Earlier this year, the world as we know it changed in a way that was entirely unprecedented, and it continues to do so.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the very idea of normalcy is a question mark. A key area that faces the music is trade and commerce.
Human society, if anything, is adaptable. Soon enough, businesses switched to remote work, utilizing the technology at hand in order to ensure seamless functioning. Undoubtedly, it has played out better than we initially speculated. However, these technological advancements, in addition to aiding business, are prominent markers of what’s to come.
The question remains, how far will technology sustain workplaces, and how?
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Businesses across the globe have had to keep their offices shut for a while now. To prevent the spread of the virus, remote working has become the word of the day. This is a significant change in the business world which, for the most part, has urged abstinence from the concept of work-from-home.
Digitization of the workplace has led to a surge in creative alternatives to the modes of working that had been in practice till now. At the same time, it has forced companies to evaluate their positions on the notion of digitization itself. In the midst of the global pandemic, it is only technology that has kept business-to-business communication and collaborations running.
Workplace Technology Trends in Future
The recent developments in technology and their use in commerce points to a growing urgency for more expansive implementation. Not only will this augment business but it will also help employees regain a sense of routine and structure, which is crucial to the success of any organization. While technology may not replace in-person engagement, there’s no denying that it may pave the path for a brand-new workplace culture.
Let’s look at some technological trends that may hold sway at workplaces in the future.
Workplace Technological Trends in a Post-Pandemic Future
In the last few months, remote working has not only gained precedence but it has also proven to be effective and feasible. It is certainly the foremost method of employing more technological tools at our disposal such as virtual private networks, voice over internet protocols, and even face recognition. Peer-to-peer software, such as Zoom, has seen a huge boom and is looking at more lucrative times ahead.
However, despite its time and cost-efficiency, the concept of remote working suffers some drawbacks. Employees have complained of the lack of work-life balance in the absence of a boardroom, while concerns of security and technical support also prevail. Further, remote working complicates issues of labor laws and calls for thorough psychological investigation in terms of its effects on workers.
In some cases, it has also created disparity. There are only some jobs that can be done from home, and predominantly, they belong to college graduates. Services such as healthcare and manufacturing have no use for the option of remote working. Policies around the same must bear in mind such specificities; only then can technology truly be an ally.
One of the industries that never really embraced the remote work culture prior to this pandemic is architecture. But architects are proving how effective it can be, so it is only a matter of time before this industry also incorporates and accepts remote working as the new normal.
Growth of Click and Mortar Business
Rather than brick and mortar, a post-pandemic workforce is more likely to employ click and mortar technology that is gaining popularity. Essentially, this is a business model that integrates online as well as offline operations and is well-suited to the present situation.
It is certainly a model of convenience and efficiency. Online stores can be optimized for all kinds of screens thus ensuring a better shopping experience for buyers. The boost to e-commerce is undeniable, with systems to monitor shopping tendencies in place. This, in turn, allows business owners to strategize their marketing campaigns accordingly and trade happens as it would in a virus-free world.
As the definition of ‘normal’ continues to be in flux, employers will have to consider return-to-work scenarios in the future. In order to facilitate business and mitigate the next pandemic at the same time, offices are likely to go touchless. This calls for an overhaul of the system using the technology at hand, in ways that are sustainable and cost-efficient.
Nowadays, we have an app for every conceivable issue. There’s no reason why one cannot be developed to generate building automation systems. At post-COVID workplaces, motion sensors, Bluetooth, and API are just some of the ways business may be conducted. In short, Smart Offices will exist alongside Smart Homes.
Touchless technology is highly relevant in a situation where inconspicuous objects such as elevator buttons and doorknobs aid the transmission of disease. A sophisticated application for building control could also be a worthwhile step towards ensuring the safety of workers.
As world leaders and healthcare industries strive to build a healthy and sustainable post-COVID world, tech giants around the globe are preparing for one that will truly push the boundaries of technology.
Precisely because of the enormous precedence automation will take, ethics are crucial. If there is one lesson to learn from a global crisis, it is that we’re in it together. To that end, laws and policies regarding the implementation of and access to various technologies will have to be formulated.
Technology reflects the needs and habits of the society it serves. A better future brings the promise of a holistic work environment, and this is only possible when technological solutions are grounded in human interest.