With almost two thirds (64%) of UK workers now using computers with internet access as part of their working day – up from 42% in 2007 – and 4.48 billion active internet users worldwide as of October 2019, the way that businesses use the internet to increase productivity and engage with customers is constantly changing.
But what are the biggest technology advances that will impact UK offices? Fibre broadband specialist Glide looks into the future of office tech, and if UK businesses are equipped to keep up with these technological advances.
AR and VR
The first thing that may spring to mind when thinking about augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is an immersive video game, but experts believe that the technology will soon be part of everyday office life.
PwC forecasts that over 400,000 jobs will utilise the technology by 2030.
From providing training in a safe environment to creating digital collaboration spaces that allow workers to engage with each other, regardless of where they are in the world, the everyday applications of AR and VR are endless.
The technology also empowers businesses to connect with their employees regardless of where they are in the world – expanding the talent pool across all industries.
Sustainable office spaces
With climate change so high on the news agenda, there is huge pressure on UK businesses to ensure they are working in a way that is environmentally friendly. This includes investment in a ‘sustainable office space’, which uses energy-efficient equipment and, in some cases, recycled furniture.
As well as smaller businesses and start-ups, global brands are also ensuring they are creating work spaces that have a minimal environmental impact.
When Bloomberg developed its European headquarters in 2010, the facility achieved the highest ever BREEAM score for office buildings, scoring a staggering 98.5% rating. The office, located near St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, featured custom technology and sustainable solutions such as vacuum-drainage toilets.
With research predicting that the global market for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is set to hit £5.98 billion in 2020, it seems the ‘20s will see automation become a more mainstream part of the working world.
Businesses across manufacturing and retail are investing heavily in factory automation to help streamline manual tasks, increasing profitability and efficiency, however, automation also has implications for office workers.
Customer support, recruitment and training are all time-intensive tasks that can be automated, freeing up time to work on more creative and innovative projects. Other more technical aspects, such as software and data back-up, and managing payments and invoices, also lends itself well to automation, as it negates any issues caused by human error.
Although many office workers may be familiar with BYOD (bring your own device), CYOD (choose your own device) is the latest business trend, as it allows employees to have more control over the equipment they use to carry out their daily activities.
However, giving employees the flexibility to work in a way that is most effective for them, while ensuring that the technology is GDPR compliant and compatible with internal systems, makes CYOD a much more secure alternative to BYOD.
James Warner, Managing Director of Glide Business, said “Technology is at the heart of every business and the rise of the internet has changed the way we work, regardless of industry. From supporting employees with productivity to creating an eco-friendly workspace, the possibilities are endless. However, with so many technological advances available to support business and workers, companies must ensure they have the infrastructure in place.
“With millions of offices across the country dependent on an internet connection to run, investment in a fast, reliable and assured network to support your business needs is crucial.
“Glide has invested millions in supporting out-of-city companies and industrial parks to ensure they have access to our ultrafast and superfast broadband solutions, capable of delivering speeds of up to 10 gbit/s.”