Delivering Just Enough Technology for Today’s Knowledge Worker
Today’s knowledge workers consist of different generations and each is faced with their own challenges. We know one thing for sure, since being identified as a “Knowledge Worker” by Martin Feregrino in 1959, the way work is executed has changed and evolved. Just as the tasks, work environment and requirements of knowledge workers have progressed since the Industrial Revolution, so have the tools available for every generation to efficiently do their job.
Notably, the tools used by workers have evolved since the historic days of the hunter-gatherer, in which spears and bow and arrows were used to get work done. Eventually, farmers and artisan’s progressed and used tools specifically for their work to efficiently execute their daily tasks. As the era of the Industrial Revolution rolled in, so did the shift from manual labor to machine-based manufacturing, moving workers from the field to the factory and marking the beginning of the knowledge worker. Next was the adoption of the telegraph, which led to the telephone. This helped increase knowledge sharing across the workplace on a local, global and international scale.
From Baby Boomers to Generation Xers and the Millennials, knowledge workers stretch across each generation. As the Baby Boomers entered the workforce, they filled positions in which communication consisted of interpersonal interactions and telephone conversations. Since then, technology tools continued to advance at a rapid rate. Generation Xers filtered into the workplace accustomed to the use of computers, while video games and cable TV became normal household appliances. From here, knowledge workers have evolved greatly as we are amongst the digital age. Leading the way are the Millennials, who have been exposed to the latest technology innovations since a young age. These Millennials are joining the workforce armed with a solid background of accessing information instantly and in real-time, knowledgeable on how to engage social media channels to increase traction and gain exposure, and how to utilize the cloud to get work done when they want, where they want and how they want.
Both, companies and employees have to make adjustments in order to keep up with today’s evolved knowledge worker. Millennials are comfortable working via tablets and smartphones, but they aren’t alone. Baby Boomers and Generation Xers are just as capable to adopt these new technological tools and the modern work approach. This modern mobile approach of work is upon us and to succeed as today’s knowledge worker adoption is critical. We are at a point where technology is not too overwhelming; it provides the right amount of challenges, advantages, and in result provides the tools to produce effective results in the workplace.
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