Workplace culture, dynamics and technology have evolved immensely in recent years and will only continue to do so in the coming years. New trends will develop, new technology will be built and communication will take a new form altogether. A few areas of change in the overall workplace are causing this shift: the growing remote workforce, the gig economy and the growing need for face-to-face communication.

 

The growing remote workforce is one driver behind the transformation of workplace technology. About 37% of U.S. workers say they have telecommuted – which includes working remotely full time or part time. This number is on the rise and, subsequently, technology must follow suit. There is a growing need for solutions that help employees work smarter and remain engaged with their team members and leadership while working remotely.

In a recent study, more than three-quarters (76%) of executives surveyed said that their company offers an alternative work arrangement, adding flexibility to anyone’s work schedule in order to keep retention and satisfaction rates high. This goes to show that employers are already taking the matter into their own hands by making changes to comply with this shift. Technology plays a supplemental role here as tools like video cameras, computers, employee engagement platforms and more play a huge role in the growing remote workforce.

 

Gig economy

A gig economy is when temporary, flexible jobs are more common and companies hire independent contractors and freelancers over full-time employees. Technology has enabled the gig economy to grow. This is now more apparent than ever before as the gig economy is expected to double in the next four years, meaning 9.2 million Americans are projected to work in the gig economy by 2021.

Technology and the rising gig economy will continue to influence one another’s growth in the coming years. Convenience is key for gig economy employees so, naturally, we can expect tech companies to focus on inventing solutions to better enable employees to do their jobs from anywhere in the world and complete their work more efficiently. Such solutions may include advancements in task management software, freelance job hosting sites, instant communication solutes and more.

 

Face-to-face

In the midst of this massive digital revolution we are currently in, face-to-face communication still remains more popular than any other form of digital communication. A recent Harvard Business Review study found that face-to-face requests are 34 times more successful than emails – surprising, right?

The benefits of face-to-face communication range from building relationships that are stronger and more meaningful to being able to see specific body languages cues and gestures. Technology has more recently set out to blend the two areas of digital and face-to-face communication by developing solutions that help mimic that in-person feeling even when the two parties may not be in the same physical location. Similar solutions will continue to be invented whether it’s through video camera technology or holograms and AR.