This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.
Niloy Mukherjee, Executive Director, Product Marketing, APJ, Client Solutions, Dell.
How do you picture the workplace 20 years from now? Do offices still exist, or have we completely traded in headquarters for personal quarters? Is the workforce more collaborative or more siloed? More productive or distracted? Is it even human?
According to the 2016 Dell and Intel Future Workforce Study, nearly half of workers in APJ (45 percent) said they expect to be working in a smart office offering IoT and other technologies in the next five years. While the timeframe may come as a surprise to many, it's clear that most people are eagerly waiting for tech to take on a larger role in their workplace.
Today, companies are left with two options that might feel ironic in light of workers' AI-related fears: provide a smart office or risk losing your top talent.
What makes your workplace smart? Here are four areas to consider in creating a more stimulating and connected environment for your employees:
- Power of a mixed-reality workplace: While it's true, globally, that some workers (23 percent) are afraid they'll either be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) or become reliant on it, one in five (21 percent) of APJ respondents said that they are looking forward to using augmented reality or virtual reality (AR/VR) for skills acquisition, and the same number (21 percent) said 3D visualisations via AR/VR can help them come up with new ideas or solve existing problems. For example, Upskill (APX Labs) develops wearable software technology that workers can use to get heads-up instructions, instant validation of their actions and other time-saving data interaction capabilities as they work.
The potential of this mixed reality world is boundless, whether in education, health care, travel or manufacturing. Essentially, these emerging technologies will help workers focus on value added work rather than administrative within every department.
- Connected ecosystems that understand workers' needs: More than a third of workers are excited about the opportunity to leverage IoT to wirelessly connect devices and analyse data in real time. Another innovative company Comfy is using IoT to connect employees directly to their companies' HVAC systems, enabling workers to "vote" on the temperature settings for their area of the building. The idea of using IoT to customise workspaces to personal preferences is an exciting prospect for many and could help reduce energy consumption for businesses as well.
- Moving beyond the cubicle: More than half of organisations (53 percent) in APJ felt the need for better remote IT support. With more employees in the region looking to work from multiple locations and using several different devices, seamless and secure file sharing and collaboration capabilities will supplant the need for face-to-face communications in the future.
- Better security equals greater productivity: The increasing demand for multiple employee devices (Bring Your Own Devices) is becoming a major security headache for more than two-thirds (71 percent) of APJ organisations. The recent ransomware attacks such as WannaCry clearly indicate that endpoint devices are the weakest link in an organisation's network. With the usage of latest devices featuring more advanced security technology, one can ensure enhanced security for employees, without hampering their productivity.
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