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Digitally transforming a workplace starts with employees embracing new tech – and executive assistants have their part to play
So much of a workplace culture is dictated by the traits and values of whoever is in charge. If a company director recognises the benefits of a four-day working week, or going paper-free, for example, they’re more likely to make it part of company policy. But perhaps one of the most obvious ways that a leader’s traits become enshrined in a business’s DNA is in its digital culture.
Those who support business leaders – such as executive assistants – usually feel the need to fall in line with their boss’s digital habits. This may mean they need to adopt some new skills quickly – be that mastering the art of coordinating zoom meetings at the drop of a hat or acquainting themselves with the ins and outs of a salesforce. Or, at the other end of the scale, they could find themselves ‘reining in’ their personal digital hacks and reverting to logging schedules on Excel spreadsheets rather than their preferred time management software.
Either way, there’s no denying that the new way of working requires the digital transformation of many businesses from top to bottom. As well as the physical tools we need to get our jobs done, there’s the virtual workspaces we occupy. A challenge for executive assistants is to have a chameleon-like ability to adapt to a company’s digital culture. And a challenge for companies across the world is to move with the times to avoid falling behind.
The rise of flexible working culture is helping to fuel the digitalisation of the workplace. As companies embrace the benefits of remote working, recruiting team members in different countries – or even different continents – and setting up in flexible workspaces rather than traditional offices, the reliance on technology is increasing. And it’s forcing companies to take a long, hard look at the systems they have in place to see if they’re up to scratch.
Another added pressure is the fact that Generation Z is now entering the workplace. Unlikely to recall a time before Wi-Fi, with an intuitive knack for getting to grips with new tech, studies show that out-of-date IT processes are one of the main factors that would cause frustrated Gen Z employees to look for a new job. Therefore, having a digitally enlightened workplace is becoming vital for retaining talent.
By staying informed about how workplace tech is evolving, businesses – and the executive assistants who support them – can keep up with the demands of their company’s operations, newest employees and the pace of office technology internationally.
Increasingly, IoT (internet of things) technology is creeping into workplaces across the world. Enabling machines to ‘talk to one another’ via Bluetooth, RFID, mobile and Wi-Fi connections, there are some really interesting IoT developments taking place in office technology. They tend to save time by making processes more seamless – such as allowing employees to print documents from their phones or using beacon technology to know when they’ve entered the workplace, so that their workstation is switched on by the time they sit down to start work. The same applies to artificial intelligence (AI). AI has plenty to offer when it comes to making meetings more efficient. For example, it powers automatic translation tools so that international teams can instantly understand one another.
Executive assistants can play their part in the digital transformation of their workplace by streamlining processes they’re in charge of – and encouraging others to do the same. For example, when it comes to organising and arranging meeting space, turning to seamless tech – such as the Regus app, which lets you book interview rooms in its 3,000 locations across the world – and passing on the benefits to those you work with, is an effective way to bring about change. By setting an example – and exploring and embracing new tech – those who support their business’s core processes can make a real difference.
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