Technology 5 min read

5 Changes to the Workplace in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution will change the everyday lives of human beings, including their careers. As so much of our lives are spent at work, it is a good idea to be aware of how dynamics will change with the advent of Industry 4.0.

An Internet of Things and AI technology will greater connect us to the devices we use and infrastructure we depend on. These technologies can reduce the need for human risk. VR and AR technologies enable companies to train more employees in less time than they do now. Many wonders await our working lives in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but there is one place where we envision this future: the office space.

Some technologies, such as cloud data storage, are already enabling offices to share documents. This eliminates the need for the printing and keeping of paper records. Video conference applications like Skype render the conference room obsolete.

Here are five more ways Industry 4.0 will change our workspaces:

1. The Cloud is Enveloping Old Technologies

More employees are replacing their desktop computers with tablets, which are unencumbered by the need to store data locally. A cloud can store and track all necessary work data while removing the need for elaborate cable organization schemes. Without the need for so many cables, we could construct and wire buildings more efficiently. From top to bottom, the cloud is cutting costs and reducing environmental impact.

2. Video Conferencing is Now, but is VR Conferencing the Future?

Video conferencing has been around for quite some time, giving startups and big companies alike the ability to have face to face communication with clients and employees across the world.

Video and voice over IP have been embraced everywhere from television interviews to job presentations. This kind of attention begs development of a more immersive communication experience. As VR and AR technologies become more advanced, they could soon construct a new conference room. However, this room may have no physical existence whatsoever.

Imagine attending meetings at a high-powered corporation just by putting on a headset in your home. The virtual meeting room can be designed to meet the owner's specification exactly, sparing no expense. Click To TweetThe lighting can never falter; the acoustics will be perfect.

This might be the new conference room of the future. Yet, for those not wanting to don headgear, AR technology could allow for projection inside a contact.

How long will the office building last? Could it ever be replaced by a purely virtual space?

3. ‘Workspace Aggregation’ Will Require Innovative Solutions

As offices become more technologically integrated, IT departments will have more complicated jobs. This phenomenon is known by Gartner as “workspace aggregation”, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have to address this unless it wants to suffer a major drawback.

New technologies won't be helpful if they can't be maintained.Click To Tweet

Currently, most companies have different departmental infrastructures. As more infrastructures are introduced into the office, more time and resources are consumed managing them. In theory, f companies are slowed down by this increased need for management, so too would IR4.0.

4. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is for Bundling Devices, Products, and Services

The “one workspace” solution could be an innovative way to avoid our aggregation problem. This approach integrates everything that an employee could need into a personal cloud. One device handles word processing, research, communication, and any other necessary workplace function. IT specialists would manage problems from a central platform, reducing the pressure on technicians.

The “one workspace” solution could be an innovative way to avoid our aggregation problem.

The one workspace solution may cut down on the need for administration, but it would not eliminate it. Cloud storage will become more and more complex, and this may bring the advent of a new kind of employee in order to navigate storage systems.

5. We Could Welcome A.I. to the Workforce

While the one workspace idea is a reasonable solution to an increasingly complex working environment, it does require that more and more data is stored virtually. While humans are adept at record keeping and diagnosing problems, deep learning neural networks have the potential of quickly processing more data than a human ever could.

For example, IBM's Watson AI, famous for winning the game show Jeopardy in 2011, was reported as being able to recommend the same treatment as doctors in 99% of the cancer cases that it studied.Click To Tweet

This type of AI has the ability to remember past conclusions and improve decision making based on this data. Eventually, AI will do this much faster than we do. AI could diagnose IT problems, medical conditions, and update scheduling in the blink of an eye.

While one may see AI as competition for human jobs, a pragmatic individual will see work better suited for the ultimately more complex human mind.

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