Our working environments have seen many changes over the years, with various trends going in and out of fashion. Whether we like it or not, our places of work have undergone a modern revolution that has ultimately changed the way we go about our day-to-day duties.
Fortunately, most of these changes have been positive ones; innovations that inevitably allow us to carry out our jobs in a way that is more efficient, comfortable and safer than ever before. Furthermore, it's not just high-tech office environments that are benefiting from modernisations, with more traditional settings such as factories also enjoying contemporary makeovers.
This recent blog post from small business advisors, Lawbite, outlines several factors that have influenced our ever-evolving working environments. It got us thinking about other ways in which our workplaces have changed and here's what we came up with:
The emergence of BYOD, or bring your own device
Company mobile devices were historically pretty boring. They served a set purpose and were usually restricted in terms of what you could do on them. Not any more!
Nowadays, many companies allow their employees to use their own mobile devices for work related activities. As well as helping employees become more productive due to the fact that they are using a device they know and understand, it also saves the company cash on the cost of hardware.
True mobile working
Historically, it was only professionals such as sales reps who were seen to be true mobile workers and always out of the office. This trend has definitely changed as more and more professional roles regularly require staff to work from remote locations.
After all, the rapid internet connections now available in many homes and secure VPN solutions provided by many businesses make working remotely a very simple task. Furthermore, the benefits that working from remote locations afford in terms of flexibility are often unrivalled.
HD video conferencing
It wasn't that long ago that employees often struggled to set up telephone conferences with colleagues in other locations. There was usually some form of problem related to people not being able to hear or getting frequently disconnected.
Nowadays, we've got access to high definition video conferencing that utilises the power of high-speed WAN connections through the internet. Not only can we hear our colleagues much more clearly but we can now see them in fantastic high definition!
Wellness to work
Employers, quite rightly, have realised that a healthy workforce is a happier and more productive workforce. After all, the amount of money lost due to ill health and absenteeism cannot be ignored. The focus on a healthy work-life balance can be seen in initiatives such as company gym memberships, health insurance plans and even free fruit schemes.
Biometrics in the workplace
Long gone are the traditional clocking-in machines that we've all seen before. Today, it's biometric data all the way and it's used not only to record employee movements but also for security purposes.
This is especially the case in workplaces that contain a lot of sensitive information or important data. Employees may have to provide a thumb print, or even a retina scan just to access certain areas. This not only ensures that information is kept secure but also reduces the need for additional security personnel.