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Office of the future: removing productivity barriers

Technology is creating opportunities, but how is it increasing productivity in the workplace?

From timesaving shortcuts and connectivity to virtual assistance, the removal of productivity barriers is speeding us ever more quickly towards the office of the future. 


Overcoming the biggest ever hurdle

Technology is helping us to erode the biggest barrier humans have ever been faced with – distance and time. 

Where present day business conferencing tools  provide sophisticated ways to log in and share presentations, plans, ideas and even to brainstorm across the continents – we’re only just starting to scratch the surface both in terms of technical ability and business demand. 

Already, pioneering firms are holding conferences in Virtual Reality (VR). Settings can be as diverse as beaches and outer space. Some technical experts think this could become much more common in as little as 5 years’ time1

VR and Augmented Reality (AR) functionality will help to reduce feelings of awkwardness, deepening collaboration possibilities and helping participants interact with real-world materials, products or concepts to increase the sense of being present. 

These virtual worlds could even be designed to boost creativity, furthering the potential of the technology. 

Creating a virtual connected working ecosystem

In the near future, technology will be taken out of silos and a virtual connected working ecosystem will be created. 

Underpinned by secure cloud access and interoperability, IT systems and intelligent office devices such as multifunction printing devices (MFPs), will all be networked and will all talk to each other2. This will radically change the way we work and unlock untold working freedoms, simply by providing a seamless, secure, linked and intuitive technology experience. 

Enriched with technology being pioneered in the consumer world through virtual assistants such as Alexa, Cortana and Siri – office devices and systems will be developed with biometric access, voice recognition, audio assistance, video guided setup and self-diagnostics. 

Intelligent technology such as MFPs will also be able to anticipate the needs of the users and look after themselves by reordering parts or spares to maximise uptime, removing another productivity barrier. Such technology will also fuel the projected growth of contractual IT and office equipment supply models including Managed Print Services (MPS).


Overcoming horizon productivity barriers

Technology is offering something much more exciting than shortcuts, simpler interactions and narrowing distance and time – it is promising to help us overcome our own human intellectual limitations.

The world of work will soon be revolutionised by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Connected devices gathering intelligence and applying algorithms will soon start to provide solutions to productivity problems, in many cases overcoming problems humans never even identified. 

Helping us to overcome productivity limitations, it is predicted that virtual assistants will manage calendars, book meeting rooms and complete expenses forms by 20252. Programmes such as Google’s Start Compose for Gmail will continually improve at drafting automated email responses. 

At a departmental level, systems will automatically complete previously manual tasks such as invoicing, customer order processing and payroll. 

Technology is growing its role in the office as quickly as productivity barriers are being removed. So where do humans sit within this increasingly productive work mix? 

With ever more menial and repetitive tasks automated, workers will become ever freer to complete more strategic, business critical and value added tasks – helping businesses increase productivity and profitability.

2 Quocirca Print 2025 


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