1. AI and Big Data
We live in a world where we need to make real-time decisions. Even companies which were froward thinking and captured office space usage based on occupancy sensors or access control systems can’t use it as it’s no longer relevant. In 2021 we’ll need to look at streaming analytics analyzing real-time data and make predictions on a much shorter period of time: weeks instead of years. AI will also help to address the economic reality of recessions where companies will be able to re-imagine and improve their processes immediately.
The automation of many fields already started and is here to stay for good. Robotics, automation and drones as the world economies are shrinking the organisations need to find new ways of improving business operations and taking people out of unnecessary steps in their business processes. Since 2016 in Greenwich, London residents are receiving deliveries from autonomous, six-wheeled rolling cooler Starship’s bots, which are handling the “last mile” of food delivery from nearby takeout restaurants. They could easily run in office errands, but this is just a top of the workspace automation.
3. SaaS & Cloud-Based Solutions
To process the data companies and benefit from artificial intelligence the companies will need to use cloud-based software as a service solution and re-think their security policies. It will be a seismic shift for more traditional organisations such as banks which prefer on premise solutions. To fully benefit from automated data warehouses that can look for trends and highlight important events.
4. Faster Networks & 5G
To enable the use of advanced technologies faster networks and connectivity are essential. To process large volumes of data, analyze the trends, connect multiple devices so they can communicate without interruption reliable connectivity will be key. Also, customers will demand more guarantees from their home broadband provides and immediate fixes of any faults.
5. Extended Reality
Virtual and augmented reality will be key players in enhancing the experience of the people who are not in the same place. It will allow companies to re-imagine the way they collaborate mocking the experience as all the participants were in the same meeting room without travelling anywhere. 2020 taught us that participating in videoconferences is monotonous and people need tools that will give them a variety of incentives to maintain focus.
Prior to the industrial revolution, the office didn’t exist. Then the last 50 years driven by the digital revolution due to the technology and birth of the internet revolutionised the way we work today. The recent pandemic turned the office we know upside down. Do we even still need it? Read more here: A revolution, an evolution or inevitable? – The future of the workspace.