5 features of the office of the future

We look up from our screens, gaze a few years into the future and list five things you’ll take for granted in the office of the future.

Technological development is moving fast. If someone had told us about smartphones, YouTube celebrities, VR, AR and Snapchat 20 years ago, we would have hardly been able to imagine what they were. So if in 2018 we look up from our screens and gaze another 20 years into the future, what will offices be like then?

Based on the mobility and digitalisation report from Kairos Future, in which it is claimed that the major changes of digitalisation lie ahead of us rather than behind us, we list five things that we will presumably take for granted in the office of the future.

The hologram

Finding it hard to be in two places at the same time? Let a hologram solve the problem. Microsoft is already offering a solution that provides the opportunity to merge physical spaces and those present in them with virtual environments and people who are in a different place.

The driverless car

A driverless electric vehicle makes all deliveries to and from the office. Automation and the desire to achieve sustainability is driving development of both driverless cars and electric cars. Driverless cars exist but are still not permitted to be used in traffic, but if you live in Hamburg, you can already have your pizza delivered by a small driverless vehicle.

The drone

From the driverless car, a drone flies in with your delivery to the office robot, which receives it at the door and delivers it to the right person or location. Car manufacturer Mercedes recently launched the electric EQ van, with a built-in drone on the roof that delivers items from the vehicle to the final destination.

The office robot

A friendly, helpful robot that moves freely between floors. It gets you a coffee, leaves messages, tidies up the kitchen and lets in visitors. People’s desire to get help with tasks that are heavy, dangerous or monotonous are driving development – from care robots and construction robots to office robots that simply carry out all the tasks you find boring.

The 3D printing shop

Chanel recently managed to print make-up brushes, and Adidas can boast its first sneakers manufactured by a 3D printer. So forget laborious order procedures and slow deliveries. If something breaks at the office, you simply go down to your local 3D printing shop and print out a new one. Even if 3D printing technology is well developed and it’s already possible to print out objects from a digital file, it will be likely to complement mass production rather than replacing it, and this type of shop is quite a way off yet.

Bearing in mind how much life and work have changed over the past 20 years, it is a dizzying thought that, as Kairos Future claims, the major changes in terms of digitalisation still lie ahead of us. At the same time, the technology for holograms, office robots, driverless cars and drones already exists, and the question is simply how to develop and use them. We are facing an exciting future.

Created: 12 November 2018

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