the innovations you see around you, most are created to make our day-to-day lives that little bit less complicated. For example, people no longer use a grill to make their toast in the morning; instead, we use a toaster, making a cup of tea does not involve boiling a pan of water; instead we use a kettle. To clean our homes we would opt for a vacuum cleaner instead of a brush, or, when traveling we will opt for using a sat-nav rather than having to check a map.
In this digital age things have moved a step forward; digital technology and mobile devices have become part of our daily lives. We’ve wholeheartedly embraced technology designed to make our lives that little bit more convenient. At the touch of a button we have apps that enable us to have face-to-face conversations with friends and family anywhere in the world, alter the temperature of our homes or check the content of our fridge, order a taxi from any location, even download the latest news, music and magazines even before they hit the shops.
Most recently, we’ve witnessed the rise of convenience payments. At the touch of a fingertip, or the tap of a card, we can send money anywhere in the world instantly. What was once considered a niche way of paying, picked up by only a few, has now ballooned into a standard means for consumers to pay for goods and services that few would raise an eyebrow at.
Convenient technology is commonplace in almost every aspect of our personal lives, and as consumers, it’s something we’ve come to expect automatically. Then why, when it comes to their employees, are many organisations stuck in the Stone Age with regards to embracing similar innovations in the work place?
Looking at expenses for example, for many organisations and employees, expenses is a cumbersome and time-consuming process, involving spreadsheets, forms, piles of paper and missing receipts. However, this needn’t be the case; digital systems – such as webexpenses – have revolutionised how organisations can manage their expenses, making the entire process simple and convenient.
Gone are the days when employees had to spend time keeping track of receipts and seeking approval in person from finance departments. New apps allow staff to simply photograph a receipt and submit a claim instantly. Not only does this benefit employees who claim expenses, financial departments also benefit from the rich source of data these apps can supply, arming them with the information they need to better track and police expenses in real time.
It’s almost embarrassing to think how behind some organisations are when it comes to expenses. As a business owner, you wouldn’t opt for fax over email, or carrier pigeon over telephone. Everyone recognises that’s completely inefficient, time-consuming and makes everyone’s lives more difficult. It’s time we had the same approach to expenses.
As the latest tribe of digital natives join the workforce, having these kinds of tools and applications in place is more important than ever. If businesses do not move with the times, they risk losing out on recruiting the best talent. Generation Y, the generational cohort born somewhere between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, have recently begun to enter the work place. This is the first generation that has never known a world without the internet, mobile phones, social media, or digital apps. In fact, this group has had its whole experience of the world shaped by technology. Having grown up surrounded by modern technology at home and in education, everyone they expect and deserves to have a similar experience in the workplace.
All employers should see it as vitally important to ensure their organisation remains tach savvy and make use of the best cutting-edge technology. The next generation of software, as developed by companies like webexpenses, is already helping organisations and their employees save money and time.
Business have an obligation to make the most of these innovations. If you are making work harder for your employees then you are letting them down. By embracing new technology not only can businesses maintain their competitive edge, they can also improve employees’ efficiency and productivity, making day-to-day working more convenient for staff, business owners and consumers alike.
By Adam Reynolds, CEO of webexpenses