Those of you who can remember working without today’s technology remember how difficult it was to do everything analog. Every transaction was recorded on slow computers, painstakingly accounted for, and if you weren’t in the office and not at home, no one could reach you!
Obviously those days are long gone, and the bulk of the work force now are Generation Xers and Millennials who expect technology, and can’t work without it. Today’s workforce communicates instantaneously from anywhere in the world, can access mass amounts of data in the cloud on-demand, and are more productive than ever before in the history of the human race.
These tech innovations have improved business’ overall ability to execute, pivot, and scale, and many of these technologies are still growing more efficient and more innovative.
1. Chatbots are making customer service fly
Customer service has long been the bane of a business’ existence; lengthy, frustrating phone menus and bad Musak defined a customer’s experience. But chatbots are changing all of that, as many chatbots can now not only answer FAQs with ease and grace, but can order products, make reservations, give tech support and more, all within a messenger app. Finally, customer service is getting an upgrade.
2. Connecting the mobile workforce
Today’s workforce is overwhelmingly telecommuting, whether from home or on the go in other countries. With innovations in not only internet speed and connectivity, but cloud computing as well, mobile employees can do all they need to do without being chained to an office. Research has shown that happier employees are more productive, making this move away from 9 to 5 one of the best productivity-boosters a business can make.
3. Time Tracking and organization
Online productivity tracking and collaboration tools have made it so much easier for management to keep track of goal progress, project management, and time tracking. If an employee isn’t on track, it’s immediately apparent and the opportunity is there for timely correction — no more surprises at the end of a project, as every piece is already collected on collaboration platforms like Slack and Yammer.
4. Experts are a Click Away
Companies no longer have to rely on their own staff to have expert knowledge on everything the business might need. The ability to hire outside contractors to build a bot or create a campaign is easier than ever with outsourcing and contracting tools like Freelancer.com or Fiverr. Employees can stay focused on their expertise and let experts do their best.
5. Focusing tools abound
One drawback of having the breadth of the internet’s information at our fingertips is that it’s easy to get distracted by things like social media or online shopping. Luckily, innovators have created more tech to keep us on track: tools like Pomodoro timers, or website blockers like the SelfControl extension are saviors when it comes to getting your focus on.
6. Better networking
Old school networking looked like gathering business cards that inevitably collected lint in your pocket until they got lost in the washing machine. Networking today is vast, utilizing generalized websites like LinkedIn to specialized networks for every sector, from investors to comic book collectors. Finding those in your niche is easier and faster than ever.
8. Specialized and focused marketing
Gone are the days of placing newspaper ads or paying hundreds of thousands for commercials that you hope will land with the right audience. Enter personalized marketing that utilizes click-through ads, influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram and Facebook, and culled data that targets exactly the audience you want to reach, for far less money and far less effort.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.