Image: Wikimedia
Image: Wikimedia

Clint Oram, co-founder and CMO, believes we should all begin working like we live. How will the latest advances in technology make this a reality?

 

Without stating the obvious, our world continues to shift, evolve and change at an accelerating rate. Today, the pace of technology – along with the unpredictable nature of the global economy and politics – means even six months ago can look like a bygone era.

The seemingly limitless acceleration of technology has changed our lives beyond recognition, manifesting in all areas of our lives: our behaviour, beliefs and expectations. Already, the use of instant services for transportation, travel, entertainment, dining and even social interaction have changed our assumptions of speed, relevance, value and experience. We don’t buy things, we join things and, whether it’s Netflix, Spotify or HelloFresh, we use them when we need to. The subscription economy makes it easier to maintain a healthy work life balance as it frees up time that may previously have been spent rushing around, perhaps shopping or cooking, and means when we’re home from work we can truly relax.  Everything is on demand and on tap.

Professional and personal lives blurring

It’s clear the days in which the commute to and from the office separated your professional world from your private life are long gone. You can now do both around the clock, regardless of your location. While it’s great that you can access work from wherever you are, it’s also important to remember to keep a balance between your professional and private life. Remember to take advantage of the added personal time new technologies can offer you. Your life can be lived as you want it or, to coin a phrase, increasingly you can “work like you live”. It’s no wonder then, that 58 per cent of workers are looking for ways to work remotely to improve their travel schedule, according to Regus .

But how many times have you sat staring at unresponsive documents, or become frustrated as your VPN constantly fails? This isn’t comparable to the instant experiences we expect in our personal lives, which brands like Netflix and Amazon Prime are delivering.

Now we’ve experienced the truly instant experience there’s no turning back. Our experiences of technology outside of work means we’ve shifted our ideals of pace and experience. Leaps in technologies like mobile, big data, machine learning, virtual reality, quantum computing and many more are powering all these trends.

Working like you live

 However, while technology in today’s world is having an amazing impact on consumer and personal experiences, the work environment is still lagging behind. You only need to look around at the proliferation of desktop PCs in your office to see how different it is to the smartphone world we live in outside of the office. The instant culture of our personal lives is often absent when we’re in the office; we’re asked to forget our thumb-driven world and regress several years. Enterprise software is often bloated, clumsy and sometimes decades behind the rest of our digital life.

I believe people should be working like they live and the new generation of relationship intelligence solutions are beginning to make this a reality. This is particularly important for the workforce in customer-facing companies, where success almost entirely depends on the customer experience. (Gartner research found 89 per cent of marketers now expect to compete solely on this).

In the near future, technology such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) will provide background on the customer or prospect with little input. For example, their title, where they work, their education, family information and even personal hobbies and interests. By automating the aggregation of large and diverse data sets while using deep learning techniques, businesses can understand their customers at a deeply personal level. The below video focuses on the future to envision just what this could look like.

 

 

Looking ahead

 

We’re not quite there yet, and predicting the future is always fraught with surprises. Perhaps the best way to summarise is to reuse a quote from Abraham Lincoln, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it”. So, if you spend your time waiting for the future to arrive you’ll find it’s already been and gone. It’s time our experience of technology became universal, running seamlessly wherever we are, whether we’re working or playing.