The Age of Digital - Creating a Better Work-Life Balance and Higher Productivity

We are entering a new digital era, an era in which people are connecting with content and with brands through multiple screens – through their PCs, TVs, smartphones, and tablets. 2011 marked an exciting year for the digital media industry and signaled an even more momentous year ahead with the rise of smartphones and tablets that have altered consumers’ digital media consumption – changing the way people access content, where they consume it and the frequency of their consumption.

Having a digital strategy requires insights into not only our current environment, but also into what trends will shape the future for digital and how we incorporate it in the workplace, meshing our personal and professional lives.

According to ComScore’s recent study "Key Trends in Digital Future 2012," 2011 was undoubtedly the year of mobile as the rapid adoption of smartphones created a growing population of ever-connected consumers, while tablets became the media companion of choice. Both smartphones and tablets have altered how media is consumed away from the classic web (computers), a trend that is poised to accelerate into 2012.

A recent study at BBC News and Business infers only 12% of employees are satisfied with the technology available to them at work, preferring the more intuitive tools they use in their personal lives, and nearly a half (46%) do not believe their employer makes the best use of technology to enhance productivity and performance.

As more people opt for smartphones and tablets at home, it makes sense for companies to support staff in their preferred choice of device in the workplace and most believe this is a precursor to the 100% web business world - where applications are delivered over the Internet and accessed through a web browser. Devices such as tablets and smartphones will then become central portals to information and applications that help people to be productive anywhere.

It is reported that 80% of tablet owners say they have a better work-life balance, meaning they are better able to prioritize home and work tasks and activities than they would with just a laptop and a phone.

It is clear that whether organizations like it or not, social tools are here to stay. The challenge then becomes finding ways for HR and businesses to use them to improve productivity, drive engagement and build professional and personal networks within the organization. Rather than seeing them as a distraction, companies should try to capitalize on them.

Changes to the way we work are already under way and a new generation of technologies breaks down barriers within organizations and across borders. Smart companies that use online collaboration and communication to their advantage and embrace the desire of their employees to use the same technologies they use in their personal lives at work will be the ones best placed to create a culture of success.



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