Future Work Leaders To Merge Work & Life

There has been a lot in the news recently about how the work-life balance for professionals is slowly merging, and a blurring of the lines is occurring that makes it hard to differentiate between time spent in the office and pursuing leisure activities. It is the proliferation of technology that seems to have heralded this merge, as working professionals find it harder to switch off when they get home as they continue to receive work emails on their personal phone; similarly, at work it is easy for employees to access social media sites and connect with friends and family during working hours.

With this is mind, a recent article on the HR Magazine website discusses how future leaders will look to utilize this blurring for the sake of employees, allowing them to better manage this merging, as it doesn't seem likely to disappear.

Natalie Bickford, the author of the article and European HR director for Sodexo, notes that Gen X professionals have so far had to adopt an "all or nothing" approach to work/home life, with no particular cross-over in between. Whilst requesting flexibility may have been seen as a sign that employees were putting home life before work and their careers in the past, nowadays it tends to be part and package of working - and leaders are looking to better manage this in the future.

This means that those in charge of future businesses will need to weave flexibility into the corporate culture of their company, encouraging and supporting employees as they enter into this new working world. Work and life need to be combined in a "healthy and positive manner", Bickford claims.


A 3D Printed World

As 3D printing becomes more accessible and more advanced, it's no wonder that it seems to be slowly taking over the world, infiltrating almost every aspect of everyday life. The 3D printing industry is currently worth over $2 billion,, an article on Popular Science notes, but it is expected to increase dramatically by 2021 to a whopping five times its current value.

Whilst some of the items that can be 3D printed are more kitsch than anything else, the rate the technology is developing means more and more innovative and potentially life-changing products are being created layer by layer as we speak. This is all due to the different inks that will come into use - forget simple plastic being used to build things, soon metal, graphene and even human cells will become printer-friendly.

Some of the most advanced lasers on the marketplace are now able to fuse together metallic powders during the printing process, meaning they are able to create metal objects that are stronger than cast metal and almost as strong as forged metal. In fact, the company General Electric is planning on using this technology in its business to create fuel nozzles for its new low-emission jet engines.

Graphene, on the other hand, is one of the strongest materials in the world and this too could soon make its way into 3D printing technology. The printing industry could help with the mass production of electronic prototypes incorporating graphene, making them 1,000 times faster than tech available today.

But finally, and perhaps the most intriguing ink of the future, is that of human cells. It is now possible for scientists to print out living human stem cells - something that surely sounds like it comes from a science fiction movie. It is also possible for them to print blood vessels for the tissue, meaning a reliable supply of oxygen and nutrients. This could lead to us being able to print fully functioning organs, printing new skin over burns as well as printing made-to-fit bone scaffolds and bionic ears.

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Wireless Charging Furniture In Future

With the rise in popularity of mobile devices being used in the workplace and at home, when you forget your charger it can be incredibly annoying. Nowadays, since so much of our working day is spent online, forgetting a charger can mean that you lose a whole day's worth of work. A recent article on the Telegraph, however, notes that the Swedish furniture giant Ikea is due to launch a range of wireless-charging pieces, from lamps to tables.

The furniture includes a charging pad integrated into the design of the piece; the range includes two types of desk, two different bedside table designs and two lamps - a floor standing one and a table lamp.

The beauty of the design is that the wireless charging pads can be attached to any flat surface and they don't include any cables, making the aesthetics of the furniture more streamlined and minimalist. The pads themselves use transmitter and receiver coils to create a magnetic field that induces a voltage in the receiver coil; this means that enabled phones need only be placed on the pad and they will begin to charge.

The furniture has been designed to fit nicely into any room of the house - and it may present businesses with a unique opportunity to provide visitors with modern charging facilities in lobbies and waiting rooms, for example.

 

Bjorn Block, the range manager for Ikea, stated that "everyone hates cables" and that was their starting point for developing the range. He claims that the businesses "wanted to make charging easier and more convenient for our customers." Although most smartphones come with built-in QI wireless charging technology, Ikea will also be providing charging covers for some makes that do not.