The workplace is transforming technologies reshaping jobs and introducing new ways of working. While automation and artificial intelligence stir fears of human job loss, technology augments higher productivity and satisfaction. Here we look at the top emerging technologies set to shape the future of work in the years ahead.
The artificial intelligence freelancers are efficient by automating routine cognitive jobs. But more importantly, it is human capabilities and people to focus on more meaningful work. As trust in AI grows, a new model of man and machine working together flourishes across business functions. Workers continuously upskilling as AI’s capabilities expand.
Extended reality technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) immerse users in digital environments and overlays.. It creates high learning opportunities as employees develop skills and practice in realistic VR settings. ARoverlays access to information and experts while working.
Robotics & Automation
Intelligent robots are moving beyond automotive factories into a range of workplace settings from warehouses to offices. Collaborative robots work safely alongside humans, taking over dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks. At the same time, robotic process automation (RPA) is automating repetitive digital tasks to free up employees for higher-value activities. This technology replaces humans but reduces workloads.
Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing builds objects layer-by-layer from digital files. As technology advances, its business uses beyond prototyping. 3D printing enables on-demand, personalized, and local manufacturing businesses to customize products and parts. It will disrupt many traditional manufacturing and global logistics models as companies print products or components near the point of use.
5G & connectivity
Fifth-generation (5G) cellular networks will drive profound workplace transformation. 5G delivers vastly faster speeds, reduced latency, and exponential capacity compared to 4G. It will support wide deployment of the Internet of Things, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, AR/VR use, and applications. For enterprises, 5G is a huge leap forward in flexible remote work arrangements and mobile-first workplaces.
Smart wearables such as watches, glasses, helmets, and exoskeletons are human physical and mental capabilities. Wearables with health monitoring sensors can track employee’s vitals, fatigue levels, illness, and more to optimize well-being and productivity. For hands-on workers, wearables provide information alerts, guidance with voice/visuals, and strength augmentation. Their workplace adoption will accelerate as capability and acceptance increase.
A digital twin is a virtual representation of a physical entity such as a product, process, or factory. This is emerging technology businesses to create digital simulations of almost any physical asset or system. Digital twins will be leveraged across manufacturing, supply chains, and more to monitor performance, simulate changes, and optimize operations. They support innovation by providing a low-risk virtual environment for companies to test ideas.
Mesh networks teams of people and devices to connect directly to a central point. They will facilitate highly efficient collaboration and communication for project teams across locations. Mesh networks also maximize flexibility for organizations embracing distributed work arrangements. By bypassing traditional hierarchies, mesh fosters decentralized, dynamic work environments well-suited to agile teamwork while some emerging technologies have certain jobs, to many new higher-skilled roles too. The key for businesses will be supporting their workforce through upskilling programs to capitalize on humans’ creativity and emotional intelligence. Adopting these technologies will bring exciting possibilities for enterprises to augment their teams, empower employees, and do more meaningful work.