2021 Office Technology Trends

Technology

2021 promises to be an exciting year for office technology. 2020 saw some major shifts in the way technology works in our day-to-day lives. We break down the three tech trends you need to keep your eyes on in 2021. 

A major theme in 2021 for office technology will be about becoming more productive while working from anywhere. 

Trend: Unified Communications 

Unified communications will dominate the office technology sector in this new year. 

Unified Communications is an integrated network or solution that can fulfill all your communication requirements within one comprehensive solution. This solution assimilates all your communication tools and platforms. Some examples include text, voice, video, email, file and data sharing, multimedia and collaboration applications. 

By adopting a Unified Communication system, you can provide a seamless way for your team to communicate and collaborate from anywhere at any time. Allowing for the flexibility that 2021 will need. 

Unified Communication allows you to connect desktop phones to cell phones, so you never miss a call while on the road. You can also call a landline from your computer with tools like Microsoft Teams. 

Every month new possibilities are emerging to improve the accessibility of your team. 

Effective communication, both among teammates and with customers, is a key element when running a successful business.

Unified Communication technology promises to make it easier than ever before, which is why it will be so popular in 2021. 

TREND: Automation and Artificial Intelligence 

Workflow automation has been advancing in the modern office. People are taking inventory of their productivity and finding ways to make technology to improve their workflow. 

Office Phone Systems will become more automated. 

Smart routing is a tool that uses caller data to automatically route callers to the most relevant person or team, without requiring the caller to navigate an endless network of menu options. Many companies are already beginning to adopt smart routing as a way to improve their customer experience. 

Cutting-edge technology is being used in the HR world for both recruitment and training purposes.  

Chatbots are becoming a more common-place in the recruitment process.

Chatbots are used early in the job application process, where potential applicants can be lead through a series of questions or tasks. Early pre-screening means that your valuable hiring managers and HR staff only spend their time vetting qualified applicants.  If executed well, chatbots also allow applicants to learn about the role early on in the process. 

AR and VR have been trending for years, but we are now seeing these programs be created especially for employee training purposes. 

VR allows for realistic training simulations, which may not have been possible without technology.  For instance, you can train someone to repair equipment without needing to have the hardware on location. 

While these programs can be expensive, intensive VR training programs will increase the quality of training given to your teams while being largely hands-off for trainers.

Innovative automation that is implemented is the Ricoh Smart Integration, or RSI, technology. RSI lives on your Ricoh MFP, giving it many smart device capabilities.

Some of these capabilities include scanning to the cloud or PDF, creating searchable documents with Optical Character Recognition, and automated scan sorting and filing.  

RSI is a subscription service and is a  cost-effective way to start your workflow automation journey. 

TREND: The Year of 5G

The third trend we are watching is the much-anticipated mass-roll out of 5G. 5G has dominated tech news for the past couple of years, and 2021 promises to see a larger adoption worldwide. 

5G is already available in 35 countries, including parts of Canada and the United States. 5G devices like cellphones and computers are on the rise, and further devices and technologies are expected in the next 12 months.

First, 5G is up to 100 times faster than 4G, which means your network won’t overload during peak times of the day. Things like sending and receiving files will speed up exponentially. 

It’s no secret that every business relies on stable and reliable internet. 5G promises faster, more stable internet connections for you and your team. 

We’re excited to see how technology will grow in 2021! If you want to learn more about adopting some of these trends with your team, reach out to one of our technology team members.

Emily Adams

Digital Content Specialist

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