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Space travel perks and mind-reading tech? Inside the office of the future

In the hybrid working future, office design will take place with the team’s wellness in mind. Gone are the days of dingy, chilly offices that employees dread attending.

Man using an interactive screen in an office. — Image © Tim Sandle
Man using an interactive screen in an office. — Image © Tim Sandle

Tired of waiting for your office to get a facelift? The office of the future is beginning to take shape, fuelled by new technological advancements aimed at maximising efficiency, and the growing prioritisation of employee wellness.

With integration of new technology such as extended reality (XR) and new Internet of Things (IoT) applications, tomorrow’s office facilitates sustainable working practices and promises to take hybrid working to the next level.

Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, quizzed artificial intelligence (AI) model ChatGPT about some of the most exciting technology advancements coming to your office in the future. Another AI model, Midjourney, then imagined what these new innovations might look like.

Designing for wellness

In the hybrid working future, office design will take place with the team’s wellness in mind. Gone are the days of dingy, chilly offices that employees dread attending – tomorrow’s offices are built to promote healthy habits. Sick building syndrome (where the office team begins experiencing illness symptoms as a result of being in poor working conditions) is expected to be a thing of the past.

We can expect to see plenty of natural light – which increases productivity and improves attitude – with adjustable desks so workers can adopt comfortable working positions.

Dedicated wellness spaces such as meditation rooms, yoga or exercise spaces are expected to become more commonplace, as employers strive to make offices a “destination rather than an obligation.”

Extended reality (XR)

In recent years, office-based employees have been enjoying more autonomy than ever, thanks to hybrid working arrangements offering increased flexibility. However, that flexibility has often been accompanied by technological issues, like poor connectivity for Zoom meetings. In the office of the future, technological improvements mean that hybrid working will be simpler, more efficient and more immersive than ever.

According to AI, staff who are working from home in the future will be able to use augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tech in order to seamlessly combine virtual and in-person collaboration. The future office is optimised for hybrid working setups, and could simulate attendance for those working at home – so you can avoid any awkward Zoom delays.

Smart integration

As smart homes continue to take precedence in the residential world, it’s little surprise that offices will follow suit. The office of the future will have plenty of Internet of Things (IoT) integrations for a number of different applications.

Smart heating and ventilation controls will be used to improve employee comfort, monitoring temperature, humidity levels and lighting brightness to provide optimal working conditions. Like with a smart home, every aspect of the future office can be controlled centrally via a

For building managers, the value lies in cost savings – motion-sensing LED lighting could save up to 70 percent on energy expenditure, while real-time diagnostics for the building’s other facilities can reduce downtime and enable greater efficiency. 

Brain-computer interfaces

According to AI, the future office may even be able to integrate brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) to analyse brain signals and interact with office technology. BCIs are currently being used to research, augment or repair cognitive or motor-sensory functions. For the most part, that means the ability to directly control robotic limbs or send signals to a computer via the brain.

In the office of the future, seamless integration of this technology is used to make colleagues’ lives easier. Think typing without actually typing or using a “passthought” instead of a password. You’d also have the ability to control and deliver presentations by just thinking about moving through the slides.

This technology might be edging closer – Toronto startup Muse has created a sensing headband that provides minute-by-minute updates about what’s going on in your brain. Brain data can mean improved efficiency and workplace safety, but there are understandable concerns about how invasive this technology is.

In a second article, the wellbeing aspects of the future office space are explored.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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