Technology has been one of the defining forces of the 21st-century thus far—and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. The pandemic has only accelerated the need for technology. From communication to collaboration, tech has kept the world unified through a time of intense isolation.
Even as the world moves forward, the new shift to remote work seems likely to stick around. After all, there are many more benefits to remote work than the fact that it keeps a business open during a crisis. Remote work is known for reducing overhead, creating flexibility, and even helping with taxes.
With remote work taking up so much of the spotlight, it only seems natural that technology would begin to adjust to its needs. Here are a few of the biggest ways that tech could adapt to the needs of remote workers in 2022.
HARDWARE WILL NEED IMPROVED CONNECTIVITY
Hardware is a growing problem in the tech world. The needs of workers are always evolving. In addition, software is perpetually pushing boundaries.
This has led to shorter and shorter lifespans for everything from computers to mobile devices to headphones. As hardware struggles to keep up with technology in general, it will now have added pressure to accommodate remote workers.
For instance, microphones and cameras will need to improve as more and more individuals connect via video conference calls. Wi-Fi is an even bigger issue. It will also need to become more efficient—and on a smaller scale.
Once upon a time, a large office needed a single, solid internet connection for dozens of professionals to ply their day-to-day business. Now, employers and employees alike work from countless individual workspaces—their homes, cowork spaces, coffee shops, and so on. This decentralization requires many smaller-yet-stable connections.
Slow internet speeds were a topic of discussion minutes after the pandemic began, and the conversation hasn’t ebbed since. From stable routers to new adaptive Wi-Fi technology, the way we connect and the tools we use to do so will need to improve moving forward.
SOFTWARE WILL CATER TO REMOTE WORK WORKFLOW DEMANDS
There is a plethora of remote-friendly SaaS services that have taken center stage in recent months. Workflow platforms like Trello and Asana have dominated the news cycle as companies across the globe have turned to them as remote-friendly workspaces.
These have eased the adjustment to remote work, but as they stand now, they’re hardly an endpoint in and of themselves. 2022 offers an opportunity for the virtual workspace industry to up its game.
Companies like Caplinked are offering virtual data rooms where parties can disclose information in digital privacy. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Wall Street Journal notes that technologies like robotic process automation and process mining are busy redefining the future of workflows, a fact that will likely impact remote workers in the months ahead.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND REMOTE WORK WILL CREATE TECHNOLOGICAL SYNERGY
It’s no secret that the newest generation of professional workers is keen on entrepreneurship. This trend toward individual business ownership is something that is being accelerated by remote work and the technological innovation it’s creating.
Companies like Shopify and Etsy are equipping upstart innovators with affordable tools to turn inspiration into reality. Sites like Indeed and Glassdoor are giving them access to remote talent. The gig economy is making that very talent available in bite-sized quantities via platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. These all offer genuine solutions for a cash-strapped startup.
The sky-high growth of many of these entrepreneurially-minded companies speaks to the technological improvements we can expect to see from them in the year ahead. As brands work to enable entrepreneurs with the tools they need, there will be an inevitable tangential impact on the way remote work takes place—as well as the tech that is making it all possible.
2022 promises to be a year filled with technological novelties and improvements. As the survival aspect of the early pandemic becomes a piece of history, businesses everywhere are positioning themselves to take advantage of the new, remote-friendly normal in every way possible. With lofty expectations in place, the tech sector seems poised and ready to answer the many growing remote work needs, in spades.
Chalmers Brown is the Chief Technology Officer of Due.