The Ones to Watch – Tech Trends Changing Workspaces

02 Dec 2019

Category: Educational

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Tech trends changing workspaces is nothing new. We’ve already seen how technology can enable us to work remotely from other countries, provide us with more software than hardware, and help us to be healthier in the workplace. 

The technology revolution has happened, but more is still yet to come. 

At Bill UK, we make it our mission to look at the future, because that’s where we’re going. 

In 1990, when we invented the first under-counter chilled water system, it was an evolution. Our same innovation and drive to build for the future is what helps us to keep our systems relevant to the modern needs of our users. 

Technology is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. If you consider the race to 50 million users, it took television 22 years to be adopted by 50 million people. It took the internet just seven years, Facebook 3 years, and the game Pokemon Go just 19 days. 

The accessibility of technology means that any business or individual can adopt a new piece of tech quickly without a heavy cost involved. 

As we enter a new decade, Gartner predicts that 90% of organisations will adopt a hybrid infrastructure management that will have technology at its core. 

If we are to create viable products for the future, and design workspaces that will allow us to thrive, we must not only understand the existing tech trends changing workspaces but those that are on the horizon.  

Tech for Greater Wellbeing 

Wellbeing is no longer just a ‘nice-to-have’ in the workplace. Businesses now realise that in order to succeed, wellbeing initiatives are a ‘must-have’. 

In a study from London Business School, companies with high levels of wellbeing outperform the stock market by 2-3% a year. Healthier workplaces are not just making a positive impact on people; they are making a dramatic impact on the financial bottom line. 

According to the CIPD, at present, one in four organisations have a workplace wellbeing strategy. However, this will rise in the next 12 months. 

Companies now realise that wellbeing is not just a matter of corporate social responsibility, but a vital part of their business success. Due to this growth in workplace wellbeing, technology will follow suit to support the growing demand. 

Already in 2019, we have seen digital wellbeing platform Hero secure £1.3 million in funding to improve the health of the UK workforce. 

However, we will see more product designs and technology that contribute to healthier workplaces. 

Apps may be the first piece of tech in the workplace wellbeing arena as it was reported that fitness and health-related apps were the most downloaded by users in 2018. 

Smart-solutions, will aim to be a proactive stance on workplace wellbeing, rather than a reactive solution. 

Artificial Intelligence for Productivity 

One in 5 homes in the UK is estimated to have at least one smart speaker or voice assistants such as Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google. While smart speakers may be a very basic form of artificial intelligence, this form of technology is now in our homes and is coming to our workspaces. 

According to Gartner, in 2018, 45% of the fastest-growing companies in the world employed more smart machines and virtual assistants than people. 

Artificial intelligence is changing our workspace. The changes right now may not be far-reaching, but we are not far away from technology doing much of our basic daily tasks. This includes such things as scheduling meetings or producing reports. 

Currently, artificial intelligence technology is being built into booking systems and communication platforms. But as AI becomes more sophisticated, in the future it may change the course of our entire working day. Not to mention an impact in the way we design workspaces. 

According to insight by Ventri Group, 62% of organisations expect virtual assistants to have a place in their processes in the next two years. 

Algorithms for Design

Designing a workspace is one thing, but how do you know the space you have created is truly effective for the people working within it? 

This has been a question many architects have been wondering for decades. But the question will soon have an answer thanks to the innovations in technology. 

How we measure space, and its impact has changed dramatically over the past decade. However, in the future, how we plan and create spaces will become more tailored to users due to the data we have available. 

There are already a number of performance measures that look at workplace performance. 

For example, The Leesman Index looks at a variety of workplace areas and measure how that workplace performs. Cushman Wakefield has studied how people now interact in workspaces. 

The area of workplace algorithms and surveying impact will rise. As technology and tools become more sophisticated, and the data becomes more user-specific. Due to the increase in data designers will be able to build better workspaces. Rather than a unique approach, this will become commonplace. 

The Growth of Smart Buildings

According to Business Insider, spending on smart building technology will surpass $17.4 billion by the end of 2019. 

While smart buildings is a tech area which has been steadily changing our workspaces, the arena is growing. By 2020, there will be around 21 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). 

With wireless virtual beacon technology, machine learning and cloud infrastructures, the smart building market is set to reach a value of $79 billion by 2025

Smart buildings give us the ability to have all systems connected within our workspaces. From air conditioning to security and lighting, everything can be controlled digitally. 

With the use of sensors in the building, more data can be drawn about how the building is really used. This enables designers and architects to gather more information and continue to design spaces that perform better. 

A rise in smart buildings is in part due to the increasing awareness of environmentally-friendly spaces. Current estimates reveal smart systems can reduce energy consumption in a building by around 25%. 

There are many technology trends that will affect our workspaces. For any business or organisation, it’s essential to have relevant discussions about these trends. By utilising these tech tools today to help the workplace evolve. As we’ve seen, early adoption is better than late adoption.

At Billi UK, we keep our vision focussing on the future. The tech trends changing our workspaces will lead the inspiration for our future systems.