As lockdown conditions and social distancing regulations continue to change across the UK, we’ve seen a rapid shift and dependence on technology in all settings. From working from home and virtual meetings, to office integration and fever scanners upon entry, to restaurant apps and no more bar queues(!) – this year has seen the prolific use of technology that we always knew was possible, but never knew we needed. And we think it’s here to stay.
Offices of the Future
Following the so-called ‘Zoom-Boom’, which saw the nation relying on virtual meetings and video calls to keep on ticking, we’ve all had our eyes opened to the importance of new technology solutions in the workplace.
Some technology we’ve already seen implemented as we’ve trickled back to work, such as the increased use of cloud software and Microsoft Teams to keep entire workforces together while operating for various locations. We think that even once the worst is over, video calls will continue to replace formal meetings, with enhanced features such as Microsoft’s ‘Together Mode’ helping to reduce travel time and costs, and allowing a more varied and flexible workforce as employers can hire the most talented person for the role – no matter their location. (We’ve tested it ourselves and we love this new feature!)
Shops, surgeries, and salons have also opted for video connections with customers; offering demonstrations, live classes, and consultations to maintain their business and relationships. For some, this is a service we think will continue, with personalised shopping experiences and one-to-one classes bringing in income from the comfort of our own homes.
Further innovative solutions we’re seeing in the workplace are infrared scanners and fever trackers. We predict this could be developed further to facilitate contact tracing and office management – letting you know how many people are in the office at any given time to decide if you should go in today or simply work from home.
The future of office life is definitely flexible.
The New Nights Out
As pubs and restaurants have opened their doors, and social distancing continues, we’ve seen a steep rise in establishments that offer the facility to book online, with a dedicated time slot, and the ability to order via an app. For some, this is as simple as scanning a QR code on the table, placing your order, paying through your mobile, and then relaxing while you wait for your food to arrive.
Although this was strange to get used to at first, we think this might be a trend that’s here to stay – it allows restaurant owners and managers to know, before the night begins, how many covers they will take, and ensure the correct amount of staff are working to facilitate the night ahead. It’s also great for track and trace, as well as building an email marketing list.
We could even see this developing as people become more comfortable with relying on technology where they never have before – perhaps we’ll soon be offered a virtual queue for the toilet or a range of other imaginative solutions… the possibilities are endless!
Travel with Technology
Although the travel industry felt a major impact of COVID-19, with local lockdown procedures in place the last few weeks have seen hundreds of Brits off on their travels to locations around the world. And technology has been the key to keeping this world spinning.
Like large office blocks, infrared technology has been introduced at certain airports and train stations to detect fevers and allow health screenings to make sure you’re safe to travel.
The ability to have everything touch-free will also see an increase in QR ticket code scanning and seat reservation.
With innovation on our minds, we’ve recently heard talks of the ability to create ‘air curtains’ on planes to protect passengers from the spread of viruses. This involves adapting the air conditioning unit above seats to adjust the airflow within aircraft cabins, keeping coughs and sneezes within the confines of a single passenger before removing them through the plane’s filtration system.
The future of technology is bright and will only keep thriving. As we move through the next recovery phases of Coronavirus, we’re excited to see the world wake up to the powers and possibilities that innovative tech can offer. From health and safety on public transport to AI desk trackers in the office – we’re here to create imaginative technology solutions that solve your workplace problems so please get in touch.