Here are some of the ways to embrace different digital technologies for every aspect of your life.
The world has changed and is still changing. It’s much more digitized than it was fifty, twenty, and even five years ago, and there are no signs of the trend slowing down. Everyone embraces technology in some aspect in their lives, whether they realize it or not. Sure, most people have a smartphone or a computer, but even those who do not have those pieces of technology are most likely still somehow embracing a digital transformation to some extent, whether it’s through a different piece of technology or a technological advancement that makes a specific task or way of life easier.
On a whole, a societal digital transformation and innovation is generally a positive change for both business and personal aspects of life. Organizations are embracing digital transformation—the acceleration of business models and activities to strategically leverage digital technologies—to streamline business practices, enhance both customer and employee interactions with the company, and deliver above and beyond customer service and tailored customer experience with the brand.
When technology advances and businesses adopt them en masse, it eventually trickles down to the consumer level, and the general public tends to adopt more advancements as well. An example of this is BlackBerry phones, which were founded by a Canadian company called Research in Motion (RIM). They were massively popular with the general public and were Apple’s number one rival for smartphones at one point, but were first introduced as data-only devices used by business people to send wireless messages back and forth. As RIM’s technology improved, more people used their devices, and soon they were the number two brand of smartphone in North America until other Android smartphones took over the market and pushed them out. Because of RIM’s innovation, a massive shift in how everyone communicated via their phones came about, with BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) leading the way as the original “mobile-first” messaging service until rival companies joined the ranks and beat them at their own game. BBM paved the way for instant messaging and other related functions, like read receipts to group chats; it was truly a cultural shift that started from the top and trickled down to the general public before encouraging other companies to innovate and advance.
Instant messaging and communication isn’t the only innovation that digital technology has brought to the public –– there are plenty of other ways people can embrace digitization in their day-to-day routines and tasks, from getting chores done to earning a living, to monitoring healthy eating habits. It can sometimes be scary to embrace change and adapt to a completely new way of life or to build new habits and learn about emerging technology, but on a whole, these advancements are beneficial. Here are some of the ways to embrace different digital technologies for every aspect of your life.
The traditional nine to five office life used to be standard in the workplace, but not anymore. Roughly 70% of people around the world work remotely at least one day per week, with just over half saying they work remotely for at least half of their work week. Across the United States, half of the workforce hold jobs that are able to be done remotely.
Telecommuting is an attractive aspect of a job for an employee. The ability to work from home (or anywhere for that matter) gives you more control over your schedule, which is a big bonus for most since they can balance their work lives and their home lives much better. It can be much less stressful, between not having to commute to work, not having to worry about work attire or packing a lunch, and not having to drop the kids off at daycare or rush early in the mornings. Your schedule feels more relaxed, even if your work day is still nine to five, you feel much more in control of it. You also have more time to be with your family, you might have more energy for your hobbies or other activities after work, and can arrange lunch dates or might be more interested in going for drinks with friends because you aren’t in a rush to get home and get dinner started, or do other household chores.
The emergence of the digital office is not only helping employees achieve a better work-life balance, but it is also a sound business decision. Some companies wouldn’t even exist without remote workers, like organizations who connect children in non-English speaking countries to teachers around the world who teach them how to speak English via online classes. Companies who hire remotely are also able to expand their talent search from local to global and diversify their teams, bringing different perspectives and skillsets to the table. Plus, it can help them save money since they don’t need to set up a big office with equipment for each employee.
It’s really a win-win for employers and employees to work remotely, and with so many benefits, it can be a really easy decision to switch to work-from-home remote jobs.
Get your degree online
Studying online as opposed to on-campus has a number of benefits, including schedule flexibility, lower costs involved, no commuting, more communication with professors and peers, and better retention. There’s no shortage of options of what to study, as most colleges and universities around the world offer a large number of full degree programs online. You could get a safety master degree online from Wilfrid Laurier University, for example, or a doctorate in psychology or your bachelor’s degree in computer science, and it doesn’t matter where you live.
Distance learning can be for full-time students who want to continue with their career, or students who have a family and can’t commit to a full on-campus program, or students who want to complete courses over the summer or from schools that offer courses their main school doesn’t. Transferring credits from an online program to an on-campus program can be done, so you don’t even need to commit to a fully online program to embrace distance learning.
Order anything online with a click of a button
E-commerce is a huge industry, growing rapidly and with no signs of slowing down. In 2017, e-commerce sales were roughly $2.3 trillion USD, with that number expected to double by 2021. These days, you can get practically anything under the sun from an online retailer, locally or from a country across the world, and anywhere in between. Companies like Amazon have made it necessary for smaller business and big box stores alike to offer more online shopping, so the customers have more choice, and the entire process is more convenient. It isn’t always possible to get out to a store, especially if what you’re looking for is hard to come by or offered in specialty stores, so doing a search online and ordering it right to your home is such a major step in digital innovation. Everything from groceries, prepared meals, clothing, home decor and furniture, appliances, electronics, plants, and gardening supplies, and other home supplies are available to be ordered online from the comfort of your home, or while you’re on the go.
Of course, digital payments also go hand in hand with online shopping, because how else can you order goods online without paying for them online as well? However, that isn’t the only aspect of digital payments. Going completely cashless is also a business model for some services, like food delivery apps (UberEats, Foodora, etc.) and car share companies, like Uber and ZipCar, making it much more convenient for users to just click and order a service without worrying about having cash on hand. A lot of brick-and-mortar shops, like coffee shops and retail stores, are offering cashless payment as well, with technologies like Google Pay and Apple Pay readily available.
Forget going to the bank and paying your bills in person, because digital payments have revolutionized the entire process as well. Sign up for direct debit payments that are charged straight to your bank, or with a few clicks, sign into your account online and pay your bills almost instantly. If you need to send money to someone, you can do this in minutes via Interac e-transfers or through PayPal. It makes it so much more convenient and quick, plus it’s reliable and secure, so you can save time on getting these tasks done without worrying about having your information or payments compromised.
Learn a new skill
If it exists, chances are there’s a how-to video online explaining it. With so much information available on the Internet today, there really is no excuse for not knowing or learning about, well, anything you want. You can teach yourself how to play an instrument, a game, learn a new language, or study academics. You can teach yourself to cook from the best chefs in the world, learn how to dance from a teacher 1000 miles away or learn how to take apart and reassemble electronics from a YouTube tutorial video. Find a new hobby and immerse yourself in the world, engaging with other hobbyists and experts. As long as you have the drive and the discipline to stay committed to it, there’s nothing you can’t learn online.
Technology has come a long way and has improved life along with it. The ease of information can help you learn new things, grow your skills, and open your mind to new experiences. The convenience of online shopping and services available at your fingertips makes tasks that used to take all day take minutes. Goals that seemed unattainable are now within arms reach. Embracing digitization can enrich your life in many ways, as long as you let it.