The forced social distancing and lockdown measures have seen technological developments propelled, with businesses readjusting strategies as they look towards 2021. Here’s a look at some of the smart office trends we can expect to become commonplace moving forwards.
Smart office trends to watch out for in 2021
1. Internet of Things
Smart offices are reliant on an Internet of Things (IoT) setup that allows for the seamless migration between devices. With many people already embracing IoT technology at home – through devices such as smartphones, smart watches and household appliances – it’s only logical that this technology will find its place in the work space as well. By incorporating IoT in business, managers are able to better monitor valuable business data, identifying areas of weakness and those of potential growth.
2. Business fibre
Smart offices simply can’t exist without access to reliable, high-speed internet throughout the office space. This is why we’ll see an increase in the installation of business fibre connections in 2021. Some of the benefits of this internet connection over traditional ADSL lines include:
- High capacity, low latency Internet access
- Up to 200 Mbps in speed
- Multiple device support
- Uncapped and unshaped for continuous connectivity
- Seamless bandwidth upgrades
Read More: Benefits of Business Fibre
3. Increased 5G network
Along with business fibre, 5G networks will become much more prevalent in 2021, and this is particularly significant for businesses located in far-flung areas. This form of wireless connectivity is absolutely vital for internal communications and enhanced customer relations through improved speed and reliability.
Read More: Benefits of 5G for business
4. Advanced telecommunications
Continued social distancing practices will make businesses even more reliant on quality communications’ systems, which is why products such as Virtual PBX will continue to trend in 2021. This is a cost-effective communications’ system that allows the users to get in contact via cloud-based technology. This means there’s no need to rely on bulky, space-restricting equipment. Other benefits of the PBX system include:
- Scalable technology
- Lower maintenance costs
- Seamless multiple location platforms
- Automatic upgrades
- Superior voice quality
5. Video- and teleconferencing
With the implementation of reliable networks and advanced telecommunications’ systems, many businesses will continue to rely on video- and teleconferencing. This has been shown to drastically reduce costs related to travel and time, while allowing for a seamless workflow between departments and offices.
6. Enhanced cyber security
With so much internet-based activity in 2020, the number of cyber attacks has spiked. South African banks were among the victims following the Experian data breach which exposed the personal information of 24 million South Africans and just under 800 000 businesses. Forbes reported a 600% spike in attacks on cloud servers in just the first quarter of 2020. The magnitude of such breaches puts the need for cybersecurity into sharp perspective, and we are likely to see a massive increase in cybersecurity measures.
7. Flexible work spaces
Lockdown life has proven that existing technology measures allow for ongoing productivity from home, or remote work spaces, with some businesses even noticing the ongoing cost savings associated with this. The result is likely to be many companies allowing more flexible working strategies, including working from home or flexible home/office working hours. It’s also likely that we’ll see enhanced working environments as employees become more mindful of workplace conditions in 2021.
Technology is undoubtedly going to dominate the office trends of 2021, but people are looking for quality solutions that last, rather than just going for the cheapest option. When it comes to smart office solutions, it’s important to look for technology that is going to enhance the workflow rather than bring another set of problems.
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