According to new findings, holographic receptionists, robots and tea delivery drones could be part of the workplace in just 30 years.
Workers may soon be spared from performing mundane office tasks as futuristic technologies blend into our everyday lives.
Research conducted by suppliers Furniture At Work claimed that fingerprint-accessible refrigerators, on-site babysitters, and augmented reality (AR) glasses could also be used in 2050 offices.
As employees are increasingly distracted by social media, the experts add that anti-distraction technology can also be used.
These include productivity tracking wristbands and tea delivery drones that “reduce the need for breaks and improve office productivity.”
Research conducted by suppliers Furniture At Work claimed that fingerprint accessible refrigerators, on-site babysitters and augmented reality (AR) glasses could be used in 2050 offices
Virtual reality headsets could be deployed in most office spaces by 2050, enabling new hires to receive training on the scenarios they may encounter before they start work
Touchless face-scanning access systems are likely to be used in the future for safety and health reasons
Inside the 2050 office
- Movable walls and modular furniture
- Smart buildings
- Immersive VR training
- Hologram receptionist
- Biometric rotary refrigerators
- Tea delivery drones
- Paint nano
- sleeping beds
- VR meditation room
- Babysitter on site
- Open office
- Face can access system
- Augmented reality glasses
- Plants on the walls
- High-tech furniture
- Anti-Distraction Technology
- AI and robots
- Hologram virtual meetings
- Health and performance wristbands
(Source: Furniture at work)
As part of the research, Muhammad Waqar, founder and CEO of Build.com said, “With the rise of open spaces and the increasing prevalence of distractions such as smartphones and social media, anti-distraction technology could become very important.
“This could include noise-canceling headphones and software designed to block distracting websites.”
The findings stem from fears that artificial intelligence and other technologies could replace 20 percent of the workforce within a few years.
Platforms like ChatGPT have exacerbated these concerns, due to its human-like ability to write poems and screenplays, take exams, and even write code.
While the research mainly focused on how technologies will work with humans, it was found that robots could take over the role of data entry and research.
Receptionists can also be replaced by holograms, who speak in any language and answer all sorts of questions about the work week.
Versions of this have already been seen around the world, with Greater London based Brent Council launching their holographic receptionist ‘Shanice’ in 2013.
Researchers add that taking positions away from people could pave the way for a four-day work week humans would only be needed for more complex tasks.
Richard Nolan, CPO at Epsonow, said: “Robots and AI could take on mundane tasks such as data entry or research, freeing up human workers for more meaningful activities that require a higher level of thinking.
“We were even able to see how people control robots remotely, allowing them to be physically present in the office without actually being there.”
Experts argue that futuristic technologies will soon be absorbed into the workplace. Shown: (4) Hologram Receptionist, (6) Drone Tea Trays, (10) Onsite Babysitter, (12) Face Scan Input, (13) VR/AR Glasses, (16) Anti-Distraction Technology
Future developments that could transform the workplace depicted: (11) Open plan office, (14) Green walls, (15) Biophilic furniture, (17) Robots
Experts suggest that AR glasses can also reduce the need for employees to be in the office most days.
With this technology, employees may be able to work on touch screens that “appear in the air” or even sit in a conference room with colleagues.
Marco Naez, owner of marketing agency Emerald Skygroup, said: “In the future, we could see glasses that offer a full AR experience where you feel like you’re in an augmented version of everyday life.
‘For example, you can watch and work on touch screens that appear in the air. That could also be done at home, where you see your colleagues as if you were in a room together.’
Virtual reality (VR) headsets can be used in the same way, with the option for new hires to receive training on the scenarios they may encounter before they start work.
Steps towards this vision have already been made, with Mark Zuckerberg launching the Metaverse in 2021 that has the ability to host VR meeting rooms.
Redesigning office walls can also complement alternative work styles, because coating them with futuristic nano paints will make them screens, according to researchers.
These could boost VR-assisted training efforts, allowing employees to watch training videos, display calendars and interact with these screens without permanently marking office walls.
Future developments that could transform the workplace depicted: (1) Movable walls, (3) VR training, (8) Sleeping rooms, (9) VR meditation rooms, (19) Biofeedback and productivity wristbands
However, the use of headsets isn’t just limited to work, according to Tectonic Shift’s Hila Harary, who believes they will also be implemented in new meditation rooms to help employees relax.
Relaxing VR is predicted to proliferate alongside sleepovers and on-site babysitters as the line between personal life and work becomes increasingly blurred.
She said, ‘VR will be used for meditation. It can be used to create a relaxing environment where employees can de-stress and disconnect.”
In addition to helping people in the workplace, offices are predicted to become both greener and safer through the use of technology.
Touchless face-scanning entry systems will likely be used in the future for safety and health reasons, while sensors will be used to ensure that temperature, lighting and air quality are also adequate.
Using green technology, researchers envision “garden” spaces could also be encouraged, where fresh food and plants can be grown.
As part of this, offices are likely to pick up green walls and biophlic furniture that mimic the form of nature found outside.
Future developments that could transform the workplace depicted: (2) smart buildings, (5) revolving refrigerators with fingerprint scanner, (7) nano paint, (18) virtual hologram meetings
Complementing the research, Jonathon Poston ME, Business Growth & Innovation Consultant, said: ‘Biophilic design is the concept of integrating natural elements into our built environments.
‘Furniture designs could be inspired by this approach, for example a chair could be designed to mimic the shape and texture of a natural object such as a tree trunk or rock.
“Furniture is probably also high-tech. We could see coffee tables with built-in screens, or a chair designed with biofeedback technology to maximize user comfort.”
In conclusion, Furniture At Work said: “Four-day workweeks, hybrid and remote working, and virtual meetings are rapidly becoming the norm, and we are already starting to see the early stages of our forecasts. AI is used for automating basic tasks and its capabilities will become more complex as technology advances.
“We also expect open plan offices, sleep and meditation rooms and on-site babysitters to become more common in the near future as companies strive to provide more health and wellness benefits. Augmented reality glasses and biometric refrigerators may be a bit further away, but they are certainly possible.’