Digital proficiency will be essential in the future workplace

The future of work will be based on highly intelligent software tools, giving workers access to relevant information in real time and therefore improving their ability to make decisions faster than ever. Because of all this, The Huffington Post reports, digital proficiency will become an essential skill for the future office worker.

The publication spoke to Alan Lepofsky, vice president of Constellation Research, for his thoughts and predictions on the future of work.

With a background in next-generation collaboration techniques, enterprise social media and disruptive workplace technologies, Lepofsky feels that despite new communication platforms and tools, "the future of work is still functionally job-based."

This means that rather than being an integral part of the worker's day, tools and collaboration software will be 'supporting structures' that help people get on with what they need to - without even realising they are there.

The two technologies that Lepofsky feels have really changed the way we work in recent years are cloud computing and mobile. He feels that mobile has made the greatest impact so far - and that doesn't just include phones and tablets, as "mobile is the ability to work anywhere, anytime, not tethered to your desk," he explained.

He foresees that this trend will continue advancing in the years to come, to the point where "we can look at information on anything":

"In the future information will be projected onto your kitchen counter-tops [...] Imagine three, five, 10 years from now whenever it happens to be, where the physical structure of the device disappears [...] whether it is augmented reality information, or our walls and surfaces and curved objects, dashboards in our cars -- all of these things are going to become screens for information."

Besides what people might think, the adoption of digital technology has less to do with age and more to do proficiency, Lepfsky explains; and proficiency falls into two areas of concern: skill level with technology and comfort level with technology. Accessibility to useful information will also play a major role in enhancing digital proficiency among staff.

It will also be important for business leaders to actively demonstrate the benefits of digital proficiency and aim for 100% adoption of collaboration technology.

"There's no happy medium," said Lepofsky. "For something to be successful you need 100% adoption [...] It has to be the way that that process is done, not an optional way."


Museum of the Future will feature world's first 3D-printed office

In an entirely appropriate turn of events, the Museum of the Future in Dubai is due to have its main office built and furnished using only 3D-printed components, making it the most functional printed building on the planet, the psfk website reports.

The Museum of the Future, still currently under development, is set to be a high-tech tourist destination showcasing the United Arab Emirates' focus on modern architecture and 3D printing technology.

The 2,000 square foot 3D-printed office will act as an icon of the region's dedication to innovative structural thinking, and will be made with components printed from a 20-foot 3D printing machine, which will be assembled on site.

Initially it will be used as a temporary workspace for the museum's members of staff, providing a flexible interior that can be used by teams of various sizes and for different purposes. It will then be used as an event space when the offices move to their permanent location.

3D printing is being hailed as the future of construction, with experts stating that it can reduce construction times by as much as 50-70%, lower labor costs by up to 80%, and save between 30-60% in construction waste.

Commenting on the Museum of the Future project, H.E Excellency Mohammed Al Gergawi - chairman of the UAE National Innovation Committee - said that the office building "will be a testimony to the efficiency and creativity of 3D printing technology, which we believe will play a major role in reshaping construction and design sectors."

"We aim to take advantage of this growth by becoming a global hub for innovation and 3D printing. This is the first step of many more to come," he added.

While the final completion date for the 3D-printed building hasn't yet been announced, it's clear that the world will be waiting to see what the finished product looks like. And who knows, it could set a new precedent for office design in the future.

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Will These wearables take over your office by 2016?

When people discuss wearables, it is generally with the consumer in mind. However, as we become increasingly familiar with the tech, more and more people are asking: could wearables hold some valuable potential within the workplace?

There is an ongoing debate regarding the matter. Some argue that they could become more of a "stress maker" than "stress saver", bringing up the issues of privacy, while others find them "enlightening and useful."

While the "for" and "against" camps are likely to continue expressing their views for the foreseeable future, we ask: which wearables are set to create the biggest impact within the workplace? Wareable.com pointed out some of the key pieces of tech.

Microsoft HoloLens

The office space is certainly not lagging behind when it comes to virtual and augmented reality. NASA was an early adopter, using it for virtual instructions, but any hands-on employee could adopt the tech, removing the need for months of training by providing "on the job" advice.

Apple Watch

Many employees are given a work phone when they start at a new job; in the future will an Apple Watch become the new device being given out? According to Wareable, they "provide workers with a way to stay connected that's faster and more efficient than checking your phone."

Samsung Gear smartwatches

Similarly, Samsung Gear is set to transform the workplace. Couriers, for example, use handheld devices that seem to be shrinking each year; could employees monitoring large amounts of products "go wearable" in the future? Tesco staff are already using them behind the scenes to help with stock control.

These are just a few examples of how wearables can be adopted in the workplace environment. As the tech catches on and its potential is unleashed, employers will be made aware of the many benefits it could offer their employees, and their business as a whole.