5 Ways Millennials Are Changing the Workplace

Despite myths and common perception, millennials are a hardworking generation. Still, their definition of hard work and their attitudes are significantly different from generations before. This is no surprise given that this generation came of age during the explosion of digital technology.
Millennials simply feel that it’s quite reasonable to expect to get what they want exactly how, when and where they want it; a result of the massive enablement that technology has brought to society.

This generation just won’t take ‘no’ for an answer both in their personal and working lives.Speaking of work lives, millennials don’t see a definite separation between the Mon-Fri 9-5 routine and their personal lives. Instead, they see life as a rich blend of experiences and are deftly able to move between work and play. Thus, offices designed for the future are openly embracing mobile, social and cloud technology to offer millennials the ‘seamless’ work environment they desire. Offices are being positively disrupted through digitization, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and robotic process automation. Thus, the workplace is changing dramatically and this change is being driven by millennials.
We’ve put together 5 important ways that we feel millennials are massively changing the workplace and these 5 things could become the norm within a couple of years. Some of these things aren’t entirely new concepts but it’s only with the advent of new technology that they’ve become easily achievable goals for almost any workplace.

1. The Chief Happiness Officer

millennial-workspace Millennials are simply not happy with one size fits all environments and constantly look for unique workspaces. This generation is constantly searching for new experiences and expects their workplace to provide them with options that make them feel good. This is where a CHO comes in and can provide more than just a feel good experience. CHOs can promote employee contentment, reduce turnover costs, spur innovation and boost productivity.

2. More Hipster Coffee Bar, Less Cubicle


The look and feel of offices are changing. Future – friendly office spaces are much more social and, instead of cutting people off from each other, inspire them to mix, meet and chat over a delicious coffee or even something stronger. But this is not a distraction, it’s how innovation happens.
3. All Companies Will Be Like Tech Companies


Tech companies introduced many trends such as informal office spaces and the idea of telecommuting. Going forward, any sector can benefit from embracing workplace tech trends that improve productivity.
4. Hello, Robot


Soon, your co-worker could be a robot and that’s not a bad thing. As we have seen in the past, many human roles will remain vital but the introduction of robots can create new, better roles for humans and increase efficiency overall.
5. Hyper-Personalized, Intuitive Workspaces


Millennials are all about personalization and will go to great lengths to personalize their workspaces. In the very near future, this will likely become even more enhanced with cognitive computing and AI being able to anticipate and produce each worker’s ideal environment from temperature to lighting and music. Digital transformation, driven by millennials, is completely reinventing the traditional office on every level. The kind of workplace that this generation yearns for is slowly taking shape and it’s not just millennials who are benefitting from this change. The new, future-friendly office is a place that anyone, from any generation can appreciate and enjoy.

In fact, it’s probably what everyone wanted in the first place, but it will be millennials who will be remembered as the generation who simply wouldn’t take no for an answer until they got what they wanted!

Nations Trust Bank Hosts Sri Lanka’s First Fintech Hackathon

Smartphone with finance and market icons and symbols concept


The Kaffeine Lab, Nations Trust Bank’s innovation centre at Gregory’s Road, came alive recently as the Bank hosted the first annual Nations Trust Fintech Hackathon. More than 150 teams from across Sri Lanka put forward their applications to contest in the Hackathon and the best 16 were selected to compete. The Hackathon kicked off with a short opening ceremony on the evening of the 10th of November 2017. Beginning at 6.00pm the teams hacked away through the night and finished up by 6.00am the next day. After the judges had made their decisions, the winners were announced at a ceremony on the morning of the 11th of November 2017. Top bank officials were present throughout the event, providing the teams with all the support they required.


Speaking as the Hackathon was in progress, Thilak Piyadigama – COO of Nations Trust Bank said, ‘In Sri Lanka we fail to provide young people with platforms to come up in life and showcase their ideas and talent. That’s why this is such a great initiative that makes us feel great about what’s happening here and proud of what we’re doing. It’s also a way to encourage competitiveness and boost productivity, when you have to deliver a functional solution in 12 hours. Traditionally, banks are quiet, conventional, full suit people, so this is a major step forward not only for us but for the whole sector. We are setting a trend here and I’m sure other players in the sector will follow.

‘We’ve found some really bright young kids and as a bank we want to help them take their ideas to the next level, mentoring them and providing them with start-up capital if we really like their ideas. Most start-ups tend to fail but with the right nurturing they have a better chance at succeeding. We have committed to making this an annual event and tonight’s event is only the beginning of an amazing journey. I would like to say a big thank you to all our partner universities and institutions, organizers and most of all the contestants for coming out here.’

The Nations Trust Fintech Hackathon 2017 saw some vibrant talent and enthusiastic participants competing in an electric atmosphere all through the night and the wee hours of the morning. Teams had projects ranging from an Island-wide Bus Route/Positioning Collator with trip planning features, a Handy Person Aggregator to put users in touch with plumbers, mechanics and other handymen closest to them, a VR Based Car Sale Experience and an ambitious project to introduce direct P2P energy trading between producers of excess solar power and consumers, along with many other fascinating and possibly game changing ideas.

Dinesh Thomas, the Chief Innovation Officer at Nations Trust Bank and one of the key organizers of the event added that, ‘I think what sets the Nations Trust Fintech Hackathon apart from other hackathons is that we are not after participants’ intellectual property. We are not buying or taking anything from them. We want them to own their ideas and develop them. We want to be partners and collaborate with them on this journey.

‘Our endgame is to collaborate with others and create new possibilities for fintech in Sri Lanka and may be even the world at large. Collaboration is a win, win proposition and we can help grow our businesses together. Most of these young guys and girls have no limit in terms of technical skills to deliver but when it comes to business skills to take their product to market, they’re often lagging way behind. We can help them here, guide them, finance them and mentor them to increase their chances of success. ’

The team, ‘Tech Devs’ were the ultimate winners of the Nations Trust Fintech Hackathon 2017 and walked away with a cash prize of LKR 250,000 and an interest free business funding plan. The runners up walked away with handsome cash prizes of LKR 150,000 and LKR 75,000 respectively.


It’s great to see banks undertaking major initiatives like this to encourage the immense talent we have in this country to reach for the stars and bear fruit. We hope that we will see many more such initiatives in the future.

What do you think? Were you part of the Nations Trust Fintech Hack? Would you be, next year? Let us know in the comments below.

Here’s Why Samsung’s Galaxy Note 6 May Be Better Than The iPhone 7


According to this report from Bloomberg, Apple’s streak of 51 consecutive quarters of sales growth is officially over. The culprit in this sales hitch happens to be the iPhone; fewer people have migrated towards the iPhone and this has Apple worried. With the iPhone 7 the company is sure to face a growing decline since industry pundits have stated that this year’s iPhone will not be as innovative and feature-rich as earlier iterations.

If you are one of the many consumers who are not excited about the iPhone 7 that we spoke of in the last blog post, then maybe you should start saving up for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 6 (some say that Samsung might end up calling it the Note 7). As far as rumors go, Samsung is seriously taking the fight to Apple with its Galaxy Note 6 with a spate of feature-rich highlights that aim to redefine the smartphone market.

Here’s what is (rumored!) to help make the Galaxy Note 6 stand head and shoulders above the rest:

  1. Edge Display: The iconic curved Edge display that was seen on Samsung’s 2015 Galaxy S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ as well as 2016’s Galaxy S7 Edge is expected to grace the Note 6. Not only was this innovative screen adored by industry pundits and consumers alike, it is fast becoming the industry norm with Apple (reportedly) jumping on the bandwagon and offering the same edge display for the iPhone 7.
  2. Iris Scanner: Fingerprint scanners are so yesterday; what’s new with the Note 6 is an Iris Scanner where the Samsung’s flagship phone will feature multiple sensors on the topmost bezel which would allow users to unlock their phone just by looking at it.
  3. More Juice: The Note 6 battery is touted to be massive! The Note 5’s 3000 mAh battery will massively increase to 4200 mAh in the Galaxy Note 6; the only downside is that the battery cannot be removed; however, complaints should be minimal since all-day stamina and wireless charging will keep the Note 6 buzzing along nicely.
  4. 12-Megapixel Camera: First featured on the well reviewed Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, the Note 6 will have boast Optical Image Stabilisation technology, which will produce detail-rich photos in challenging conditions, in addition to infrared autofocus. But rumors abound concerning the megapixels involved; some report a whopping 20-megapixel camera, but we think a 12-megapixel camera is more realistic.

With the Note 6 boasting IP67 certification when it comes to water resistance; possessing 8 GB of RAM; and being shipped out with Android Marshmallow 6.0 (with an enhanced TouchWiz interface), the latest iteration of Apple’s iPhone will have its work seriously cut out.

3 Unconfirmed Facts About The iPhone 7


We are all in a happy tizzy, aren’t we? At least we Apple fans are. The iPhone 6S was revolutionary and evolutionary at the same time, and just when you think that Apple has run out of ideas, the company throws a curveball the wows pretty much everyone.

At the time of this writing, we can make an unsafe bet that the iPhone 7 will be released on 9th September. And how could we possibly make such an assumption? Well, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus was released on Wednesday 9 September, which was the last day of IFA 2015.

But more than WHEN Apple’s new iPhone will be released, we are more concerned about what does the iPhone 7 entail? We scoured far and wide across the World Wide Web, and this is what we found.

  1. No Headphone Plug: Ok, so this is pretty much confirmed according to the Wall Street Journal; Apple has decided (to a huge uproar!) ditch the headphone plug on its latest iteration of the iPhone. The reason? Well, getting rid of the headphone plug will help tighten up the iPhone structure thereby making it more water resistant, and aesthetically thinner. The Lightning Connector will inevitably help in charging the phone and for connecting headphones. But why the uproar? Many iPhone customers who are planning on upgrading are left cursing the cost of making an additional purchase, which by Apple standards, will be expensive.
  2. Dual Camera: Yippee! The iPhone 7 will have a dual camera (or so says industry pundits). And this is a big deal because? Well, because the multi-aperture cameras will improve image quality and low-light performance, which has been a weakness of the iPhone camera since 2007. There’s a good chance the device will use camera technology that Cupertino acquired when purchasing LinX Imaging. Any improvements to the sensor quality in the iPhone 7 will be a huge draw for upgraders since Apple didn’t blow people away with the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE cameras. Live Photos are truly a great addition but the market is surely ready for something far juicier to take iPhone photos to the next level.
  3. New Colours: Keeping it real this time around, Apple says that the iPhone 7 will come in space black. This is supposed to be in addition to the space gray, gold, rose gold, and silver iPhone 6s models that Apple already sells. Come to think of it, this is definitely an option that already reeks of class and a sense of sexiness that the space gray variant just can’t compete with.

Let’s be honest here. From what we hear online, the iPhone 7 will only be am embellishment over the iPhone 6S. Supposedly, Apple is saving all its new-generation forward-thinking capabilities for the iPhone 8, which is slated to be released next year in time for the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. And yes, the talk in town is that there will be no iPhone 7S in 2017.

Unveiling the blackphone 2: privacy without compromise

Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Vanessa Hudgens and Kate Upton have something in common. They were victims of an incident called the The Fappening, where naked pictures of 100+ women were leaked on 4Chan and Twitter in September 2014.

Big data never forgets! What do photo leaks have to do with the launch of a new smartphone? You might ask. Privacy along with the promise to completely secure your data is the answer.

Mr. Michael Berg, Channel Director, of Silent Circle showing the blackphone 2

The CEO of Chelcey Telecom, Mr. Asela Waidyalankara, along with Silent Circle announced the release of blackphone 2, at Cinnamon Grand on Thursday , 3 March 2016, which mainly focuses on the aspect of privacy. Hon. Harin Fernando, the Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, graced the occasion and impressed upon the audience that innovation and creativity is the way forward when it comes to this island nation. While being visibly impressed with the amount of work, time and effort which has gone into the blackphone 2, the minister went on to state his support for such ventures that promoted futuristic innovations.

Hon. Harin Fernando, the Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, being gifted a blackphone 2 by Mr. Michael Berg, Channel Director, of Silent Circle.

Hon. Harin Fernando, the Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, being gifted a blackphone 2 by Mr. Michael Berg, Channel Director, of Silent Circle.

Mr. Michael Berg, Channel Director of Silent Circle, stated the importance of privacy in general, but more so when it came to enterprise customers. With a backdrop of celebrity photo leaks, and the NSA accessing private data, there seems to be nothing called – privacy. The truth is people with wealth, power or authority will always be a target for blackmail. The blackphone 2 seeks to change this by making communication and personal details secure. Mr. Berg spoke of how Mr. Phil Zimmerman, the Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, of Silent Circle, is an enthusiastic encryption law activist who fought the U.S. government in the 90s, and built a solid reputation on exporting technology to the rest of the world.

Democratizing the whole process, Silent Circle offers its source code, and requests the public to find out vulnerabilities. The public are paid to find out bugs and since the blackphone 2 runs on Android, Silent Circle works with Google to fix everything within 72 hours. No other company does this. In this day and age, the smartphone is a device of vulnerability. Feeling doubtful? Consider the degree of access rights the apps demand, and you will find, it reaches to ominous proportions.

Aimed squarely at enterprise customers, the blackphone 2 is crafted to ensure complete privacy. When apps can listen to what you are saying, take pictures, and listen via a smartphone’s microphone, the blackphone 2’s Silent OS can shut off surveillance and location tracking with a few quick clicks. With a plethora of nifty tricks up its sleeves, the blackphone 2 promises secure calls, SMS, and file sharing. The blackphone 2 is multiple phones in one phone; it’s secure from the start. It was launched at the end of last year, and is brought down to Sri Lanka by Chelcey Telecom.

Microsoft’s Surface Book- What every laptop should aspire to be

Just as PC shipment sales have taken a hit this year, Microsoft has launched the Surface Book (priced at $1,499) on October 7th, which is three devices in one – a laptop, a portable clipboard and a creative canvas. Clearly billed as an innovative product, which is a quality that Microsoft has been lacking since of late, the Surface Book is aimed squarely at Apple’s Macbook and iPad Air.Microsoft-Surface-Book-840x473

Where’s The Innovation?

Various features are being thrown about on Microsoft’s Surface product micro site that touts ease-of-use, such as ­– One click to Cortana, One click to OneNote,  a 12.3-inch Pixel Sense Display, and Palm Block technology; but the real innovation is how Microsoft has redefined the laptop. With this product, Microsoft reeks of smarts where the Surface Book can transform from a laptop to a clipboard to a creative canvas. Microsoft’s focus has always been about productivity, and we see this focus hasn’t changed; while Window’s app store is still somewhat lacking compared to Google’s and Apple’s app stores, this is a scenario that is sure to change in the near future with Microsoft getting quite aggressive in taking the fight to its arch rivals.

The Surface Book Has The Power!

Combining a 6th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 or i7 processor with up to 16GB of memory, the Surface Book, which will come pre-installed with Windows 10, will boast 9 hours of video playback and comes hitched with: a full-size USB 3.0, microSD™ card reader, Headset jack, Mini DisplayPort, Cover port and Surface Connect. More features include: 5.0 MP front-facing HD camera, 8.0 MP rear-facing autofocus camera, with 1080p HD video recording. Additionally, the graphics for the i5 is powered by Intel® HD graphics 520, while the i7 is powered by Intel® Iris™ graphics.

Check Out That Body!screen shot 2015-10-06 at 11.22.04 am

While true tech aficionados would be more concerned about the Surface Book’s internals, those who are hoping that Microsoft can get its sexy back need not worry. According to Microsoft, the Surface Book’s body is encapsulated in a magnesium body, which is pretty much advertising lingo for a silver metal laptop. Despite having a name that’s maybe a bit too similar to Apple’s MacBook, Microsoft fanboys will be happy to note that this device looks and functions nothing like a MacBook. At this particular juncture it needs to be said that the most inimitable design aspect of the Surface Book is its hinge or what Microsoft prefers to call its “dynamic fulcrum”. As mentioned previously, the Surface Book detaches into three different devices which are held together by Muscle WireTM that securely holds the screen in place while allowing it to detach effortlessly with the push of a button. Screenshot_2