4 Tech Office Trends 2019 to Follow
We’re seeing the future of work around us every day — automation in its different forms while bringing the comforts of home into professional environments. Look for these four technology office trends 2019 that will shape the workplace in the upcoming year.
1. Artificial Intelligence in B2C
A customer phones a call center to complain and an agent on the call is watching prompts with reminders on being empathetic and keywords to guide the conversation. It’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed by Cogito that company reps can use to improve a customer’s experience and ensure that they’ve been heard. And while AI is still relatively in its early stages, we’re seeing it everywhere. Our everyday smartphones that complete our text messages by suggesting specific words and phrases are an example of how AI is developing and learning user behaviors based on algorithms. But some say that true AI learns on its own, without depending on us — which is no doubt soon to be seen in the near future (if not already). In the meantime, we also are now benefitting from smart sensors that can help employees and home-based businesses set comfortable temperatures based on learned preferences and use tools like Alexa to offer reminders, play music and conserve energy.
Among other advances in technology, make sure to look for features built-in to office furniture such as desks with touchscreens that can remind workers when to go to lunch or prepare for appointments. This is definitely something to watch out for in office trends 2019. Also, expect mobile devices to be in the fore of machine learning capabilities.
2. Robots in Industrial Automation
The automotive and electronics industries have used robots for many years, but automation is becoming common across all industries including food and beverage manufacturers as well as distributors and the transportation-logistics sector. Imagine an autonomous vehicle leaving a distribution center to deliver goods to a construction site. On board are smaller robots equipped with vision control to locate customer-specific packages and complete the unloading process.
It’s important to note that robots are no longer just built as a combinations of wires, metals, plastics or other hard mechanical parts. Soft robotics is a concept on the rise making robots flexible enough to handle items like shirts and basketballs. Also as we advance further into AI technology, look forward to robots connected to the cloud for more computational power that will be able to communicate with each other more effectively.
More and more, we’ll see huge advancements in robot technology as part of this year’s office trends 2019.
3. Automating Office Security
From face recognition to mobile robots, we look forward to seeing continued changes in office security. Government offices, universities and high-tech firms have traditionally had security plans that include key-card access systems, closed-circuit monitoring devices, and secure storage cabinets.
How about a roving robot as security guard?
A start-up firm founded by a former Google X employee is creating a robotic security force. As noted in this article on CNBC.com, Cobalt raises more than 16 million to bring security robots to the office, that can identify intruders and find maintenance problems like water leaks. The robot “learns” how a secure building should appear so that it can spot something that’s gone wrong. A human security force can be alerted and sent in to patrol as needed.
4. Integrating Tech with a Human Touch
The office isn’t going away anytime soon. Not long ago, telecommuting was seen as the future while diminishing the importance of an office workspace. Yet, Apple invested $5 billion in its spaceship-style headquarters and can house 12,000 employees under one roof. On a micro-level, freelancers who can work from home are flocking to co-work spaces to toil away alongside other gig contractors.
An office is a desirable place and though technological breakthroughs are fascinating, even the most tech-savvy companies work to keep humans comfortable. Smart sensors to adjust lighting and temperatures to optimal levels exist alongside dividers made with succulents and other green plants. Drab gray is being replaced with more lively colors. Bean bag chairs and comfy lounge seats are an alternative to work stations when breaks are needed. And it’s not all about work. Open air kitchen and snack bars provide desirable amenities with ping pong tables and tread mills giving exercise options.
No doubt, the modern office will continue to be a high-tech environment with space designed for a human touch.
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