How does digitization influence our (working) everyday life?

Digitization has completely changed the way we use television these days. The following article examines the various implications of these changes and offers tips on how HR departments can use this trend to their advantage.

Digitization and television

Fifteen years ago, we all tuned in to our favorite cable TV shows whenever they aired. There was no way to record them and watch them at a more convenient time. Our television behavior only changed fundamentally with the introduction of smart TVs, which enable the recording of TV content and the use of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. While some people still watch their favorite shows every week on traditional cable TV, more and more—particularly the younger generation—are embracing the hassle-free streaming services. In this way, content can be called up flexibly and at any time. According to a study by Welt, the proportion of households without a television has gradually increased from 15% in 3,4 to 2016% in 5,3[1].

The study also states that 13,5% of TV owners watch TV over the Internet - be it via streaming services or other platforms such as YouTube. A classic television is not necessary for this, many simply stream via their laptop or tablet.

The classic use of televisions is thus gradually decreasing and the use of digital streaming services on various end devices is increasing. A recent Forbes study found that people prefer streaming content on YouTube to watching TV. There could be several reasons for this: it's more convenient, better tailored to your interests, less time-consuming, it's free and you can watch it on the go. In fact, 44% said [2]of the people surveyed indicate that they prefer YouTube to television, which shows how extreme this phenomenon is.

Likewise, people are no longer willing to pay for a plethora of channels they rarely use - most only watch a few channels on cable TV and often don't even watch the other channels. Because of this, free or cheaper services are becoming more and more popular.

What impact is this trend having on HR?

The way of retrieving, editing or sharing content has changed fundamentally in recent years due to digitization. How can HR departments respond to this trend?

On the one hand, it has been shown that society prefers to organize its life flexibly and often on the go. From this it can be concluded that people want to be as digital as possible in their (working) everyday life in order to be able to access important documents and content from anywhere. This increases the importance of digital personnel files and processes, which is shown, for example, by the introduction of the electronic certificate of incapacity for work (eAU).

The digitization of work processes and the use of HR software programs can significantly simplify and accelerate work in the HR area. For example, there are software programs in which working hours can be digitally recorded, vacation requests can be made or references can be created. Documents and tasks can be edited simultaneously using different programs such as Microsoft OneNote and the coordination paths are shortened.

Employee training or further education is now also taking place digitally, which means that the actual whereabouts of the employees are irrelevant. HR departments like to advertise the company’s digital benefits in their job advertisements. For example, almost every employer nowadays has the option of working from home or receiving mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets for working on the go.

It also shows that the way people consume information has changed drastically. Rather than living to a strict schedule, people prefer short “learning nuggets” that give them detailed information in a short amount of time. This can be translated to HR, by turning onboarding processes or company training into shorter, more digestible "nuggets" to accommodate this shift to shorter but more productive work.

Summary

In summary, it can be said that digitization has undoubtedly changed our way of life and the way we absorb and process information significantly. This affects both our private lives and our everyday work. HR departments have to react to this change and adapt and constantly improve both their working methods and their digital offers for employees in order to be able to compete.

[1] Television consumption: German households have an average of 1,57 televisions - WELT

[2] Is YouTube And Netflix's Rise Spelling Traditional TV's Eventual Doom? (forbes.com)

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