By Gregory Pings
“Wasted time drives me crazy,” which is why Sean Gallagher loves his technology. “It makes me more efficient and gives me amazing access to richer, visual information. Technology allows me to extract higher levels of intelligence from data.”
Gallagher, originally from Ireland, has spent the last 22 years living and working in France for various companies. In that time, he has held responsibilities for multi-country operations. When he joined Xerox France in January 2017 to become its president, he fulfilled his desire to run an operation in a single country for the first time in his career, and spend more time on the ground with customers and partners.
His job description isn’t the only thing that changed.
“Our organizational culture is being redefined.” Gallagher believes this is where the impact of technology is most positive. “Technology improves innovation, the way we work together, make decisions, create and empower. It has a massive impact on our business functions.”
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Xerox ConnectKey Technology transforms the experience of how employees work, giving them the freedom to solve problems, be more productive and take on new challenges.
Collaboration & Communication
Success in the workplace – now and in the future – is so highly dependent on communication & collaboration.
“We have so much data and intelligence to run our business. It’s all around us. But a big part of it comes from collaboration internally and externally. It must also be communicated efficiently or else the value is lost,” Gallagher explained.
These are the keys to the work environment, be it the office, home or in a taxi on the way to work. Technology knits everything together. The task at hand and your particular environment defines the most useful technology.
“The office offers high energy and buzz,” Gallagher said, “especially with sales teams where our people are in constant collaboration.” Not all team members are onsite, so video conferences are effective. “For me, simple audio connections are not enough. Listen, watch, talk; you must strike the right balance to get the best out of communication. Look for non-verbal signals. Body language lets you know if your message is getting across. Communication is a two-way process.”
Xerox exec: “Work must not be depersonalized. Real human interactions must be preserved.”
Where technology takes us
Technology sets the page free, as the saying goes at Xerox. Used well, technology makes us more efficient. It allows effective communication that enhances our work and allows us to get the most out of our day.
“My downtime is more effective,” Gallagher pointed out, “Technology removes a number of low-value tasks, which allows me to make the most out of every moment at work.”
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Where are we headed in the workplaces of the future? “Virtual assistants, fueled by artificial intelligence, are better at data mining than we are. You’ll see more and more emerging to provide us with insights that provoke our thinking and analysis,” Gallagher noted. “Augmented reality will help us communicate and collaborate more effectively, and make our interactions richer.”
But he cautions that technology must not take over.
“AI virtual assistants, video and 3D holograms certainly cannot replace all face-to-face encounters,” he said. “Work must not be depersonalized. Real human interactions must be preserved, and we have to be vigilant to maintain the right balance.”