The last few decades have brought a whirlwind of developments in many areas of our lives. From the personal computing and personal device boom to the broad-sweeping advances in commercial and retail inventory design and architecture, technology has increasingly made both our personal and professional lives more integrated and mobile.
It seems unlikely that the pace of change will slow down anytime soon, so let’s take a look at some of the ways that technology will increasingly affect everyone’s workplace.
Ubiquitous Mobile Platforming
One of the cornerstone effects of technology on the workplace is the increasing access to commercial software and applications from anywhere. Whether it’s the broad use of Google Docs, which natively supports collaborative creation across multiple users, or the proliferation of BOX, which is the leading enterprise file sharing, storage and collaboration platform, workplace IT infrastructure is increasingly opening up to platforms that allow access to documents from anywhere.
In fact, on September 7, 2016, BOX and Google announced a partnership promising the complete integration of both platforms and to make secure, enterprise-level document access more standard. Knowing this, it is clear that as security becomes less of a concern, workplaces will increasingly open the door to allow their documents and architecture to be available remotely.
Increased Mobile Secure Communication
Along with increased remote access to information is the attendant concern about security. While technology is a boon for communication, with tools gaining quick adoption where the risk is low, online platforms that have more open/accessible interfaces have been more slowly adopted.
Take Skype and WhatsApp for instance. On a broad scale, they are used widely, but it took until Skype’s Microsoft integration and WhatsApp increasing end-to-end encryption for workplaces to start to feel comfortable having business-sensitive information sent across their architecture. Look for this trend to increase.
Increased Focus on Worker Productivity
With the workforce moving away from a “brute-force” focus on hours-worked and face-time, workplaces will increasingly have to account for and facilitate the efficiency of their workers. Getting the most out of the time spent working is the specialty of outfits like Regus and other co-working companies that focus on attracting workers through facilitated spaces and incentives, but even big employers like Facebook and Apple have implemented intentional systems like workpods to allow for workers to make the most of their time while they work.
Even small advances like the advent of standing desks and treadmill desks are designed to maximize both the motivation and ability of employees. This is a classic win-win.
Less Static Presentations
Everyone knows that Microsoft’s PowerPoint is currently the standard in the workplace, but unfortunately, standards tend to become less and less effective as they become more and more ubiquitous. As a strictly human rule, it is tough to pay close attention to each and every PowerPoint you end up sitting through, because while incredibly utilitarian, the platform is not very dynamic.
Enter the increasing bandwidth for online video, the ubiquity of broadband access, the increasing availability of cheap storage and tools like Prezi, and we are sure to see increasingly dynamic presentations in the workplace. Whether those presentations are creative or not, expect for meetings (internal and external) to involve more video/audio and less and less text in the next 10 years.
Facilitating the Rest of Your Life
The continued proliferation of mobile options has made remote work and freelancing more and more standard even within the biggest companies. See Amazon and their new 30-hour workweek.
When employers have the ability to leverage the value of time for their employees, it makes their work environment more and more attractive. This is something that will permeate all workplaces that want to remain competitive.