This year brought quite a few changes to the way we work. Pandemic had a lot of people switch to work from home and changed their everyday routines. It also made companies rethink the way they organize office and workplace environments. And all that is just the tip of the iceberg. So, let’s see what changes we can expect at our workplaces.
A work organized around cubicles and separate offices is not the most efficient way to conduct business anymore. Furniture that supports open space with no fixed spot and that can be easily grouped when doing collaborative work is the new norm. Meeting rooms are there to stay, as the brainstorming sessions can produce a lot of noise. Booths for remote calls or meetings that are possible to do in private are also pretty standard now.
Any workplace should be ready to accommodate all types of workers. Those that work remotely and appear from time to time. Those that are there for a duration of a project. Those with changing shifts. With the flexible work arrangements on the rise, physical space should feel welcoming to everybody.
Cloud-based technology and tools are taking a significant increase in usage, and it is the single biggest change in the workplace. Remote work is becoming the new norm, as collaboration and communication are not an issue anymore.
Lack of adequate light or temperature can lead to lower job performance. Workers complain about dizziness and headaches that come with a lack of light. The environment that’s too hot or too cold may influence work output and energy consumption.
A bad illumination system can also waste a lot of energy and make expenses skyrocket. That is why smart buildings that monitor and control temperature, airflow, and light are trendy nowadays. Solar lights that combine an environment-friendly approach to illumination with a cost-effective investment are the right choice as well.
But if you need a brighter and flexible system for lights, think about LED lighting. The tried and tested lighting management systems and design by BUCK is a great place to start. Switching to efficient and sustainable LED illumination can reduce energy consumption significantly, especially when combined with programmable lighting, motion sensors, and dimmers.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Even though both technologies are quite popular in gaming, they are expanding into the everyday workplace. The critical difference is that VR uses realistic stimuli to simulate the physical experience in the virtual world. At the same time, AR adds a layer of digital information over the real world. VR has found its usage in the training and retraining of employees.
It offers the possibility for newly employed to practice their skills before joining the everyday action, which can be very important in some areas, like medical work. AR offers a possibility to explore small-scale changes in the environment. The option to show your customer how their new furniture will look in the apartment is an excellent addition to the business.
Expansion of remote work and various collaborative tools may leave the system vulnerable to attacks and exploits. The protection of data and work needs to expand significantly. Phishing scams are still part of everyday activity, unfortunately. Ransomware is also on the rise, as are the attacks through mobile phones.
With the expansion of high-profile data breach incidents, the need for better protection is coming from the clients and the government. The investment in cybersecurity is on the rise, and it is estimated it will grow by 30% between 2020 and 2022. It is a sign that the companies are taking security in cyberspace seriously.
AI on the Rise
With better affordability and productivity improvements for small businesses, AIs are becoming a part of every size company. They have been used extensively as chatbots or for process automation. However, their usage can expand to fit the needs of any company. They may be part of the HR, including rummaging through CVs, organizing interviews, and even be part of the onboarding process.
Project management is one of the areas that is widely improved by the usage of AI. By using Asana or Trello and other AI-supported tools, project managers can focus on the essential aspects of the job while leaving the administration in the hands of the AI.
Technology aside, there are various ways to make an impact in the office working environment. No matter how big the company is, it should be open to change and experiment. It would also be great to take notes from employees, as their feedback is invaluable to know if the changes are helping or hindering productivity.
About the Author
Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced freelance writer. He is a regular contributor to numerous online publications, where he writes about business, technology, entrepreneurship, and real estate.