Our Future is Not About Wallowing in Email

Our Future is Not About Wallowing in Email

Always on cultureTechnology is constantly shaping and reshaping the way we lead our lives and conduct business. It has the power to influence business owners and dramatically alter the way they view, seek and utilise flexible workspace.

So it certainly pays to keep abreast of technology - and to keep an eye on how your clients are using it.

One such company with their eye firmly fixed on the ball is essensys, which has just been named in the Gartner 'Cool Vendors in the European Cloud Computing Market, 2015' report. essensys makes it their business to understand how workspace clients use technology, to know what's coming around the corner, and to recognise how this will influence workplace behaviour in the future - and to develop the solutions and services to match.

That's why the company has been singled out by Gartner - itself a world-leading IT research firm. For BCA Members and flexible workspace operators, having access to such cutting-edge technology is only a positive resource for our sector as it continues to grow and evolve.

Exciting transformation

As for the bigger picture, why is it so important to keep abreast of technological trends?

Consider how advances in technology have already contributed to a seismic shift in the way your clients go about their day-to-day business. The ability to check emails and work from virtually anywhere has led to a more agile way of working that, albeit slowly, is becoming a widely accepted part of business and organisational culture.

While this is an exciting transformation that continues to present many opportunities for the flexible workspace industry, old habits die hard - and where there is change there is always resistance.

Traditional management methods and trust issues are among them, along with such limits as 3G and 4G connection capabilities, lack of easily accessible (and affordable) Wi-Fi, and general awareness of the availability of touchdown and meeting spaces.

Another major problem is that of our always-on culture, which is leading to what some experts are labelling as an 'email epidemic'.

In what appears to be a backlash against electronic tools and communication methods, former government adviser Sir Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University, has called for a return to more face-to-face communication - including a limit on internal emails between colleagues.

"We need to ban emails [sent and received] within the same building," he said, advocating instead for face-to-face meetings and phone calls. "For people to be working at night, weekends and holiday on emails is not good for the health of our country," the professor told the BBC.

Macho culture

He describes it as "macho culture", in which employees want to be seen to be available by email at all hours. This is contributing to workplace stress and associated mental health illnesses, a troubling situation for employees, and which also reduces workers' efficiency and productivity levels - further exacerbating the problem.

"Every organisation has to come to a conclusion as to what is a good way to be operating, and the best way to do that is by asking the employees themselves how do we stop this epidemic of us being linked all the time to our emails," he said.

This is one example of an unwelcome byproduct of technological evolution, and indeed, it is important that business owners and employers understand this concerning trend and take steps to prevent it from further developing.

But happily, our future is not about wallowing in email.

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