Offices are major innovators in technology. Whether they seek to create new products that customers will buy or work to improve their own office processes, many offices consistently embrace change. Information technology has allowed businesses to communicate over long distances cheaply and instantaneously, and they may be able to accomplish other tasks at a distance.
Technology has automated various jobs in almost all areas of business. With automation, businesses can carry out necessary tasks with fewer workers, thus cutting down the costs of hiring employees and paying out benefits. However, this automation might increase unemployment. Employment losses have already begun. Forbes reported that companies such as McDonald's employed 400,000 employees in 2008, while Google employed only 20,000 employees, demonstrating how more technology-oriented companies tend to use fewer employees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected that between 2008 and 2018, chemical manufacturing employment will decline by 13 percent, automotive manufacturing employment will decline by 16 percent and machinery manufacturing employment will decline by 8 percent. The BLS reported that these declines primarily come from improvements in production technology.
Information technology has increased the speed at which companies can communicate and also has cut costs on information storage. Also, future technology advances minimize office dependence on paper, which not only reduces waste but also allows information to be transmitted more quickly. As offices become more networked, they will more easily communicate with other offices. As a result, these offices might become more interconnected, which will foster more cooperation between offices.
Future technology creates new industries as these advances lead to the development of new products. For example, the multi-billion dollar computer industry did not exist until computers were invented. New technological advancements can create new offices devoted to developing, testing and marketing new products. As robotics become more affordable and useful, more robotic technology might enter the market.
Technological advancements in computer security have reduced the number of computer crimes that cost businesses money. Also, as future technology advances, bandwidth and other technological resources become cheaper and criminal attacks such as denial of service attacks have a smaller impact. Companies continue to develop more secure systems so that customers can give companies personal information without fearing identity theft. This has increased customer bases for various companies, especially companies that operate entirely online.
Companies have increasingly moved towards innovating processes that minimize waste. This waste minimization saves the company money and also reduces the environmental impact that the company has on the Earth. Composting techniques have allowed many companies to transform waste into compost that can be used to grow food and perform other actions beneficial to the environment.
RFID technology is allowing offices to more closely monitor products than ever before. This RFID technology can help businesses monitor the performance of products, provide updates to the products and analyzing products for potential defects. Businesses might also be able to power products at a distance with advancements in wireless power transmission.
Artificial intelligence will provide automated thinking for offices. The more advanced the artificial intelligence becomes, the more tasks the artificial intelligence programs will be able to perform. Recent advances have helped detect credit card fraud by comparing credit card purchases with past credit card behavior. Businesses are seeking to implement artificial intelligence in areas where human workers cannot survive, such as in areas with insufficient oxygen and physical space. Artificially intelligent robots may play a large role in elder care, allowing a robot to perform actions that elderly patients cannot, allowing the patient to avoid the nursing home. This will stimulate growth in new industries.
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