What if your office could talk to you? 

Imagine an office that could help you remember all the things that you needed to do during the day or week, highlighted the important client meetings happening mid-week or even notified you of an important conference call. 

Picture an office that could even connect with your alarm so that you wake up earlier than normal and then sync up to your car, which tells you which route to take to avoid the morning traffic to reach your meeting in time. 

While this may seem a bit far-fetched today, this is exactly how offices will be in less than five years, all thanks to the Internet of Things. Offices are rapidly evolving to more than just a few connected coffee machines or office desks.

AI-Based Decisioning

Decision making in an enterprise setting is poised to drastically change by 2020. Big data and everything moving to the cloud provides consolidated data points that can be correlated with each other within the cloud to make wise decisions. 

Artificial Intelligence will play an important role and will improve each new decision taken. Think of managing traffic automatically based on the volumes of traffic on the road or managing oil and gas flows in pipeline based on an incident in the pipe ahead. 

More and more complex systems like metros, trains and air flights will be managed by artificial intelligence. Everyone knows about the amazing ‘J.A.R.V.I.S.’ and the things it can do in the Iron Man series. Imagine if all employees had their own personal J.A.R.V.I.S. that could help them with their work and daily lives.

1 Connected Device

With almost every device connected to each other, workspaces are rapidly moving towards having a single device to manage everything. 

For example, future workspaces would see employees using mobile devices to work, video call, connect with their car or even manage machines located at a factory warehouse located miles away. 

This device will essentially become your “Personal Assistant” that “knows” which work apps you use daily, so it automatically logs you in as soon as it detects that you are about to go to the office or syncs with your calendar and knows your next meeting and adjusts your car settings accordingly, so that you take the nearest route to reach the meeting on time. 

It even integrates with more advanced industrial systems to track if a machine is experiencing any downtime at a remote site, so that you get an alert that prompts you to then immediately direct the ground staff to check and fix the machine.

Augmented Reality

Today, companies offer desks for each employee. Some companies allow employees to work extensively from home. 

By 2020, employees will most likely be sitting in the comfort of their homes and being projected into the office through an augmented reality (AR) system. Immersive meeting rooms backed with augmented reality would help employees to have remote conferencing with ‘live’ participants from across geographies ‘sitting’ around a table, projected through an AR system.

Virtual Reality for Training

Imagine instead of making trainees and new employees watch cliched company promotional videos showcasing the global company offices, they are given wearable glasses that will allow them to “visit” all of the offices around the world right from their desk.

Drone-Based Delivery

We are already seeing the first glimpse of drone-powered delivery systems with a network of drones being used for emergency services or providing medical aid to areas that have no or very limited accessibility. Future retailers, e-commerce companies or restaurants could utilize drones to deliver your daily sandwich, monthly groceries or bag of fresh fruits and veggies.

The Internet of Things is the most exciting new concept since smartphones and tablets. 

By 2020, the typical workplace will be completely different from what it is now. While it may still “look” pretty much the same, the functionally of the workplace of tomorrow will be an amazing oasis of pervasive and meshed connectivity driven by IoT technology.