Advances in technology have been altering the way that office workers do their jobs for decades.
Certain generations will remember an era before the internet was used so heavily to communicate with colleagues and customers. Others are able to look back to a time before computers were used to store data.
The majority of them, in the property sector at least, will agree that their working lives have been made much easier since computers and the world wide web became mainstream office fodder. Yet now, a new wave of technology has emerged which aims to make communication and data storage even simpler.
Many businesses are already taking advantage of the benefits that mobile web devices, cloud storage and fibre-optic internet connections can bring. Yet, others, including many in the property industry, are more hesitant to adopt these solutions. Let's explore exactly what is holding these firms back.
The most significant advances in technology are those that are allowing employees to work remotely. The growth of cloud computing is allowing staff to access important documents and software from any location. Meanwhile, smartphones, tablets and mobile web connections have become so advanced that it is possible for workers to do the majority of their daily tasks away from the office without any loss in productivity.
A lot of businesses are allowing employees to do just that, because they feel it gifts them a better work/life balance, helping them become more engaged and more productive. It also potentially reduces the need to invest in office facilities of their own as well.
However, there are some business owners who don't feel comfortable letting staff work from a remote location. These bosses may be keen to micro-manage their employees and prefer to monitor them at all times.
There are also fears about their security and reliability of cloud computing. These fears are most prevalent amongst financial firms, which arguably have the most to lose should their data be leaked, but they certainly appear to be affecting businesses in the property industry as well.
There's no denying that these advances in technology could be highly beneficial for the property sector. There are tens of thousands of agents and investors who could benefit from being able to access data from a remote location. Estate agent chains could update details about their portfolios on-the-go and their colleagues across the country would have immediate access to these updates.
Investors will also be able to keep track of their portfolios wherever they are. Imagine being able to update details about your London portfolio, whilst travelling to view potential new investments in New York. The financial benefits of investing in these new solutions would undoubtedly be welcomed by businesses in the property sector too.
The amount of property businesses getting on board with cloud computing is growing slowly but surely. In a recent survey, 45 per cent of 'Property Week' readers said they were either storing or planning to store business software in the cloud. As more and more early adopters begin to utilise the advantages of this technology, it is likely that their nervier peers will be forced to do the same. Either that or they risk falling behind the competition.
Written by Qube Global (www.qubeglobal.co.uk). We are one of the world’s leading suppliers of property and facilities management software and have been providing solutions to its customers for over 35 years.