As much as technology seems to be changing, many of us think of a typical office like it is portrayed on TV: drab cubicles, boxy computers, black telephones, flickering florescent lights, and conversations by the water cooler. And though many of us personally experience a more modern version of this with slicker computers and perhaps open desk arrangements, not much has changed in the last 10-15 years.
Fast forward the next few decades and these small incremental changes that have been happening over the years will really revolutionize the office environment, rendering some of our office “staples” useless and rare if found.
The Data Server Room
Every large company currently has one, and even small to medium-sized offices often share these services depending on the nature of their business. We all know how important backup is to our virtual files, but now that the cloud has become a reliable place to store data, it’s time to reclaim that real estate that we previously had so carefully regulated in terms of temperature and security in our office buildings and get azure cloud service for your business. That way, you can also more closely collaborate with colleagues all over the world, sharing real time information across continents!
With ever-evolving technology like SMART boards, tablets, touch screens, and more, we have a feeling that you won’t have to waste time networking your computer to the local printer anymore. You will also have licence to forget to order a new cartridge and keep the paper stocked. The way the trends seem to be moving with tech and the eco-consciousness that has been growing alongside it, paperless is the future!
The Vending Machine
Though the vending machine might still exist to help survive those afternoon munchies, the character of what is inside them is predicted to change dramatically. As we move away from sugary drinks and fatty snacks, don’t be surprised if all you’ll be able to find in ten years is a bottle of Kombucha and a protein bar.
Swipe cards are easy to lose, steal, or tamper with. Though it might sound a little sci-fi right now, we are predicting a rise in fingerprint and eye scanning security, especially in high-security environments. Picture it though; wouldn’t you love not having to remember to bring your card with you to work every day or have your personal information hanging off your neck or belt? Oh, and keys? Only if you are very old school or your door can’t be retrofitted- even home doors are being replaced by key pads!
The White Board
White boards, chalk boards, and flip charts are all great tools for brainstorming sessions and presentations. In the future though, we will see these being replaced by smart boards which you can “write on”, highlight text, and import things like presentations or graphics. Not only are they cleaner and more environmentally friendly, you have the option of combining the digital with quick ideas, saving them, and then keeping them for future reference. This is a shortfall of current options which can easily be erased or is difficult to process and store in the case of flip charts.
The contemporary office a decade from today might seemingly seem more than similar. However, with a closer look, you’ll find that some “staples” that you take for granted today might be gone by then, either made obsolete or replaced by something smarter, better, or more ecofriendly. Maybe this is the motivation you need to finally throw that massive printer that seems to be breaking every two days to the curb and implement a paperless policy, or slowly start to move your data to the web. Being ahead of the curve always helps ease the transition- you don’t want to be the business that’s stuck in the past.