2018 was filled with amazing advancements that have transformed the workplace and revolutionized the way how we work.
1. The rise of Augmented Reality.
Augmented Reality (AR) blends digital data with your physical surroundings. It first caught our attention with the launch of Pokemon Go!
While much of the AR applications coming out are still in the forms of games and entertainment, companies are now slowly incorporating AR technology into their business operations. Porsche, for example, now equips their auto mechanics with AR goggles to use while they’re doing repairs. Through these goggles, Porsche’s mechanics receive visual guidance to quickly repair their vehicles with the help of remote engineers and designers.
IKEA is another company that’s embraced AR technology. They recently rolled out a mobile app called “Place” as part of their marketing strategy.
This allows users to virtually try out different pieces of furniture from their catalog to see if it will fit in their home. As a result, their customers become more confident making a purchase.
2. A shift in the use of predictive analytics.
Predictive analytics platforms and tools have played a valuable role in helping startup founders anticipate future patterns and trends in their industry. With this information, they can adequately align their marketing strategies to increase their chances of getting ahead of their competitors.
In 2019, the use of predictive analytics will no longer be confined to product development, marketing, and sales. HR managers will start using predictive analytics to pinpoint factors and situations that significantly affect employee engagement and retention rates so that these are appropriately addressed.
Not only will this mean more engaged and productive team members in your startup, but also reduce employee turnover.
3. Increase levels of cybersecurity.
We live in a world where our work and personal activities are stored as nuggets of data. Because of this, startups and established companies need to step up their game to provide their customers and employees with reliable and secure networks and devices to protect their privacy.
4. Remote working will be the norm.
With access to the internet now becoming an integral part of our daily lives, future work experts pointed out that this will “profoundly affect the way we work.”
We’ve already seen this happening in 2018 with remote working now becoming a standard across multiple industries due to benefits such as free time, increased work-life balance, and a flexible work schedule.
Already, 87% of HR managers consider providing employees with the option to work remotely as an integral factor to employee satisfaction and retention. In fact, 37% of employees that participated in a survey done by Global Workplace Analytics said that they would be more than happy to receive a pay cut of 10% in exchange for being able to work from home.
Michelle Dennedy, Chief Privacy Officer of McAfee, points out that this workplace trend requires companies and startups to shift their perspective when it comes to evaluating the performance of their employees. Rather than focusing on the amount of time an employee stays in the office, Dennedy recommends focusing on the amount and quality of work accomplished.
“[The future workplace] be more results-based, not showing-up-based,” Dennedy said. “Good ideas will come from critical and creative thinkers and fuelled by art and music as well as maths and engineering.”
5. A more diverse workplace.
As more companies and startups embrace remote working as the way they do business, this will also lead to a more diverse workforce not just regarding ethnic backgrounds but also in age.
These days, senior citizens are proving that they are still capable of working and living life to the fullest. Recent economic trends are also now forcing many of them out of retirement. So while there’s the potential for friction between generations on how they use technology, the experience, and expertise that senior citizens can offer may prove to be a valuable asset for up-and-coming startups.
6. A world dominated by AI.
Back in 2013, Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne predicted that 47% of jobs would be lost to robots in 20 years. However, this may happen sooner than expected.
If 2018 marked the beginning of the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace, 2019 would be the year when we will see it start to take over.
Aside from streamlining workflows and increasing productivity levels, AI will start to get smarter. We can see this with the advent of Natural Language Processing (NLP). It’s an AI that understands the language we humans naturally use. That means that it can understand slang words, abbreviations, and even mispronounced English words and process these pieces of information into data. Businesses, in turn, can use these data to make better decisions that will benefit both their customers and employees.
AI-powered workflow processes also now make it easier for business to develop, run, and monitor marketing campaigns to maximize their results and be in a better position to achieve their goals.
The downside to this is that we now have developed the technology to replace humans with robots. While much of these jobs involve carrying out routine and repetitive tasks, some high-skilled workers are also potentially at risk of being replaced by computers and robots soon.
7. Co-working spaces are no longer just for startups.
Co-working spaces became popular with the rise of tech startups. Aside from helping them cut back on their expenses, tech startups found that working here makes them more creative and more productive.
Because of this, we can expect that in 2019, small business owners from other industries and even freelancers will begin to start holding office in co-working spaces.
With more companies letting their employees work remotely, they now have the freedom to choose where they want to work. Home will be their first option. However, now and then, they would want to work in a co-working space where they can have access to technologies that may be out of their budget or work in a social environment where they can do a bit of networking and, eventually a collaboration.
Today’s workplace is morphing into a dynamic and mobile environment driven by technology. And it’s changing dramatically before our very eyes.
The good news is that you still got a few weeks left before 2019 comes, so you can adjust and adapt your startup or business and be ready to ride the wave of these workplace trends as they happen.