- 5G – the fifth and newest generation of the cellular wireless network has the power to unleash an unprecedented level of change in the workplace.
- Recruiting, collaboration, and remote work will be positively affected as 5G can process data much faster than 4G networks.
- By delivering faster download and data transfer speeds, 5G will further push the bounds of remote work as AR and VR become increasingly accessible.
5G – the fifth and newest generation of the cellular wireless network has the power to unleash an unprecedented level of change in the workplace.
5G technology, which will process data in gigabits per second rather than in megabits, will eventually be 100 times faster than 4G networks.
Most of the talk surrounding 5G so far has focused on consumer benefits, such as being able to download a movie in seconds, but there are many significant workplace implications as well.
Greater efficiency is expected due to the increased speed and volume of data and functions. Recruiting, collaboration, and remote work will be positively affected.
Kurt von Koch, CEO of FM:Systems, believes 5G is the future.
“5G for the smart building is absolutely the future. The ability to massively deploy sensors that register and share data nearly instantaneously combined with AI for data processing and pattern matching will provide us with a digital twin of our workplaces more accurate than anything we have today,” Koch told Allwork.Space.
5G enabled sensors and AI will allow us to sort and respond to insights from air quality, to materials used, to collaboration with coworkers thousands of miles away – in a way previously unthought of.
“5G will enable a connected world and a connected workplace. The ability to deploy sensors across a real estate portfolio to truly paint a digital twin and digital picture of the world around us. This will lead to greater insights into how our workplaces meet our needs, how we visually interact with our coworker across the ocean, and through a combination of AI and 5G, how we adapt our workplace to meet our needs for collaboration, ideation, and culture building,” Koch said.
How will 5G help the way we work?
- Reduced latency: Applications will operate faster and more efficiently.
- Real-time or fast data processing and analysis: Data will be processed close to the source, not in the cloud or an external data centre – making it much quicker.
- Potential cost savings: Less can be spent on data management solutions for local devices, compared to cloud and data center networks.
- Less network traffic: Data generation will continue to rise at record rates, and 5G connectivity will reduce the risk of bottlenecks.
If 5G delivers on its promise, the biggest winners from a workplace perspective will be remote workers. For example, increased speed and bandwidth will result in better video quality for virtual meetings.
5G will open up greater opportunities for remote working, even in areas where cellular connectivity issues exist.
This new network will empower employees to work from their preferred mobile devices; mobile connectivity with 4G is primarily confined to smartphones and tablets, but 5G will enable a wide variety of devices to connect over a mobile network.
As 5G enables a new, more efficient work model, there will be a need for workers with the ability to deal with complexity. Future employment contracts will need to include provisions for upskilling and retraining to ensure workforces have the skills required.
With the application of 5G, what does the future look like?
According to IHS Markit, the deployment of 5G technology will create 22 million jobs globally by 2035. It may also increase productivity in the UK workforce by 2%, which is the equivalent of £3.7+ billion.
- Blue-collar workers and those in the service sector will have more opportunities to work remotely.
- Factory workers could inspect and monitor real-time system performance from afar.
- Health care professionals will be able to monitor patient health through wearable devices.
By delivering faster download and data transfer speeds, 5G will further push the bounds of remote work as AR and VR become increasingly accessible.
According to Forbes, the eventual combination of 5G and AR/VR could help remote workers feel completely immersed in a team meeting or collaborative environment, which will allow for even more people to enter and thrive in the remote workforce.
“Holographic calls would be another application where a 3-D projection is used with the help of 5G,” said Deepu Prakash, senior vice president of process and technology innovation at Fingent.
Prakash also said that VR training will be much smoother and more effective with 5G’s better bandwidth and speed.
How can 5G be implemented?
Companies should implement 5G one step at a time. Rather than try to do everything at once, start by focusing on low-cost changes that provide quick returns.
Once the initial expenses are out of the way, businesses should see lower costs overall because 5G will be more energy-efficient than existing networks.
When will 5G be accessible?
Exactly when the 5G network will become widely accessible remains to be seen. So far, 5G services are available only in select markets, and most current devices aren’t equipped to connect to the 5G network.
5G has the potential to connect those without access to broadband, particularly rural and underprivileged populations, so they have the ability to participate in the growing remote workforce and reap its benefits. It’s unclear when or whether these populations will have access to the new 5G network.