It’s tough to know where to start when we look back at 2016. It’s been the year of Trump and Brexit, the year we’ve said goodbye to Bowie, Prince and Muhammad Ali, and the year we took to our phones in huge numbers to snare mythical beasts.
Technology and business have become closer than ever, combining to fuel new developments and change the nature of how we work and how we interact with each other. But what has this year taught us? Here’s our rundown of five things we’ve learnt in 2016…
1. The way we work is changing
The changing nature of the workforce exploded in 2016. The rise of the gig economy has been so fast and so rapid it’s now having an impact on the political and legal level. Being able to enjoy work, as well as choosing how and when to work, are overtaking salary in terms of importance for employees. As more Millennials continue to flood the workplace, the face of the employee is changing and more business are having to respond to this in order to be successful and stay competitive. Employee training and development based on their strengths and not necessarily the needs of the business have also been proven to have a positive impact on everything from profitability to employee engagement.
2. Augmented reality has its breakthrough moment
Augmented reality has been talked about for a number of years but 2016 saw it breakthrough into the mainstream in the most unlikely of sources. The popularity of Pokemon Go! was a global phenomenon and, while the novelty faded after the initial burst, for two glorious weeks it captured imaginations the world over by combining the real and the virtual in a way no one has done before. This can further be seen in the competition among voice assistants. With Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana, the drive by the big tech companies to capture the voice assistant market is truly picking up pace. While it may be some time before voice assistants are truly integrated with everything we do, the race to capture the market is well and truly underway.
3. Visulisations are the future of data
Data is everywhere. We have access to more of it than ever before both on a personal and business level. The key to unlocking the power of this data comes in being able to interpret it which is why organisations are taking leaps forward when it comes to visualising data. Early this year we launched Quinyx Insights for this very reason.
4. Customers crave connections
The most successful brands are those who embrace storytelling and seamlessly connect with their customers. Whether it’s through live streaming (made popular this year by Facebook) or collating stories in apps like Snapchat and Instagram, the power of personality and the integration of content and sales have become more important than ever in 2016 and will be long into the future.
5. Wellbeing and mindfulness take centre stage
Finally, the business world has begun to realise that focussing on employee wellbeing and creating a culture where mindfulness is valued is more important for long term, sustainable success than having over-worked and burnt-out employees. From apps like Headspace to company-wide drives focussing on better wellbeing, 2016 has seen employee physical and mental health become a priority for businesses.
As we look ahead to 2017 we expect to see all of the above develop even further. And it’s why we believe in our product and the importance of businesses having a good workforce management system place. Systems like Quinyx not only optimise how a business runs and performs, but also the lives of the employees who use it.