Technology is now the backbone of the workforce, transforming offices throughout the country. Here are the tech trends to consider incorporating in your office, and what skills your team will need to make the most of them. 

Cloud technology

Tech-integration is now second nature to most of us, allowing us to access important files and work on the go. If you have not yet maximised your use of cloud technology, it is high time that you do. With employees increasingly seeing flexible work as a given, cloud technology is fast becoming a non-negotiable. 

Cloud computing provides on demand computing services, with some popular examples being the Google Suite, Dropbox and Office 365. These programs allow employees to access files and emails from anywhere, with everything being stored safely online. 

Cloud computing offers a number of benefits to companies, such as reducing energy costs and the need for physical space. Cloud technologies are expected to reach reaction times of just a few milliseconds, with machine data and functionality soon allowing for more data-driven services. 

Collaboration tools 

Technology is also helping to make workplaces more collaborative, allowing for ease of communication and ideating. Tools like Trello and Slack will allow you to schedule and track workloads, and will allow employees to collaborate on tasks without the risk of doubling up or going off track. Collaboration is essential for productivity and focus, with a Stanford study showing that even feeling as if one is collaborating on a task allows you to focus on the task for 64% longer. By harnessing the power of collaboration tools, these benefits can be even more readily incorporated into your workplace. 

For effective communication, consider swapping out some meetings and emails for Slack, a tool which allows employees to send messages and files to individuals or teams. Different projects can have their own designated communication channel, with the app also supporting video calling and being compatible with both Google Drive and Dropbox. 

For project management, Trello is a popular option. This software allows users to collaborate and organise projects, with boards and lists helping team members to delegate tasks, create to-do lists and provide feedback. 

Asana is another project management tool to consider, allowing employers to organise projects into lists or boards, set deadlines and send requests. Commenting is enabled and past work can be easily dug up with the search function. 

Collaborative tools are essential for managing remote workers, as well as streamlining processes within the office by cutting down the amount of time spent on meetings and email chains. Even international collaboration is made possible with these tools, allowing your business to make the most of our increasingly hyperconnected world. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is part and parcel of Industry 4.0, automating many workplace tasks and jobs. In workplaces today, AI is being used to set up meetings, book conference rooms, switch on equipment, access sales figures and more. Echo, Office 365 and MyAnalytics all rely on AI to improve work processes. Chatbots, for example, provide an interactive customer support experience while allowing your customer service staff to tackle more complex cases. These chatbots use AI to provide a personalised interaction based on information collected from previous conversations, and can be utilised in creative and engaging ways. 

As we’ve covered before, AI should be readily accepted into the workforce, as it is set to create more jobs than it will eliminate. In fact, AI will enable employees to take on more interesting roles as it will automate routine tasks that we presently spend our time on. 

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality overlays images, objects and text onto real world footage and images, with the technology now crossing over from the gaming world into the workplace. AR can be used to conceptualise ideas, experiencing 3D models of vehicles, buildings and other designs. Boeing, for one, has equipped some employees with smart glasses, which has cut assembly time by 25% and drastically reduced the error rate. AR allows machine settings to be tested and optimised for the next product on the line before a physical changeover, bringing down machine set up times and boosting quality. 

For the future of AR in the workplace, it is predicted that AR headsets could replace desktops, allowing employees to use hand gestures to open emails or files. AR can also be used to identify problems if a machine breaks down, or connect the user to an expert. These systems will also become improved to provide workers with real-time information to make better decisions and improve work procedures. 

While technology has always been integral to workplace efficiency and productivity, Industry 4.0 heralds an age of increased use of digital technologies. Ai Group help businesses prepare for Industry 4.0, equipping your workplace with the right processes and skills to succeed. Your business’s future is determined by the decisions you make today – contact us directly to speak to an expert. 


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