December 19, 2022

The Office, Reimagined: Top Trends Shaping the Workplace in 2023

by: Align

Ever since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, we have seen the definition of the “workplace” change significantly. At first, when no other options existed during a global shutdown, everyone had to work from home. As the world began to open back up, we’ve seen this evolve into ever-changing hybrid workforces. While some businesses have shifted back to requiring employees to be in the office full- or part-time, other companies and professionals remain distributed across the country, or even the globe, working fully remote. Within this newly defined reality of the workplace, we have seen everything from home offices to communal workspaces and collaborative boardrooms continue to evolve.

How will the workplace transform in 2023 and beyond? We’ve been designing workplace technology solutions for our clients for decades and can see where it’s headed. Here’s what companies should be thinking about.

Hybrid and Flexible Workspaces

1-Dec-14-2022-09-43-40-4961-PMBy now, it’s clear that remote work is here to stay. However, there is no “one size fits all” approach, so not all businesses are following the same model. Many businesses are actively evaluating the productivity of their workforces and are developing and tweaking hybrid work schedules on the fly. This business evolution has required companies to adopt a more collaborative approach for success and overall employee satisfaction.

Successful workplaces now require infrastructure that allow on-site professionals to communicate and collaborate seamlessly when working with remote employees. This will come in the form of creating meeting rooms that use innovative audio-visual technologies to create a better more collaborative experience. Technologies like motion tracking video cameras and microphones that can specifically focus on the individual speaking in a room can make meetings between distributed teams more productive. Additionally, advancements in cabling technologies and receivers can help to de-clutter meeting rooms, making office space more aesthetically pleasing. You can read more about some of the recent advancements in AV technology for meeting rooms here, and learn more about how to build a conference room for the hybrid professional here.

Not only will meeting and conference rooms see changes in 2023 and beyond, but entire offices have already started renovations to accommodate the new hybrid approach. Offices are being reimagined to better support this new setup, with more common spaces and a human-centric design element. Naturally, a hybrid workforce means that office attendance will fluctuate frequently, and new office designs will have to be flexible enough to give professionals adequate working areas, no matter how many people are remote versus in-person on any given day.

Collaboration in the Cloud

2-Dec-14-2022-09-43-40-5581-PMCollaboration won’t just stop at audio-visual technology. Cloud applications have become the new standard within the context of the hybrid workforce. Consider how many times you’ve saved documents you’re working on with a team only to have your folders inundated with file names like “Proposal_V4_Final_FNL_ACTUALLY FINAL.” Working in cloud-based applications, such as Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, eliminates the need for manual revision control by allowing your team to work within the same document and even see updates in real time while storing older versions in the cloud. Not only will this streamline your work efforts, it also creates redundancy while saving resources on your local machine as well. 

The Smart Office and Sustainability

3-Dec-14-2022-09-43-40-5182-PMMinimizing environmental impact has been a consistent theme across most industries for several years—and for good reason. When it comes to your office, there are numerous smart technologies that businesses can employ to help become greener.

  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) lighting is one form of low voltage, smart lighting for buildings. These systems drastically improve the controls of the lighting in an office while lowering power bills and increasing the life of light fixtures. PoE lighting systems receive power via ethernet cables, eliminating the need for a separate AC power source while requiring less energy and cost to maintain.
  • Automated window shades mitigate the issues caused by improperly shaded or poorly insulated windows, which can create significant fluctuations in temperature within a room or building. Automating shades based on how much sunlight is being let in or by room temperature can reduce how much the heating and cooling system needs to work.

As companies continue to reimagine their workspaces into facilities that better serve the modern hybrid professional, the adoption of smart office technologies will remain a key trend throughout 2023 that we will continue to monitor.

Wi-Fi 6/6e

4-4Today, the reliance on Wi-Fi in the office and the workplace is higher than ever. Traditionally, one might sit down at a desk and plug in to the local network, but now we rely on Wi-Fi to be our primary connection method in the new hybrid world. In addition, the rise of smart and mobile technology has caused the number of devices on local Wi-Fi networks to skyrocket –crowding airwaves and subsequently making connections slower. These issues, in the context of the hybrid workforce, could create problems for your business. This makes advancements in Wi-Fi technology significant, as there is a constant demand for increases in bandwidth, coverage, and connection speeds.

Wi-Fi 6 and 6E are significant improvements in wireless internet connectivity. The unanimous vote by the Federal Communications Commission in 2020 to open the 6GHz band of the wireless spectrum is the largest spectrum addition to Wi-Fi since 1989. The addition means less signal interference, and as a result, smoother operations. Upgrading to Wi-Fi 6/6E minimizes the chances of slow or unreliable connections that negatively impact your business, and allows for better collaboration among your professionals at home and in the office.

Reimagine your Workplace with Align

At Align, our Workplace Technology professionals are always at the forefront of the latest technologies and are constantly searching for solutions that will bring the workplace into the future. Our team is helping to reimagine the workplace while we continue to enable the connected enterprise and hybrid professional. Our focus is enabling businesses to operate efficiently and effectively while leveraging the best technology on the market, without breaking the bank.

To learn more, contact a Workplace Technology professional today and begin the journey of transforming your office for the future.

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