How Connectivity is Changing the Workplace
If you’re old enough to remember VHS, CD Roms and floppy disks then you will appreciate the context of this blog. Starting out in business nearly 20 years ago in Digital Media, it’s hard to believe how far technology has advanced. Back then the only cloud I was accustomed to was the Irish rain cloud which often interrupted our outdoor video shoots. Producing videos was dictated by location and meant lots of traveling and hand delivering files, so we could only operate in a limited region.
Fast forward 20 years and I’m sitting in a café reviewing live content from a cloud based content sharing platform and collaborating with a client based in New York all from my phone, in real time.
Gone are the days of pulling sleepless nights in the studio waiting for footage to transfer to VHS and then package and hand deliver it to the client… And that would only be first draft!
We operate in a much faster and synced up world today which has completely transformed the way we do business. In my industry connectivity is everything and fortunately for us, communication technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. Content delivery platforms are more transparent and delivering content to audiences is quicker and easier than ever before.
The advancement in connectivity has not only enabled our business to operate in a much more efficient and leaner space, it has opened the doors to global markets that previously were not logistically viable for us to operate in. Thanks to this we can easily collaborate and share with our clients in real time through tools such as Slack and Sharefile from anywhere in the world.
A huge aspect of our business is file storage. We started out with a storage room with floor to ceiling shelves filled with tapes and discs. This has changed to advanced file management and sharing servers which enables us to access files remotely and collaborate securely between locations, managing 100s of terabytes of footage.
This can all be done with the click of a button, from anywhere.
From a client’s perspective, the dissemination of content platforms and social media has meant that the way they communicate both to their staff and customers has also changed. With a combination of rich video based content and increased global connectivity they can connect with their audiences in ways that were simply not possible up until recently and as their creative partners we help them do this regardless of where we are located.
Messaging and productivity platforms like can add real value to how you work and their feature lists continue to expand exponentially. The benefits these platforms have are manifold:
- They support multimedia from the ground up
- They have a scaling feature set, so they work seamlessly whether you need a simple text chat or a complex multi-user video conference
- They have dedicated UI/UX developers to ensure the user experience is flawless
- They all follow the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, which means that support is always available, and bugs are resolved quickly
We’ve come a long way since VHS tapes but we have had to constantly innovate and adapt to changing technologies to stay relevant and it doesn’t end here. Just imagine what the next 20 years can bring!
Business Benefits of Remote Working
Step aside Healthy Living, Smart living is now de rigueur.
As consumers, we all strive to live smarter lives. From owning the latest smart device, driving smart cars, to eating smarter food – it’s about aiming to make our lives easier.
But what about our working lives? While working smarter has always been a conscious discipline for me as a business owner from a productivity perspective, smart working in today’s world means so much more.
For me, smart working is being able to quickly adapt to new technologies, new tools and new ways of working to enhance our business objectives and our lives. It’s about achieving the elusive work/life balance, and one of the smartest ways to do that is through remote working.
Many small businesses have been working remotely ‘on the go’ for years out of necessity. Now many big tech companies are following suit embracing a move towards remote working and digital transformation.
As the CEO of a small creative agency based in Kilkenny and Dublin, remote working has played a vital role in our success and I have seen the benefits first hand. Here are some of the benefits...
Better job Satisfaction
A 2019 survey by Buffer.com asked workers from around the world if they would like to work remotely at least some of the time and 99% of respondents said yes. That’s staggering, but not very surprising. Aside from the obvious benefit of cosy slippers, remote workers have improved work/life balance, a key component of job satisfaction. Less time spent commuting, a flexible schedule, and the ability to work from anywhere all enhance employees’ feelings of control over their lives.
Intuitively, I assumed that a remote workforce might require more management in the form of regular check-ins and close monitoring of time-management software, but this wasn’t the case. Remote workers tend to produce high quality work often in a shorter timeframe than their office based counterparts.
A recent study conducted by Stanford University cited that workers were, on average, 13% more productive while working from home – they took fewer breaks, were sick less often and produced 4% more quality work than their office-based colleagues.
Embracing Technological Progression
In any creative agency or any business for that matter, it’s important to remain at the forefront of technological to stay relevant. Video conferencing, file sharing, messaging and productivity software has progressed significantly in recent years, making remote working easier.
Working in content production we often have teams working remotely on shoot location or working on site with clients for long periods. Good connectivity and the right technology enables them to access our data quickly and securely from where ever they are travelling or based for the day.
In many ways, not encouraging some degree of remote work among your staff could be construed as falling behind the technological curve.
Working at the cutting edge can also attract young, creative talent, from a much wider pool of potential candidates.
Wider Pool of Talent
When tied to bricks and mortar, your talent pool is restricted to a limited radius from which you can recruit. And when your office is based outside of the central city hub this can be challenging. With advances in connectivity offering remote working has significantly widened out talent tool and enables us to work with designers all over the world. We can also leverage different time zones and have teams working 24 hours a day as work shared across different regions, dramatically increasing productively.
Avoid the Pitfalls
While there are some impressive benefits to a remote workforce, over-reliance on remote work can have some downsides. Most boil down to one area: Team Culture and Engagement.
Balancing remote to office work through the option of hot desking, encouraging interaction between staff, and running regular team-building activities means employees get the best of both worlds and if they’re happy, we’re happy.