Future Tech in the Workplace

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It is expected that within the next five years, technology will completely transform the way employees work. In a study on the Future Workforce by Dell and Intel, 60% of those surveyed believe they will be working in a ‘smart office’ within the next five years.

The survey from Dell and Intel, also found that 44% think that their workplace currently isn’t smart enough and want the environment to be more intuitive about employee habits.

So what forms of technology can improve productivity and make it a more intuitive, smart office?

Beacons are one form of technology that is already gaining popularity particularly in retail. For offices, however, they can help us to understand how and when particular areas are being used. This data can then be used to determine what improvements need to be made.

Another form of technology will result in workplaces becoming more interactive and personalised. Via the use of smartphone apps employees will be able to adjust heating and lighting levels within their particular workspace, something which is already possible Deloitte’s headquarters in Amsterdam. The benefit of these smarter systems could offer potential energy savings of between 20% and 50%.

However, with people working from a number of devices, the question still remains if the office of the future will even be physical or if working virtually will become the norm. With the increase in cloud-based applications, it has become completely possible to be able to work remotely which offers flexibility for people to choose when and where they work. Over the next 5 years, we may see a decline in the standard pattern of 9-5 working, with more people working flexible hours that suit them.

Mobile working is also being supported by a rise in app-centered tools, with design thinking leading workplace innovation. Design thinking takes a human-centred approach to solve problems, which is particularly useful for HR looking to understand the needs of employees in the workplace.

With mobile phone sales expected to reach 2.1 billion units by 2019, demand for apps within businesses will increase.

Wearables are also on the rise with a number of different uses. For example, employees could track fitness levels and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Wearables such as smart-watches help remove the need for bigger devices with people able to answer calls and emails. This could be hugely beneficial in work environments where you need to be hands-free to carry out tasks.

Workplaces will need to ensure that they are aware of these workplace technologies and look for opportunities where they could be implemented so that they remain attractive to potential employees.

The Future Workforce survey found that for 82% of those surveyed, technology in the workplace influences the jobs that they take. So now could be a great time to check that your office is at the high standard that many now expect.

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