With the vast growth of technology being integrated into our everyday lives, you might argue that the “office of the future” is already here today. However, this is just the beginning of change, and the office space will continue to adapt over time.
From being able to communicate with anyone in the world from wherever you are, to internal communications becoming slicker with social networks, let’s take a look at some of the ways that technology will continue to shape and enrich businesses.
Connect from anywhere
The idea of working at a desk, 8 hours a day has not yet been phased out. It probably never will be completely eradicated, but working remotely is certainly on the rise. Thanks to laptops and tablets becoming more mobile and smartphone capabilities on the increase, the local coffee shop or library has now become a viable place to set up and work.
Many businesses are choosing to adopt this flexibility as it has been known to increase productivity amongst staff, as they can work comfortably and often in a quieter more focused environment.
Meetings go mobile
Currently, videoconferencing is making its way into more and more offices as an effective way to communicate with stakeholders all over the world. It is now becoming a vital tool in order to provide adaptability for fellow departments of your organisation, as well as key clients.
Being able to conduct meetings with any number of participants from any number of locations has many advantages. Gone are the days when there was a need to have groups of people in the same room at the same time, eliminating the need for your company to spend a fortune on travel and hospitality costs.
The future of videoconferencing and meetings will likely be an integration of mobile technologies. With many smartphones already offering video meeting opportunities, namely the Apple iPhone, the future looks towards a greater integration between mobile and static based video conferencing.
Instant Messaging becomes corporate
In the past, Instant Messaging was very much a leisurely activity. Nowadays, it is slowly replacing email communication between colleagues. This is mostly due to the fact that, as the name dictates, it is instantaneous and encourages a faster response than an email.
With services like Skype offering a free and simplistic solution, in the office of the future Instant Messaging could potentially completely take over emails when it comes to internal communications at least.
Wi-Fi gets amplified
If dodgy Internet connections have ever stood in the way of you working on the go then the future looks brighter because there will soon be more hotspots available. According to Informa, by 2015 there will be three times as many Wi-Fi hotspots across the world, saying goodbye to your reliance on 3G (or 4G) signal for checking emails.
With stronger signals, working remotely or on the go will become a more common occurrence. It will make sending documents and messages to your colleagues significantly quicker, and with more remote workers, there will be less strain on the office based Wi-Fi as well.
Bring Your Own Device
Essentially Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) means your staff can use their own devices to do their work with the company’s software and applications. It has very clear pros and cons and may not work for everyone, because it further blurs that already fuzzy line between work and leisurely time but could also seriously implicate your business’ security if misused. However, some organisations are already implementing the idea as it saves costs and time spent training staff on in house computers.
If BYOD is the future of offices, organisation’s will have to have very clear policies, as it could also encourage staff to slack off their work as the organisation cannot keep such a close eye on activity.
Technology will always take a lead in business innovation, and if your business is not keeping up to date, it is losing out to its competitors. No matter how the office space changes over the coming years, the office of the future will thrive on easier communications through technology, boosting productivity and efficiency.
About The Author
This post was written on behalf of Visual Synergy, who offers bespoke, professional Audio Visual installations for boardrooms and offices.