Are these the top five workplace trends to watch for in 2016?
Every year is different—even as we work to perfect operations quarter by quarter, the new year is sure to reveal new technology, new standards, and above all new challenges.
Asset management solutions provider Replicon is one of many expert sources offering their predictions, identifying five workplace trends expected to arise in 2016 based on data and discussions with both partners and clients.
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"As businesses develop their strategies for success in 2016, we see workplace trends sitting squarely in changes to how people work – whether that's from a geographic or legislative perspective,” said Raj Narayanaswamy, co-founder and co-CEO at Replicon. “Time is the one aspect everyone complains they lack and at Replicon, we're committed to investing in innovative technologies that complement how a business gears for growth."
So what will come to the forefront this time around? Here is a glimpse of the future as Replicon sees it—see if you agree with this picture of what 2016 may hold:
1. Regulations impact an increasingly diversified workforce: Replicon cites changing regulations in both the US and the UK, from the former’s minimum wage and independent contractor debates to the latter’s National Living Wage, to inform the prediction that businesses must be more diligent about ensuring that hiring managers and human resources always keep these regulations in mind. “Businesses that hire a more diversified workforce – particularly ‘on-demand’ companies with a significant number of independent contractors – must ensure they assess how they classify their workers to avoid the costly class action lawsuits that have punctuated this year,” the list explains.
2. Organizations tread a fine balance between a flexible work culture and compliance: “Work-life balance” is a concept that employees have become increasingly aware of in recent years—yet many in the United States fail to achieve a satisfactory work-life balance. In 2016, Replicon predicts that smart businesses will start finding ways to enforce a better work-life balance for the benefit of both staff and the business itself. “Unfortunately, people don't always take time off from work – and a number of recent legal cases have exposed businesses to more costly and potentially brand-damaging consequences than anticipated,” reads the list. “In 2016, companies will be more judicious in how to encourage work/life balance and implement employee benefit programs against corporate, financial, legal and human resources implications.”
3. Smart devices and the Internet of Things spark a renewed BYOD wave: It’s clear that the Internet of Things is going to be massively important across many sectors in 2016, and that includes the business world where IoT will be able to increase efficiencies. “Expect there to be a continued bring your own device (BYOD) transformation as enterprise technology vendors capitalize on the popularity of wearables to build and collaborate on software that will support how people work, such as capturing data to support workforce efficiencies,” says Replicon.
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4. Hard-wired clocks continue to decline thanks to more cloud-based, automated technologies: More simply put—punching in and out of the office with a physical time clock is becoming a thing of the past as more effective and accurate cloud-based technology continues to eclipse its analog predecessors. “As companies continue to migrate to the cloud, these legacy technologies will become obsolete,” the list explains. “Rather, businesses will focus on providing flexible, application-based tools with a more modern user interface for people to use, with built-in visuals and real-time data to deter time theft from employees potentially using a co-worker to ‘punch’ time for them that was not worked.”
5. Companies incorporate more agile project management processes: Replicon predicts that agility will continue to be an increasing priority for businesses, especially in the IT department. “In larger product-centric and project-oriented businesses, expect the benefits of this approach to extend across the entire organization, emphasizing central access to real-time information throughout the project lifecycle to track critical hours and resources, and ensure projects are on-time and on-budget,” Replicon notes.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.