Technology continues to transform the modern office

Passwords, business cards and boundaries between work and home life disappearing from office life

Passwords, business cards and the boundaries between work and home life are among some of the things that are disappearing from office life as technology continues to transform the modern office.

New research from Fit Small Business showed online services such as LinkedIn were were contributing to the demise of traditional contact-sharing methods, with only 18 per cent of office workers in the US-based survey saying they had used them recently.

Only 25 per cent of those surveyed had used an office landline in the previous three months, with the logical shift to smartphones taking hold for more mobile workers.

Fax machines have been on the way out for some time, but perhaps one of the more surprising elements of the survey was that 14 per cent of people said they had used them in the previous three months. That was mainly accounted for by older workers though, with those fitting into the 18-34 age group seeing dramatically lower use.


Industry leaders

The survey also spoke to industry leaders about their views on the office of the future.

"With the rise of technology, work and private life have become blurred. We can receive our work emails anytime of the day or night on our smartphones, and we feel like we must respond immediately, whether we are just waking up or eating dinner," said Martin Lindstrom, branding consultant.

Biometrics will also become increasingly important to office workers as a way to protect their information, replacing passwords, with device PINS and password managers also expected to increase in popularity.

Simon Slade, chief executive of Doubledot Media, also predicts the demise of private work spaces in favour of more open-plan systems.

“ Cubicles are becoming a thing of the past, if they haven’t already. These isolating boxes are being replaced by open-work spaces that invite collaboration and the flexibility for an employee to work from home when they need privacy and quiet.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist