Future of business: human interaction to remain highly valued


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A new report from MYOB on the future of business reveals despite rapid advances in technology human interaction will remain highly valued.

The report, titled 25 Years: The Future of Business, claims while the future will be more connected and enabled by technology, people will remain at the core of success for businesses.

According to the report, in the next 25 years people will still gather to work, despite the evolution from a central workspace to a remote office.

“Your workforce may be a globally connected group, using holographic projection to communicate in real time – but there will be people at the centre of the operation, finding new and unique ways to collaborate on tasks and innovations,” writes MYOB’s chief technical adviser, Simon Raik-Allen.

In fact, Raik-Allen predicts technology will bring people together from all corners of the globe.

“No longer will you have to live in Sydney to work there, or reside in Auckland just to run an Auckland-based company – businesses will have the ability to work on global scale, and – through technology – bring the world closer together,” he says.

Working remotely is expected to become a societal norm.

“Advances in mobile and cloud technology will mean remote – and instant – access will become one of the most important technological drivers of change. Our future work place might not be an open-plan office, but the concept of interconnectedness will not disappear. We will not be tied to one workplace, but many. Virtual conferencing will enable businesses to be run from anywhere in the world, without the glitches and delays we experience today.”

The report encourages businesses to be agile, nimble and adaptable to technology changes, in a future that is expected to be “populated with virtual work portals, remote jobs, AI-assisted management and robotic workforces”.

Raik-Allen advises change is one clear constant for businesses in the future.

“People and businesses need to understand that whatever you develop, invest in, re-train in, or pursue as a product line, a productivity enhancer, or a career, it will likely change.”

Business owners should be ready to align with the way both technology and society is moving according to Raik-Allen.

“In predicting the future of business technology over the next 25 years, people will be your best barometer,” he notes.

“Understanding what they want, what problems they need solving, how they’d like their experience to be delivered, and whether they are ready yet for the next step will determine success as much in 25 years as it does today.”

Looking at the future workspace, the report highlights some roles will see a dramatic technological change, with office roles and administrative functions, manufacturing and production likely be tasked to robots or be automated in some way.

However, human interaction is expected to remain more valued that ever.

“This will give rise to a whole new section of business designed to fulfill the need for human interaction and experience, provide tailored, personal advice and guidance, or create experiences designed specifically for the customer,” says Raik-Allen.

And what other key trends should businesses be anticipating in the next 25 years?

The report predicts the working day to look different, and in a boon for work-life balance, possibly shorter.

“If we are cutting down on journey times with the likes of VR or driverless cars, and spending less time dealing with data storage and technical logistics, it’s likely our workday may become shorter, or more readily able to be built around other aspects of our lives.”

The report also identifies five ways technology will be more personal in 25 years, including ‘super-powered Siri’ (a digital assistant, embedded under the ear that’s available 24/7); artificial intelligence ingrained in buildings allowing people to ask for adjustments in things such as temperature, lighting or cleaning; technologically-tailored clothing, giving humans superhuman skills; 20/20 vision and customisable prosthetics to assist people’s personal and work lives.

And five jobs that will prove the usefulness of humans were revealed to be:

  • Travel curator: either virtual or real life, and available 24/7, they will be able to holographically bring your destination to you.
  • Craft brewers: providing the ability to grow your own grain and hops at rapid rates.
  • Unreal estate agent: allowing you to ‘virtually’ walk around potentially properties.
  • Lawyers and accountants: these professionals are expected to remain crucial, the only difference being the access to instant communications and totally digitised documents stores in your personal cloud.
  • Artists: creativity, and the demand for it, is not expected to disappear anytime soon!

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