Technology trends are not always about new hardware or software on the market. Sometimes it's about the policies spawned by tech disruption.
In some cases, making experimental mistakes today can help you learn without consequences while the world of regulation and policy-making struggles to keep up. Consider these two areas of business technology and how they affect the ever-changing image of success and progress.
Remote Work With Flexible Career Paths
For workers, telecommuting is a dream come true. For employers, the
opportunity is a mixed bag.
In a perfect world, who cares where someone works? Whether you call it telecommuting, remote working, or working from home, the important part is that your resources are available and producing results.
Unfortunately, there are pitfalls around every choice. If you choose telecommuting, you run the risk of convenient data theft and a much faster ability to quit a job than deciding not to drive into work.
There is a layer of separation that is good, bad, and everything in-between. A lack of physical proximity can mean less pressure, less accountability, or nothing at all. Thankfully, trends in remote work are making things easier.
As more businesses adopt telework as an option, a lot of the bad behaviors become harder to execute. The reasons range from easier communications between human resources professionals to employment records becoming more set in stone.
Except for the most expendable, easily-replaceable parts of entry level work, it's difficult to abuse an employer by simply not logging in with no local repercussions. Electronic employment agreements and industry-wide reporting means that people who jump between jobs are recorded and reported for bad behavior.
There are safeties for employees as well. Rebuttal opportunities are available with reporting agencies that aren't beholden to any businesses--or, if they are, the level of conspiracy is often so high that the average worker isn't at risk.
Soft Phone, Chat, And Other Communications Technology
Communication and collaboration is constantly becoming easier and more efficient. However, a certain level of control and coordination is needed.
While some startups and small projects are fine with using Discord, Slack, or Skype to collaborate, what happens when you have sensitive information that needs to be controlled? What if your business or industry has real abuse problems and you want to make sure that all communications are controlled?
Current trends in business communications involve using pre-existing chat applications that are repurposed for business. Rather than engineering an in-house solution, getting a chat and voice option that includes administrative controls and moderation is helpful for businesses that need to guide and guard their productivity.
Chat apps and text messages are easier to monitor than voice communications. Although it's easier than ever to record audio as easy to access, fairly compact files, sifting through the recordings and catching a violation in a timely manner is more difficult.
For call centers and businesses with help desk departments, a quality assurance team is available to analyze and provide feedback for calls. In addition to monitoring call quality, QA professionals are often responsible for helping callers train towards better performance.
QA software resembles a music visualizer, where the audio is a line that rises into spikes, bars, or plateaus. QA representatives can hone in on speech and silence areas to make their jobs faster.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning come into play here. AI can be trained to listen for specific words or sounds, and then flag those portions of audio for review.
With better training, accurate keywords and phrases can be picked up for immediate action. As time progresses, alerts can happen in near real time as the call happens, or AI systems can be programmed to perform tasks such as contacting a supervisor or an investigation team as the call progresses.
This of course comes with a few growing pains. There will certainly be businesses that aggressively automate their systems, such as calls that automatically shut off when a flagged word appears. It also raises ethical concerns about monitoring or trust.
By using human resource software for small business, you can bridge the gap between the manual and the automated future. Rather than allowing AI systems to make all of your decisions, you can keep track of potential violations and training opportunities while tying everything to how your business manages its team.
These discussions are at the forefront of business technology. Even if they're not bound to a specific product or service, their implications will have huge policy and performance consequences in the near future.