By Bhavin Turakhia

We live in an age where internet and technology are irreplaceable resources. Today apps and the Internet control much of our lives in both the personal and professional spaces. The Internet – once a luxury that a chosen few had access to has quickly become a staple part of our diet today. And a big part of this whole ballgame involves the apps we use on a daily basis in every sphere of existence. There’s an app for basically everything you can think of today, and this has given us the luxury of not having to rely on memory or any kind of offline means to perform tasks – rather we have an app to assist us. Given that our lives today are being governed by the app revolution, it would be an apt time to look back at how our lives have transformed because of apps, and how they have transformed our lives both professionally and personally.

There has been plenty of buzz around how members of Gen X have a dynamically different way of living and working than the generations born after them. This demographic of employees occupies a massive 60 per cent of the current workforce. In contrast to the generations before them, Gen X-ers are not known to embrace changes in their workplace. Emails smelled progressive and meeting rooms saw the best of employees. Everyday travel didn’t seem like a choice that could be avoided and the struggle to just make it to office was a big deal. However, brought up in an era of technological and social change, even Gen-X has now transformed into a tech-savvy group of individuals who are open to embracing changes in the workplace that make them more productive.

But in most scenarios, change is a gradual process. Not so in the sphere of technology and with the app revolution, where change has literally come in leaps and bounds. A mere ten years ago, we relied on face to face meetings as our primary medium to get the job done. Now, these same meetings are carried out over video calls with attendees sitting in different parts of the world sometimes, and they are still no less efficient. Where previously we relied on sending letters and memos to transmit data and assign tasks, emails became the go to tool, instantly making the process more efficient. Organisations saw the scope of technology and realised the value of leveraging the massive advances being made, and so came about a paradigm shift in how organisations and employees work. And, as we know change is the only constant, it was only a matter of time before even emails became redundant, being replaced by an app solution termed as Instant Messaging apps. Chat software and employee networking mediums took over from emails and boosted productivity, and despite much criticism and resistance, there was no doing away with them.

Just when everyone thought that their 9-5er couldn’t get simpler, there was this ground breaking inclusion of smart apps into our work cultures. Technology and consequently communication became increasingly mobile. If a spectacular range of mobile devices and apps weren’t doing their jobs right for the regular average Joe, ‘enterprise communication’ was creating a niche of its own. Apps for work were now a reality and as with most tech related aspects, Google took over the market, inching out the competition. However, most players in the market realised that enterprise communication and the apps that came with it were a huge opportunity. For instance, Blackberry’s range of smartphones meant business, and though they became a big hit among the student community for a while because of BBM, their phones are still used today in the business space for their data security and encryption.

However, this vast field of enterprise communication still carried a massive vacuum and there needed to more diverse and simplified solutions to problems people faced at work. It required a lot more than just letting people communicate. It needed to let them collaborate and push the edge of communicating more efficiently.

And so were born a new generation of productivity tools – conceptualised and created as communication and collaboration tools to boost productivity and make you less busy. These tools had everything from project management tools like To-Dos, Reminders, Polls and Bots at your fingertips, and allowed you to integrate with all your other useful tools on one single platform. Apps such as Flock, Hipchat and Teamchat are great examples of how communication tools have also evolved to double up as social listening tools. They’re incredibly useful for everyone wanting to be up to date with their company Twitter, Facebook or other social networking feeds.

But are these apps and integrations tempting us to unload tasks we would benefit from doing ourselves? Teams those have developed or used enterprise messaging apps don’t think so. If these apps can help you save even an hour from your daily schedule and make you that much more productive, they’re doing more good than harm. As it turns out, the only reason keeping you from hitting the gym in that time might just be excuses.

Traditional methods of working, like the ole’ paper trail and running around to your next meeting are slowly dwindling away, being gradually replaced with much more efficient technologically advanced alternatives. And while this happens, work cultures are being shaped around these traits and building the core of the new generation of office goers – folks that are not only more effective at their jobs, but also understand how these work apps can help them achieve a healthy work-life balance.

The author is CEO & Founder, Flock

Publish date: April 25, 2016 1:33 pm| Modified date: April 25, 2016 1:39 pm

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