Over the past decade, many offices have seen their premises change dramatically. While each change may not have constituted a huge leap in technological advancement, the incremental changes mean that looking back at 2010 looks a whole lot different compared to today. Back then I was interning for one of the world’s biggest media companies in London, and this was my first taste of the corporate lifestyle. Hi-tech offices with constantly upgraded hardware, and at a time where streaming platforms were not yet the norm and blu-ray still ruled. Fast forward to 2021 and you would be hard-pressed to find a CD or DVD in an office unless it was stored in their archive. We’ll look at a few bits of technology that are heading towards becoming a common sight in the workplace.

Biometric entry systems

Back in 2010, the norm was a personal employee identification card we could use to open the barriers and enter the lift in a building. Nowadays, biometric entry systems are becoming more of the norm. Not only do these ensure enhanced security – you can’t lend someone your eyes or fingerprints to enter like you could your ID card – but since the pandemic, they have been developed to link to custom-built apps to allow for better contract tracing and even be synced with room schedulers. This allows the accurate tracking of those on-site. As offices are opening up again, businesses are finding it their duty to ensure the safety of everyone on their premises; biometric systems can play an important role in doing this.

Touch-free technology

The pandemic has given many of us a heightened awareness of what we touch on a daily basis, from door handles, train poles to our computers and phones. The rise of virtual home assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa will soon make its way into the workplace. Voice commands to dim the lights and open doors will soon become the norm. We now also see hand sanitiser dispensers everywhere and no longer are they of the push-to-pump variety. Instead, the motion-activated ones are becoming more common and we will start seeing this technology used in most public areas.

Virtual reality

Travel has been severely restricted this past year and a half, but the many projects planned must still push through regardless. We will see more virtual reality over the next few years as developers improve their offerings and demand from businesses drives these. Take for example interior designers and architects whose jobs require them to be on-site a lot, but travel restrictions could hamper these plans. Current virtual reality technology being developed allows them to put on a VR headset and walk around the site, thanks to the 3D images taken by a photographer who has been able to get there. The possibilities and benefits are vast, we will surely see more of this soon.