The 'work from home movement' began long before the pandemic, yet for most of us the idea of working from home permanently didn’t seem probable or possible – until now.
It takes between 18 and 66 days of repetitive behaviour to form a new habit. Working from home is now a well-formed habit for most of us and it’s no longer considered a luxury, or the preference for avoiding that daily commute to the office. For many of us, the work from home reality has become the way we now work to live.
And work itself is changing. Market dynamics from the gig economy are infiltrating how knowledge workers are employed, how we perform roles and how outcomes are measured.
A recent report from Upwork identified that the majority of the US workforce would be freelancing by 2027, and that nearly 50% of millennial workers are already freelancing and that this trend was occurring by choice. While these statistics are US based, another report from The Conversation highlights how this data is on trend with how Australians are also freelancing to grow their personal income and diversify their job security.
For the majority of knowledge workers this transition into becoming a free agent in the landscape of distributed and democratized work practices means working from home is now an inevitability. We’ll no longer have one employer, but we now have the choice through technology to work with many benefactors who seek our knowledge and skills to get things done more efficiently.
And what do all of these free agent knowledge workers generate? Content. A lot of content.
Content generation and publishing has exploded in the past ten years, and by the end of 2020 its estimated by the World Economic Forum that there will be 44 Zettabytes of data stored on the Internet. What’s a Zettabyte? It translates to 40 times more bytes of information stored on Earth than there are stars in the observable universe.
Coming back to Earth now, the emerging challenge for business owners is the fragmented way in which content is created and shared across an ever increasing distributed work force. From a business context, we all rely on tools from Microsoft, Google, Dropbox, Zoom and DocuSign to get work done and share with others.
But the experience can be a little like our American friends using the metric system. Confusing and frustrating.
You may run your business on Microsoft 365, but your biggest partner might be using Google Workplace. And then you’ve learnt that your main customer has recently migrated to using Dropbox for business. In Australia, there are now more than eleven thousand Dropbox business customers.
How do you collaborate effectively when people you work with are using different collaborative technologies?
While internal communication is paramount for your team in understanding what’s happening within your business, the nature of how you communicate and share content with your partners and customers is equally important.
Many fall back on relying simply on email to get the job done. But the static nature of email no longer supports both the security and analytics we require in meeting contract measures and operational compliance. How do you know if they read what you sent them, and if they do in fact accept your contractual terms? Will a simple reply to your email approving your hundred thousand dollar project stand up in court if they choose to cancel after you’ve commenced work?
Imagine working with any party using a single, seamless document management repository. One that unifies Microsoft 365, Google and Dropbox content from inside a single, unified user interface that you control.
The truth is some of your partners and customers have chosen different tools to get work done. This can make it complicated in supporting a trusted content management network outside of using humble email to connect and do business.
Additionally, you should be able to create workflows for how documents get reviewed and approved by parties, and support the ability to add tags to documents in order to create meaningful document collections. More businesses are seeking the ability for external parties to also digitally sign documents for approval.
Imagine searching for a keyword or phrase across multiple document repositories at once, and getting a single, consolidated search result? With content being published into multiple destinations by different team members, having the ability to locate this content will increasingly become more relevant.
Furthermore, the ability to view analytics on how documents are being accessed and shared enables transparency and improved decision making.
Security is always top of mind so the ability to have your own cloud (supported within either Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Product) adds an additional layer of reassurance for your content and work processes. CentricMinds provide all of our customers with their own secure, dedicated cloud with the option of hosting on premise for businesses operating within data sensitive industries like healthcare and financial services.