Over the last decade, the nature of the modern workplace has changed beyond all recognition. Individual cubicles and offices have been transformed into collaborative, open-plan hubs, for example, while permanent seats and hardware have been replaced with hot-desks and user-owned devices.
At the heart of this change is technology, which has been leveraged to create a fluid, collaborative and interconnected workplace where both individual and collective productivity can thrive.
The increased reliance on workplace technology is reflected by the fact that tools such as email and smartphones are now the most important tools for employees, with only 35% citing the use of a land-line phone as being key to their productivity.
3 Ways in Which Technology Will Change Your Business in 2017
With this in mind, the question that remains is how technology will continue to impact on your business and workplace in 2017? Lets take a look:
BYOD Will Create a Hybrid of Permanent and Freelance Employees
We have already touched on the introduction of hot desks, while flexible working directives also dictate that employees are spending an increased amount of time operating from home. These measures have created a hybrid of permanent and freelance employees, who are paid a regular salary while being empowered to optimise their own levels of productivity.
This trend will gather further momentum in 2017, thanks to the increased prevalence of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). A concept that emerged after Microsoft introduced its groundbreaking Windows 10 package, it empowers employees to use their own laptop and smartphones at work (negating the burden of cost placed on employers in the process).
The BYOD initiative also makes it more viable for employees to work regardless of their physical or geographical location, optimising productivity on a daily basis.
By offering BYOD across a secure, enterprise network, you can also attract the top industry talent through the promise of flexible working.
Smart Metres and Apps Will Create More Cost and Energy Efficient Workspaces
Back in 2014, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets passed a regulation that required non-half hourly profile class metres to be replaced by smart, automated alternatives. These technologically-advanced metres are unique as they send usage data to energy suppliers and customers on a half-hourly basis, enabling them to monitor and reduce consumption over time.
As business electricity and gas remain such huge commercial overheads, it is little wonder that this type of smart metre has become extremely popular among companies. After all, they tend to translate into lower and more accurate quarterly bills, while also offering users the opportunity to identify consumption spikes and subsequently lower these.
This is a trend that will become even more commonplace in 2017, as businesses become greener and more cost-effective to operate on an annual basis.
The Internet of Things (IoT) Will Begin to Drive Efficient, and More Intuitive, Workplaces
While the Internet of Things (IoT) is not a new concept, it is one that has yet to fully impact on businesses. This will change in 2017, as companies begin to comprehend the potential applications for the IoT and adapt their workspaces accordingly.
In simple terms, the IoT is a network of physical and virtual objects, including everything from smartwatches to intuitive software and embedded sensors. This technology melds the boundaries of the virtual and the corporeal realms, which in turn enables businesses to exchange data between objects efficiently and in real-time.
Beyond this, it can also be used to monitor office efficiency and elements such as the usage of space. Motion sensors can relay data on how much office space is fully utilised on a daily basis, which can highlight redundant areas, identify issues relating to employee interaction and help to inform future layout changes and modifications.