The face of business is ever changing, with modern technology creating new ways of working, sometimes not for the better. Research suggests the average executive received around 1,000 messages a year in the 1970s, but that number has skyrocketed to 30,000 today. As such, we seem to be spending more time talking and less time actually working.
Speaker and Consultant Greg Satell recently explained the ways in which the nature of work itself has changed over the years. He says the modern employee needs to communicate more because collaboration is key to success. Here are some of the most noticeable shifts in the workplace, according to Satell.
Machines do a lot of the work
20 years ago communication was still largely done on paper or by phone and data was calculated by hand. Today, much of that work is automated and done by machines and colleagues are free to discuss outcomes 24 hours a day thanks to mobiles and messaging programmes.
Our work is more complicated
Satell says the work we do today is much more complex than it used to be and we are tackling new problems, largely thanks to the availability of more sophisticated technology. He points out that scientific papers today have four times as many authors as they did in 1950, with researchers from around the world working together – because distance is no longer a hindrance to communication.
Sharing information is much more valuable
Information is so much more available than it was in the past. Where as we used to have to create hard copies of documents to share knowledge with other people, we can now simply send it in an email or upload it to a file sharing service. This in turn has created a collaborative culture of discussing information with colleagues and clients.
Collaboration is an advantage
Business used to be every man for himself and while some of us still see meetings and conference calls as an annoyance that pulls us away from our work, collaboration has become the new competitive advantage. Every conversation has the potential to create fantastic outcomes and we don’t know whether they will until we have them.
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