Globally, the workforce is undergoing a technological shift of massive proportions. Known as the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, this phenomenon is evidenced by the 159% increase in people working remotely between 2005 and 2017 – and according to Forbes, that number has risen dramatically again in the last three years. So what will the Fourth Industrial Revolution mean for business tech in the future?
The current picture
It is estimated that by 2025, at least 70% of the workforce will work remotely at least part of the time. In 2021, the number of employees working permanently from home is expected to double – and this has shifted the focus of technology to facilitate effective communication, productivity monitoring, and management.
This shift is also leading to a change in-office use, and many businesses are moving towards an office-enabled, rather than an office-led, model. More outsourcing of functionality such as network systems, human resources, marketing and promotion, finance, and printing is helping to enable the move to smaller, smarter premises.
Additionally, the focus on how work is done is changing – the previous ‘hours worked’ model is being increasingly replaced with the ‘work completed’ model, meaning software and tech that help to monitor efficiency, visibility, engagement, and communication are in high demand – for permanent employees and contractors alike.
G Suite offers a multitude of tools for collaboration, including video conferencing, and chat and productivity apps that are constantly evolving in line with feedback and demand.
This allows them to incorporate flexibility for contractors who need access to bespoke records and communication channels and allows organizations to call in specialist help from areas they might not have been able to access previously.
Asana, Slack, and Zoom also fall into the top five tech apps, with task tracking, communication, and free flow of information through engagement all enabled by their use.
Remote working goes hand in hand with increased security concerns. When employees are accessing and sharing data remotely, it’s incredibly important to ensure that this data is securely stored and transferred – and that’s why cybersecurity is one of the top concerns for businesses operating in the current climate.
Investing in a robust cybersecurity strategy and using software to undertake regular risk assessment will lower the risk of breaches, and allow businesses to respond swiftly to changes in technology that open up new avenues for cyber-attacks.
With more and more people working from home, the technology for home offices is changing swiftly. From integrated hubs, smart technology, and super fast broadband, to ergonomic office chairs, intelligent standing desks, and comfortable lighting, the technology market is responding to the demand for flexible and stylish home office surroundings that’ll improve wellbeing and productivity.
Nissan has even introduced a concept design for a caravan office pod, complete with a rooftop deck, built in coffee station, electric shade, and a UV antibacterial lamp – an option for those who want true freedom to balance work and home life.
With remote working following an ever-increasing upward trend, it’s clear that the technology industry will need to adapt and change to meet the increased demand for software, gadgets, and equipment that will facilitate a new digital and physical employment environment. With many products already available or in development, the industry looks set for a rollercoaster few years.