At the end of last year there were a number of articles and think pieces about the decade that was, the changes we saw and the improvements in technology. It made us think though what are going to be the defining trends of the 2020s?
Environmentalism and eco-friendly offices are already a key concern for many businesses and we believe that this will be a key area of innovation. Already in the last few years we have seen Toshiba release a carbon neutral, eco-friendly MFP in the e-STUDIO3508LP. This MFP can reuse the same paper up to five times with specialist toner that can be erased. It will be fascinating to see if this environmental toner becomes a standard for all products and the takeup over the next five years.
Ricoh has also become the first Australian IT company to reach carbon neutral status, with significant carbon emission reduction plans. Meanwhile, Canon has implemented a number of recycling and environmental programs to help their clients reduce their carbon footprints. In the next 10 years, we expect to see more innovation from these major technology companies to help end-users find the most eco-friendly yet efficient systems for their offices.
We also need to consider who will be entering the workforce in the next decade, Generation Z (those born after 1997). This generation has experienced life on tablets, smartphones and laptops, with little need or desire to read hard copies on paper. This disruption to the workforce over the next decade will see businesses need to improve internal communication systems and will provide a myriad of areas for innovation - many of which we wouldn’t even dream of!
The next trend we are predicting growth in is flexible office spaces, allowing your office to move anywhere with you. Yes - this may have already been a defining feature of the 2010s but with more and more co-working spaces such as Dpartmnt in Tamworth providing functional, collaborative work spaces we believe this will continue to be a space to watch, particularly with video conferencing and SMART boards. Who knows, could we be seeing holograms come in next for training days?
Finally, we honestly don’t know what jobs and industries will appear next! Who would have thought in 2010 there would be thousands of people across the world working as social media influencers a mere five years later. Canon predicts 10 jobs that currently don’t exist but will in this article - I think we all know a few dismantlers!