Technology is taking over the world, and everything is changing as a result. Our lives are run by our cell phones, and we rarely do anything without an online connection, but how does this affect our work?
The future workplace is anticipated to be a completely technological place, no matter the industry. Automation, extra connectivity, telecommuting, and everything stored within the ether. It might make you wonder whether we need people at all, but despite the fear attached to the rise of artificial intelligence, this is actually predicted to create more jobs in other sectors, such as customer services, sales, marketing, and IT.
To highlight what we expect the future workplace to look like and how far towards achieving that we really are, let’s look at expectation versus reality.
Expectations of the Future Workplace
The following are expected to be the biggest features of the regular workplace in the future:
Systems which streamline all methods of communication used within a workplace are predicted to be a huge feature in the future workplace. This means a software solution, which incorporates video conferencing, messaging, faxing, emailing, calling, and any other type of communication used by an organization.
Some predict AI will take over the workplace, and in terms of automation and software, this is certainly a truth and will definitely be an integral part in the present and future.
Paperless Organizations with complete cloud use
There has been talk of the ‘paperless office’ for decades but it hasn’t actually come to fruition just yet. These days however we are much closer than before, and with the cloud more available, accessible, and easy to integrate and adopt, soon there will be no requirement for any paper-based records to be held.
More and more staff members will be able to work remotely, e.g. from home or from any corner of the planet, as video conferencing and calling becomes mainstream. Currently used only for meetings, video calls will be a common occurrence and some even consider them to take over voice calls in the future.
Enhanced Features on Devices
The cell phones, laptops, and tablets of the future are likely to be smaller, lighter, and much more portable. Enhanced features also move more towards finger scanning rather than passwords, and sharing of documents via the same kind of route.
How Far Along are We Really? the Reality
Whilst we have certainly made progress in many areas, we are not yet close enough to the image of the future workplace that many hold dear. The cost of such technology is a sticking point with many businesses, especially small start-ups. Whilst more people are choosing to work remotely, thanks to better Internet connections and a greater use of video conferencing, this is still considered an ‘alternative’ way of working. As more businesses offer ‘at home’ working options and flexible alternatives to attending the office every day, the take up of this is likely to increase.
More encompassing cloud use is something we are certainly close to achieving. Most of us save our personal items in the Cloud, but the move towards saving all documents in the ‘ether’ and not having back up paper copies is something, which many businesses continue to be nervous about.
Unified communication and artificial intelligence are two major buzzwords currently, and while there remains a fear amongst workers whenever they think about automation taking over jobs, more education on what this will actually entail, and how it will create jobs in other sectors, could be all it takes to really move this forward. We already use AI for so many things, that it really won’t take much for this to be cemented in the current workplace, moving forwards. Unified communication may utilize AI greatly, enhancing communication methods and boost productivity.
Of course, device features are changing year upon year. As soon as another iPhone or Android device comes out, we’re all clambering to obtain it. These are becoming lighter, smaller, and more powerful every year.
So, how far are we really in terms of achieving the future workplace? We have some way to go yet, and much of it is down to changing attitudes and embracing the change overall.