As we enter a new decade, many offices are in danger of being caught napping – too busy thinking that radical changes in work patterns and behaviours are something in the distance or for another day. The reality is, your perceptions of work are change, and many offices are ill-prepared to cope with it.

In the past, we have discussed agile and flexible working, which predominantly affects the purchase and position of office furniture.  However, technology is also shaping our offices. History tells us that the adoption of new IT and digital practices is rapid. Consider this – in 2007, only 42% of UK workers used computers with internet access as part of their working day. At the latest count, that figure had risen to 64%

The future of your workplace

Your next workplace refurbishment needs to accommodate augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to work efficiently in the upcoming months and the coming years. The uses are limitless - from customer service and staff training to conference calling and presenting to clients - but the one thing they have in common is requiring the space and set up for the technology to function.

Most companies already tout virtual reality as a way to overcome open plan office distractions. And workers wearing headsets discover an alternative working world that’s more conducive to concentration. You may even expect virtual desktops accessed via VR headsets to replace the need for computer screens – an aspect that will redefine what we think of as an ideal office desk.

Perks of Virtual Reality

Bringing remote teams together is another perk of virtual reality. For instance, we may see the end of big boardrooms and extensive business travel in favour of soundproofed proofed spaces. Employees can virtually sit next to a colleague in a meeting taking place hundreds of miles away; although you could be in a small room or even a private pod on your own.

Video conferencing will become more common. The ever-sophisticating platforms such as GoToMeeting, Zoom and Google Hangouts are quickly becoming mainstream. Thus, reducing commuting between offices. Media walls of 3, 6 or 9 LCD screens already allow meetings to be broadcast more professionally than being huddled around a laptop, and the monitors double as places to present reports and play corporate videos.

MPL - Your Progressive Partner

Underpinning all technological advances is the need for robust data and power supplies. MPL is experienced in this aspect of workplace refurbishments, having worked with the likes of Samsung, Bang & Olufsen and Lanes Group Plc, designing progressive spaces that are heavily reliant on devices, charging outlets, plug sockets, control rooms, and wifi. We can create a detailed set of working drawings alongside 3D visuals to allow offices to embrace AR, VR, and AI.

It’s also worth considering the security implications of broadcasting sensitive or private data in a more open-plan or communal environment. Consider computer monitor filters, internal and adjustable blinds to meeting rooms, a secure IT/data room for servers and adequate soundproofing.

If you have a vision for a more technology-led workplace, let MPL turn that vision into reality.