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Stories that captured our attention: Humanizing the Digital Workplace Experience

 

Due to our various activities and personal interests we read a lot. And regularly we come across stories that are renewing, inspiring, funny or just a great explanation of something useful and scream "share me!" Which is why we are introducing a new biweekly blog "Stories that captured our attention".

 

For the kick-off we start close to our mission. Our slogan "Work Happy" is based on our vision that people experience greater happiness when they are productive at work. The sometimes-overwhelming ongoing stream of push information challenges that. It may appear that we humans are created to support technology; while technology should make things easier for us. Yaacov Cohen rightly says “it is time for the digital humanist approach” in Humanizing the Digital Workplace Experience. An approach that puts us humans back at the center of technology, and centers around human interests and values. 

You can find some great (and some not so great) examples on your smart phone. Almost from the start we had the opportunity to dictate text to our phones. This text was either saved/shared as spoken messages, and in many cases even as written text apps, messages or emails. Since the introduction of virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Cortana this went from "speaking to" to "speaking with" our smart tools. With use of natural language processing, systems learn to interpret human language and to react, answer or carry out a commando when spoken to. Currently already 10% of all searches on Google are via Google Voice Search. Which is why Google decided to make voice available for desktops.

Recent developments in machine learning and natural language programming increases the accessibility to this technology and started a wave of (company) chatbots. These chatbots are used in Q&A areas, and in some more advanced situations, support the helpdesks/call centers in communicating with customers. It is suspected that it will have a positive effect on the productivity of information workers. One chatbot that stood out in the various we’ve read about, is the Mando Fridge mentioned in “seven reasons why digital workplace chatbots are here to stay”. The beer and snack fridge will only open when every employee has filled in their timesheets. Employees can chat with the bot to discover what treats it holds captive and who is the current bottleneck standing between them and happy hour! Needless to say, this inspired us to start building our own?

Work Happy!

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