If you run a business anywhere in the world, the future of work is probably on your mind. We’re part of an exciting time in history, with modern technologies promising to transform the workplace as we know it altogether.
They’ve already done so - twenty years ago, office employees working on bulky, slow desktop computers wouldn’t be able to imagine the lightning speed that we can now connect to the virtual workplace from pretty much anywhere in the world.
Technology has advanced at an astonishingly rapid pace in the last twenty years - and now the ball’s rolling, it shows no indication of slowing down. In fact, the momentum’s only increasing!
Bearing that in mind, there are some essential things to understand if you want your business to thrive. In this article, we’ll discuss what the next workplace could look like and what you can do today to future-proof your business.
You can see the seeds of the future of work in offices today. These are only predictions, of course, but many people think that these factors will be part of the future workplace:
One of the most important things many future workplaces will have is a hybrid working schedule. Hybrid working schedules involve some office work and some remote work. The exact mix depends on the company and employee, but it can be mostly remote, mostly in the office or a half-and-half mix.
In fact, IoD reported that 63% of workplaces anticipate a switch to between 1 and 4 days of remote work post-pandemic.
Many workplaces can work fully remotely, as was shown across the world during full lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid19. However, not all businesses and employees want to work remotely all the time, with one study finding that just 37% of people are keen to work remotely on a full-time basis.
There are lots of benefits to having a hybrid workplace. For employees, it’s a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario, enabling them to spend less time commuting per week but still have the social aspect of seeing colleagues in the workplace. By offering employees a mix, you might find that they are less burnt out and more enthusiastic about work.
If you want to future-proof your business and prevent employees from moving, it’s a good idea to start adopting some sort of hybrid working schedule today. Start by speaking to your employees and seeing what they want, then consider your workplace to see how hybrid work fits.
There are more digital nomads than ever before. Digital nomadism is when a person works remotely all the time and lives a location-independent lifestyle. In the USA, 10 million people identify as digital nomads.
Of course, not all freelancers are digital nomads. There are also people who are self-employed and work for a variety of different clients but live in one place. Then there are people who do both - sometimes work from their home country but also take ‘workations’, where they log into work from another destination!
It’s expected that many workplaces will begin to work with digital nomads and freelancers more often. Freelancers are typically experts in a niche field, and can offer temporary or part-time support to a company in a way that a hired employee wouldn’t be able to.
As work itself changes due to AI, technology and general business changes, it’s expected that freelancers will be in more demand. So if you want to future-proof your company, it might be worth thinking about how freelancers can help fill in any gaps in your business.
When working with freelancers, remember that you might be dealing with people from all over the world. They might operate in different time zones or even come from an entirely different culture. It’s important to be considerate of this, perhaps even asking them for feedback.
Using cutting-edge modern technology will help you stay ahead of any competitors. One of the first things to invest in is an interactive display, like the ones we sell at Avocor.
Interactive displays are fantastic devices for the modern workplace, offering the chance to interact and collaborate from anywhere, at any time and across a range of devices.
Not only can you connect interactive displays to your remote staff members’ devices - almost like they’re in the room with you - but you can host meetings and they can also help you work on more complex issues together.
For example, you can post a problem on an interactive display and work with remote and in-office staff members to uncover a solution. Interactive presentations are proven to help with memory retention and can help visual learners (which 65% of people are!) to engage more.
In the modern workplace, interactive displays are an essential upgrade from interactive whiteboards.
It’s also essential to ensure that every staff member has a business laptop that works well for collaboration. Ideally, all staff members will have the same brand of laptop, and it will be able to run programmes like Microsoft Office and Google Workspace.
Popular laptops for work include the HP EliteBook x360 1040 G7 and the Macbook Pro.
Other items of technology that you might wish to think about include work smartphones, wireless charging and high-tech office chairs!
It’s expected that the future of work will involve some tasks performed by AI. There are some understandable anxieties about relying on AI too much; mainly because people fear that it might eventually outsmart humans. In fact, there are some real-world incidents about that already happening.
Nonetheless, AI can be a fantastic tool to perform automated tasks like data entry. This has obvious benefits; if human brainpower can be used elsewhere, the company will become increasingly productive. Moreover, employee satisfaction is likely to also rise - nobody enjoys those mundane automated tasks, after all!
AI isn’t too widely used yet, so for now, it’s recommended to just stay up to date. Keep an eye on what’s going on in the AI world, and as soon as something is available, do your research and try it out. Staying updated with this should help you to become as productive as possible as soon as possible, hopefully beating any competition to it!
Diversity has always been important, but in 2022 and going forward, there’s increasing realisation that diverse workplaces are essential.
Diversity in the workplace can help different people’s voices be heard and ensure that everyone has equal opportunities.
You can put this into practice by creating an equal opportunities policy and ensuring that you stick to it next time you hire.
The workplace is going to change a lot in the next few years. But that doesn’t mean that your company needs to get left behind! On the contrary, if you follow these steps put in the effort to future-proof your company today, you might find that you’re much more well-equipped to deal with anything that the future holds.