possibilities in
a virtual office

The Covid-19 pandemic brought about drastic changes to how we work… What emerging technologies can we expect to take to the fore and become integral to our work from home experience over the next 10 years?

In response to this, companies have adopted multiple strategies and technologies to support their remote workforces, aimed at boosting productivity, improving wellbeing, and creating healthier life/work balance.

So that you can build the strongest foundation for attracting the best remote talent from all over the world, weWe want to search beyond the short term and explore what technologies we can expect to emerge and become integral to our work from home experience over the next 10 years.

Remote has researched and sought expert commentary from technology specialists to discover the types of products remote workers can expect to use daily by 2030 and predict what the offices of the future will look like.

Our insights will make sure you stay one step ahead of the competition, and help you create an exceptional employee experience that boosts productivity and increases retention rates.


What the future will look like

The metaverse’s applications in the world of work are vast, and will create exciting new ways for people to communicate and work collaboratively, including virtual meetings with digital avatars representing each participant.

With the technology now available to us at scale, there is very little need for most employers to return their staff to the office full-time. Fully remote or hybrid working models are now considered to be safer and more productive. These business models also promote stronger life-work balance, and improve diversity.

The typical permanent, fixed office has been replaced by worker’s home offices, their local coffee shops, and anywhere else with a strong and reliable internet connection.

The traditional idea of ‘the office’ has changed significantly over the past two years, and experts at Gartner predict this trend will continue. In fact, we are likely to experience an even greater pace of change thanks to constant innovation within the tech sector and a growing appetite for change from employees who don’t want to return to their pre-pandemic office lifestyle.

Stacey Epstein, CEO of Zinc describes the modern workforce as “increasingly mobile, dynamic, and comprising multi-generations, all with different communication preferences”.

The Metaverse

One of the most exciting innovations is the metaverse, a 3D virtual space in which users can interact with each other and their work environment through the use of virtual and augmented reality headsets.

Bill Gates recently predicted that within the next two or three years, “most meetings will move from 2D camera image grids… to the metaverse, a 3D space with digital avatars”.

How to create your dream home office set-up

Employers and senior managers will leverage technological innovations to enhance the work from home experience for their remote employees.

Home office technology to support physical and mental wellbeing

To ensure their workforce remains as happy and healthy as possible, HR professionals should acknowledge that tech teams also have a role to play in supporting the new challenges that distributed teams face.

Physical and mental health are closely intertwined, in many respects they go hand in hand. Employers have a responsibility to support every aspect

Holistic mental health apps

We could see mental health apps utilizing data collected by activity trackers, such as how long a person has been sitting at their desk, to provide workers with customized meditation playlists that are tailored to their individual needs at the time.

Although meditation and mindfulness apps are widely used, we can expect them to become more sophisticated as time goes on.

Rebecca Myers is a health and fitness expert, and the founder of Live Happy - a brand new health and lifestyle app that works with businesses as their holistic wellbeing partner, helping to embed wellbeing within a company’s culture.

Speaking on the technologies remote workers will use on a day-to-day basis to improve their physical, mental and nutritional health, Rebecca outlines some of the key advancements in the health and wellbeing tech space:

  • Applications for all aspects of health and wellbeing including physical, nutritional and mental health. An example is Live Happy, which combines all three aspects to create a more holistic solution.

  • Further advancements within wearable personal devices that monitor and track progress and activity levels – on your wrist and hidden within your clothing.

  • The ever-increasing use of technology within the gym environment. For example, equipment that can automatically personalize to the user, encourages your individual progress, sets new workouts for you to do and makes the experience comfortable with completely adjustable and memorized settings.

  • More sophistication in tracking – more accurate and further ability to track more and provide a better understanding of what is going on in your own body and in turn advise on improvements and preventions.

  • Advancements with medical technology for professionals to aid health and recovery quicker and more efficiently.

Rebecca goes on to explain, “The work-life balance of the individual worker can be looked at in two ways. The advancement of technology allows flexibility and ease of connectivity. However, if not managed, it can promote the ‘never switched off’ mentality, where workers can be accessed any time, anywhere in the world. Breaks from work and technology are just as important as the ability to take advantage of it.”

Machine learning earbuds

Within the earbuds are electrodes measuring and analyzing levels of stress and distraction. Complex machine learning algorithms can then suggest that workers take breaks when they’re tired, work on tasks from an alternative angle if they’re bored, or move onto a less stressful task if their anxiety levels are high.

One technology identified by Deloitte as a solution to support and enhance well-being in virtual workplaces are brain-sensing earbuds. With technology such as this, it is vital that employers are considerate of employees’ privacy and transparency concerns, as well as providing complete clarity on when employees are having their activity monitored so that they can maintain a healthy level of trust whenever any tracking technology is used.

On this, Rebecca Myers adds, “The work-life balance of the individual worker can be looked at in two ways. The advancement of technology allows flexibility and ease of connectivity. However, if not managed, it can promote the ‘never switched off’ mentality, where workers can be accessed any time, anywhere in the world. Breaks from work and technology is just as important as the ability to take advantage of it.

On-call healthcare

Telemedicine allows employees to have access to on-call healthcare practitioners from their very own home offices. Without having to leave their homes, they can seek support and advice from trained professionals and take care of their physical health.

Although there are some employers that currently offer this benefit, we predict this will become more widespread as companies across the world seek new, innovative ways to provide holistic physical and mental care for their staff.

Technologies such as these can be issued by companies to their employees as part of holistic mental health and wellbeing strategies, ensuring that job satisfaction levels are optimum, employees feel supported by their employers, and personal performance is not compromised by workplace stressors.

Here at Remote, we provide on-call healthcare as a benefit for our team. This includes professional coaching and therapy, which we offer to each of our team members and their dependents.

Home office technology for improving operations

Alongside employee wellbeing, innovations in home office technology can be used to improve operations and productivity for remote workforces.

AI as a service (AIaaS)

Another technology expected to reshape remote roles is enterprise AI. Current market leaders in this field include Salesforce, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft. AIaaS refers to algorithmic decision making tools that replace time consuming, manual tasks with simplified, AI-driven solutions and reduce the need for human input.

The main benefits of this technology include improved operational efficiency and a reduction in mistakes and errors, specifically for roles that involve a high level of repetitive action. This can help to improve the level of job satisfaction remote workers feel, as they will be left with more time to work on a diverse range of tasks that are more engaging or enjoyable to them

VR haptic gloves

Researchers are working on technology that allows sensory suits and haptic gloves to be used in remote work settings. This would mean employees could feel the sensation of “touching” an object that they aren’t really holding.

One of the most exciting applications for this type of technology is for immersive training solutions in the healthcare industry. By replicating the feeling of touching and interacting with a physical object, haptic gloves could enable a more realistic education experience for trainee surgeons and healthcare workers and thus improve their skills before they are thrown into real-life scenarios.

Cloud Support

Communication technology will remain essential for various business processes, from supporting inclusion and bolstering company culture initiatives, to improving recruitment and delivering better customer service experiences.

Nabila Salem, president of Revolent explains “cloud technology won’t just continue to shape the future of work, it’s driving digital transformation now. Whether it’s a Zoom or Teams call, or checking Slack messenger, these are all technologies that live on the cloud. It’s faster and more secure, and can be adapted and customized according to an organization’s own specific demands.”

Nabila goes on to discuss one of the main benefits of leveraging cloud technology to support globally distributed teams, “Updates don’t need to be sent out via CDs and installed by tech teams as the landscape shifts, and nobody has time for that any more either. Everyone can be on the most recent version, ready to meet new demands head on, at the click of a button.

“So whether you have a team member sitting in the office with you, or a new starter on a laptop in a café on the other side of the globe, they’ll have access to the same data, the same software, as everyone else, in real-time.”

Ultimately, cloud solutions give people access to real-time data, allowing them to make more informed and more accurate decisions. This is crucial for the distributed teams as it means they can reach optimal productivity regardless of each team member’s location.

At Remote, we believe that the future of working from home centers around employers supporting each and every individual to work in a manner that suits them best, utilizing new, cutting edge technology to facilitate this wherever possible.

Investing in such technology brings a host of benefits for both employers and their remote workers, such as improved productivity, reduced stress and burnout, and enhanced employee retention.