According to a survey of UK employees released today, more than half of respondents expect that within the next decade their employers will have made the following innovations readily available to them:

  • The ability to perform all tasks by voice recognition (60 per cent)
  • Augmented reality glasses (56 per cent)
  • Touch-based interactive devices (69 per cent)

They also predict that within the next 20 years they will be able to send virtual assistants or holograms (59 per cent) to attend meetings on their behalf. When pressed to think even more boldly, they consider the next batch of innovations to include drones; Bluetooth from brain-to-brain; and carrier nodes which are small devices fitted to the ear that allow audio and video data to be transmitted directly to the brain as electronic signals.

The research was commissioned by Ricoh and conducted by Coleman Parkes.

Phil Keoghan, CEO, Ricoh UK said:  “This survey reflects positively on the UK’s workforce: it shows that employees are not only digitally literate, they are also excited about how technology can enhance their productivity and their work spaces. We carried out this survey because we wanted to know how people want to work and what’s important to them going forward. Our business produces and supplies technologies which are backed up by work flow processes that help UK businesses work better and more efficiently. Our research gives insights into how people want to interact with technology in the future.”

When it comes to identifying the top benefits of a tech evolved workplace, employees give equal rating to optimising core business processes, better access to information and the ability to get their job done faster. This indicates that the core requirements for productive working today – digitised processes, the ability to view and use data when required, and adapting quickly to technology-led change – will remain crucially important into the future.

Yet despite the widespread excitement and value placed in a tech evolved workplace, less than a third of employees (29 per cent) say their company has a strong appetite for creating new ways of working and deploying technologies to make the future a reality. In addition to missing an opportunity to drive productivity and enhance their competitive edge, companies that do not act today to build a more digital, agile workplace could risk losing key personnel to competitors or even not exist in the future.