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The office of the future – anywhere you want

So there you are, sat in the driver’s seat speeding (within the limit of course) down the motorway on your way to a meeting. The phone rings and you put down the coffee you have in one hand and the sandwich you hold in the other. You pick up a pen and pad and take the call. On your car’s dashboard screen the face of one of your clients appears. You’re on your way to meet her, and she mentions a few things that mean you need to tweak the presentation you’re due to make. You end the call and swivel your seat around to face your colleagues in the back. The car is still doing 70mph and as you all begin to work on the deck, the vehicle moves itself from the middle lane to the outside lane to overtake the inevitable Eddie Stobart truck.

That’s how BMW see’s the future of work.  And they expect it to happen by 2020. Cars will become mobile workstations, boosting productivity and the ability to work anywhere. Fast 4G connectivity means the car (and the devices inside) are all connected to the corporate network, enhancing collaboration and improving delivery times.  In fact, you’re increasingly connected to everything: the upcoming petrol station where the car is heading for a top up (which you’ve just pre-paid for); the cinema (to change your booking for the fifth Star Wars franchise film that year); and the supermarket near your house (to collect your pre-order).

Fast forward 30 minutes and you’ve arrived. The car has parked itself and you’re standing in front of the client team making your pitch.  Your tablet is in your bag, and on the wall you’ve unrolled a paper-thin OLED screen and stuck it to the wall. There’s no need for a mouse or even the need to touch the screen. To navigate through the presentation, you simply make various arm gestures, and the conductive yarn that your jacket is made of does the rest. That’s where Google, among many others, are taking wearable technology – alongside watches that give you business analytics on your wrist, and glasses that can recognise customers to improve service levels.

And before you start making Star Trek jokes, think about this. The iPad was launched in 2010. Five years later they’ve become the norm for many organisations and taken a big slice of the PC market into the bargain. By 2020, the types of technology mentioned above, combined with super-fast, secure and robust connectivity (plus the simple ways to manage usage), will have fundamentally changed where and how we work. It would be rash to predict the end of the office, but those spaces will undoubtedly change. Perhaps becoming more of a drop in location to catch up with colleagues, or somewhere to bring clients to.

We’ve been building the office of the future for some time now, with things like bespoke business apps, one integrated network, the ability to set usage limits on individual sims and technology to reduce our reliance on paper. Increasing the flexibility of the workplace is delivering direct benefits to the bottom line, and if you would like more information on what you can be doing today to boost productivity using technology just visit our webpage.


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