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Strong opinions and shared thoughts on companies, culture and Work — by the makers and friends of Ninety.io

3 MIN READ

Technology Opens Doors to the New Age of Work

Summary: A few decades ago, it was nearly impossible to Work the way we do now. Today, in an era of technological transformation, information is easier than ever to access, but not always easy to process. We've made it Almost Easy™ to use technology implementation to further absorb information, removing the barriers from accessing a Work From Anywhere World™

Imagine what would have happened had the pandemic hit 20 years prior — like some sort of hangover after partying like it was 1999? Work From Anywhere™ as we experience it today would’ve been pretty much impossible. 

Think about that. All you could do on a cell phone at the time was to press physical buttons to make a call. No touch screens. No music. No camera. Texting (if you paid those high SMS rates) was done through alphabets clicking multiple times on your number keypads, which is what made the pioneering “Crackberries” so easily addictive. 

The handheld computer functionality of Smartphones were still seven years away — ten years away for mass adoption. In fact, in 2000, most Americans still didn’t even have a cell phone. Nearly half of Americans didn’t even use the Internet, and those who did almost exclusively used dial-up; consumer broadband was still in its infancy.

Video conferencing on a PC or Mac, document sharing, real-time collaboration, even instant messaging — none of these technologies were available, at least, not in the easy-to-use format we know today. Working from anywhere simply wasn’t possible for the vast majority of Americans. It was reserved for a handful of creatives, such as copywriters and early content creators who could collaborate via emails with or without smaller attachments.

Fast forward a decade or two, and WFA is a reality because of technological advancement. And like most ages and eras of societal transformation, it is technology — innovation, advancements and widespread adoption — that transitions us, societies of humans, and moves us forward (a topic Mark Abbott will be digging into in a series of articles in the weeks ahead).

A defining characteristic of our current age is Information — it is both plentiful and easy to access. Seriously, any question you have about anything, anytime, anywhere is in the palm of your hand. Curious about why whiskey is from Tennessee and bourbon is from Kentucky? Hits by NSYNC or Boyz II Men? The colors celadon and cerulean? Check your phone. Incredible. 

But there was a downside (shocker, right?). We have produced so much information that in many ways it has overloaded our ability to absorb it all. For example, in 2020 alone, the world’s computers and digital devices created or replicated 64.2 zetabytes of information

That’s pretty abstract, so allow an illustration to help demonstrate just how gargantuan that figure is. A typical paperback novel contains about 1 MB of information. Imagine an enormous warehouse (think the end of that “Indiana Jones” movie) that houses 10 million paperback novels. (We might put those paperbacks into a library, but we’d run out of shelfspace!) That’s a lot, right?

It’s not even close to 64.2 zetabytes of information. You’d need 6.42 BILLION of those giant paperback book warehouses before you’d accumulate that much data. 

As a result, we’re in the midst of transitioning to another age, supported by technology that releases us from established constraints -- with access to information, locations, and connections nearly anywhere across the globe, an era where information is curated, people can evaluate its veracity, and it’s analyzed to provide useful insights.

Technology Unlocks a Work From Anywhere World

Technology begets technology. In other words, technology solves problems that either: 1) creates new ones that require new technologies to address, or 2) enable new technologies that can create previously unthinkable capabilities.

Innovations in connectivity that support remote work, whole-company alignment and at-home offices are now everywhere and, fortunately, its adoption and use unlocks the gate that once barred access to a Work From Anywhere World™. You see nearly every working member of society is using technology in some form, and increasingly, that technology is mobile. The more technology we use, the more data we generate and the more data we generate, the more data helps us do our jobs. And as our reliance on data grows, the more that data needs to be accurate, well understood and accessible. 

That accessibility supports those keen on becoming high-trust companies. It allows for employees, leaders and teams to be increasingly transparent with one another. In fact, using technology to house software tools under one roof with a Company Operating System™ supports the  information sharing capability necessary to build great companies. 

Action Steps for Technology and Shared Information in a Work From Anywhere World: 

  1. Organize information and make it easy to understand: Your company isn’t producing zetabytes of data, but there’s almost certainly more than enough to require curation so that it’s easy to find and understand.
  2. Access: Team members should be able to easily access the information they require to accomplish their tasks.
  3. Make it Almost Easy™  to share information: We’re better together. Technology should make working as a team, and across teams, almost easy and this includes the sharing of information. 
  4. Make communication Almost Easy: We need to communicate with each other — and not just because we depend on our team members to get work done. Communication is a basic human need. The less friction there is to communicate with team members, the more productive, humane and resilient we will become. 
  5. Connect via meetings and collaboration: Is your team holding weekly meetings? Use technology to make the opportunities and outcomes available to everyone. By sharing progress on goals, Rocks, to-dos and other activities, technology can make accountability and related agreements to one another a natural part of daily work.
  6. Sign up for a free Ninety.io trial: Information is only helpful if it’s shared. Ninety makes sharing information across your organization seamless. Receive access to all Ninety.io functions, features and support. We guarantee that you'll love it.  

Who knew as we celebrated the new millennium how many changes, challenges and triumphs we might enjoy in the short years ahead! We live in an exciting era, where technology and innovation make working from anywhere (offices, homes, vehicles, coffeehouses or wherever your occupation allows) not just possible — and better and better all the time  — but desirable. 

May you continue to build with courage, confidence and conviction, and may your journey be Almost Easy! 

Topics: Technology

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