We’ve reached the beginning of the end, according to Bill Gates. While there is a long way to go in this pandemic, companies around the globe are beginning to look beyond the virus and trying to get a glimpse of what the future might look like. Let’s gaze into our crystal ball and see what the business world will have to offer us in the months and years to come.
Remote working here to stay in some form
Broadly speaking, organisations will fall into three categories once the governments of the world encourage business as usual. There will be those who return to their old ways of working (or near enough) with a substantial office-based presence and a focus on getting employees in one place. Then, on the other side of the spectrum we can expect to see some organisations opt for a long-term remote working model. Somewhere in between will be the hybrid working models – a bit of the old, a bit of the new and a balancing act that needs to be struck.
Every company will need to take a different approach in the future, but with the help of video conferencing tools, timekeeping software, project management software and similar tools, the future should see an improvement in communication and collaboration, not a reduction in it.
Automation will increase in everything from manufacturing to contract analysis
Artificial intelligence has long been the villain of choice in science fiction circles, but it’s evident that the benefits of AI and machine learning are now enhancing our lives . . . and they are here to stay. Through 2021 and beyond, more and more organisations will begin to embed AI into their daily processes.
Contract analysis is one such area that is already seeing a growth in automation. Contract analysis software from businesses like Cortical.io is able to review your data and documentation with unrivalled efficiency and human level accuracy. By using state of the art AI technology, contract analysis software takes on the menial yet essential task of searching through reams and reams of text, allowing you to spend time on other tasks.
And contract analysis isn’t the only automation service you can utilise. From payroll to chatbots, many vital business jobs can lean on advanced software and computing tools to improve speed, efficiency and quality of work output.
VR and AR will be coming on strong
VR and AR have been around for some time now. And as we progress through the decade these immersive technologies will increasingly become part of our everyday work and recreational life. From virtual tours and sporting events to interactive eCommerce stores and even VR conferencing, there’s no doubt that this form of tech will grow – particularly as 5G networks grow and internet bandwidth improves.
Employee wellbeing initiatives to take centre stage
Another thing to come out of the pandemic is a growing awareness of how important it is for us all to protect our health and wellbeing as a community. In the future, employers will continue to embrace their responsibility towards their own employees, developing initiatives to support both physical and mental wellbeing. Whether that’s healthcare support through work, mental health first aid training or subsidised gym memberships, organisations will be expected to do more to protect their teams.
For organisations there is an incentive here, too. A healthy, happy and motivated workforce has been proven time and again to be a more productive one.