In the not-too-distant future, your office is going to look very different. I’m not just talking about cubicles vs. open work-spaces; I mean how you work and who you work with.
With more and more employees off site or working remotely, collaboration tools are more important than ever. Thanks to advances in telepresence technologies you’ll soon be able to communicate and interact with coworkers who previously were just a voice on the speaker phone.
Whether you’re out in the field or the person behind the desk, there are many ways technology is helping to improve the work experience. Here are just a few:
In the future, we may be using technology like the XOne from XOEye designed for real-time workplace collaboration. (Pictured above).
The XOne are industrial-grade glasses that can record and stream audio and video, letting other people view that content on a desktop, laptop or mobile device.
That way, it won’t matter if the person you’re working with is half a world away or in the next room. They can record what’s going on and stream it for collaboration or remote support. Imagine a new employee working off-site being trained this way or solving an issue while seeing the problem in real-time through someone else’s eyes.
The Ava 500 is a robot, or a collaboration device on wheels, which enables workers to have a presence even when they can’t physically be there.
Ava has lasers, motion sensors and cameras which help it travel to and from a destination – like the corner office – without bumping into walls or people.
Here’s how it works: Ava has a 21.5-inch LCD screen atop a long “neck” which transmits the user’s face as the robot moves around the office. The remote user, thanks to the cameras and microphone, can see and hear everything that’s going on around Ava.
So instead of just being a picture on the wall or a crackly voice on the phone line, that person has a real presence in the room. Her neck is adjustable so Ava can comfortably take part in conversations among people who are either sitting or standing.
You’ve heard that sitting all day can kill you, right? A number of studies have shown that prolonged sitting is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
Just because you work in an office and spend most of the day at a desk doesn’t mean you have to accept this as your fate.
Some offices have started incorporating standing desks into the mix. This is a great way for you to spend part of your day sitting, and part standing and stretching your legs while still focusing on work.
The Stir Kinetic Desk is a great new option because it’s also a smart desk. There’s an iPhone-type screen built into the surface you use as a control panel. Set presets for your standing and sitting heights and how much time you want to spend on your feet and the desk does the rest. It reminds you to change positions by very slowly moving up or down an inch. Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will let it send stats on how long you stood and how many calories you burned to a fitness app on your smartphone.