Global architecture, planning and design firm, CallisonRTKL (CRTKL) has revealed six key trends on how technology can support and transform the Middle East’s workplace of the future. With the nature of work and the workplace changing, following the outbreak of COVID-19, new technology, practices, and processes will come to change offices in the MENA region.
With both employers and employees in the region having faced radically different circumstances over the past nine months, the opportunity to leverage digital solutions in the workplace has never been more abundant. The Middle East is at the forefront of global technology adoption, and nations across the GCC have emphasised the importance of digital development within national economic strategies. With so many employers having to suddenly create flexible working solutions due to the pandemic, workplaces have significant opportunity to see the integration of technology into their day to day operations.
Although fuelled by new technology, the workplace of the future will continue to be centred around people. Accordingly, workplaces need to be designed to be user-centric for employees. CallisonRTKL have identified three key components for enabling the workplace of the future: people, place, and purpose. In doing so, employers ensure their people continue to perform well in their workspace, while still building a strong community.
The six workplace trends from a technology perspective are:
1. LEVERAGING DATA
Utilising technology to collect and manage data from a work environment can be highly informative and useful for the future of workplaces. Being able to gather and evaluate the data not only informs companies of their current status but it can also highlight a variety of opportunities to help improve awareness and operational inefficiencies. This can be achieved by using sensors to determine occupancy levels in the workplace which can control the amount and types of space needed, when and where space needs to be cleaned or to adjust the HVAC levels if necessary based on occupancy and zones.
2. BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE (BYOD)
Personal mobile devices will become a more robust method that individual users can use to not only communicate with others, but also connect with smart systems built within a workplace environment. This will create a safe and frictionless journey to and from the office for individual users by using the functions on their device.
3. SEAMLESS CONFERENCING
The need for collaboration technologies that foster highly effective and modernised experiences seamlessly in spaces on-site and virtually from home will become more prevalent in the future.
4. DIGITAL CREATION LAB
The need to build immersive experience centres and innovation labs at the workplace is vital when building the workplace of the future. These spaces can be used for multiple functions from digitally showcasing the office’s sustainable and wellness data on a dashboard, to providing multi-dimensional spaces for various purposes or to display a company’s latest portfolio or products.
Sustainability will continuously be a key influencer in future workplaces. It has grown to become a large factor in designing today’s work environments and can immensely impact the physical nature and comfort of a space for employees through technology advances.
6. WELLNESS THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
As employees are the heart of companies, wellness is vital. Technological enhancements in a work environment can ensure that the health and wellbeing of employees are continuously supported on a daily basis.