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Developing Office Trends 

As technology spreads from the Office to the Home, what can we expect?

Having recently looked at New Year Resolutions and how their acceptance could affect you in ways you might not have considered, it is now the turn of how trends in the appearance of new office technologies could affect the likes of you and me.  I am grateful for the information on which this report is based.  This information has come from research gathered by Workthere, a Savills venture launched in February 2017.  Operating as a completely free service, Workthere’s field of expertise covers the entire flexible workspace market as well as more specialist spaces such as laboratories.

Workthere’s team of experts has predicted the top five technological trends that are likely to be seen arriving into offices across the UK in 2019.  To back up the views of the experts, Workthere conducted a survey involving some 2,000 office workers to find their views regarding the future of office technology and how it would revolutionise the way we live and react to its presence as it integrates into every aspect of modern day living.

Not surprisingly the Internet of Things (IoT) takes one of the five trends advocated by the Workthere experts to dominate our relationship with devices.  With IoT, devices, that may seem to be unrelated, can communicate with each other and with the human element of the partnership.  Bringing together devices and equipment such as coffee machines, music players, office temperature controls and lighting adjustment features, IoT spreads its wings and influence far and wide. 

According to the apparent fount of all wisdom, Google, there has been a 300% increase in searches conducted on behalf of users for IoT related topics over the last five years worldwide.  A quick thought that has just interrupted by chain of thought – does Google regard itself as a fundamental IoT element or a totally separate entity?  The Workthere survey results showed that over 45% of UK office workers placed IoT at the top of their list as the most desired office technology.

Coming second, in the survey, was voice activated technology – a poor second admittedly as it barely gained about half the votes of IoT with the survey results showing a score of 22.7% among UK office workers believing that this technology could cut down on time spent completing everyday tasks.  Covering devices such as voice assistants, lighting, screens and security, this technology has seen an increase by more than 1000% on Google conducted searches, many instigated by “Alexa” and “Hey Google” phrases being uttered in both the home and office environments.

Third place in the opinion of the experts, and those surveyed by Workthere, is Wireless charging technology.  Just loosing out to voice activated technology with a survey result of 21.1% of votes, wireless charging technology can certainly free-up the environment to encompass the regular charging of unfettered devices that require regular top-up sessions to carry on working.  With appropriately equipped offices with  hot-desk environments and the appearance of embedded charging pads, employees and clients will no longer need to hunt down wall plug outlets in order to stay in communication within a flexible partnership.

Taking up position four is Augmented Reality technology.  Considered inevitable and, according to YouGov Profile, AR technology is expected to become integrated within the modern office.  Those in the know feel that advanced Hololens AR headsets will become part and parcel of the latest office holographic computer that allows the user to view and interact with the digital content that it projects into the world around you.  Using special sensors, advanced optics and a holographic processor, this technology sets out to transform the way we work, play, share and learn.  However I have to admit that this technology would not feature in my list of favourite devices as I tend to suffer from motion sickness when using such devices.

Which brings us to number five which is that of AI (Artificial Intelligence).  More than half of the UK adults believe AI will be the next stage in evolution.  It will help us conduct most daily tasks and it should come as no surprise to see AI infiltrating the arena of modern office technology.

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