5G and the approaching workplace revolution
Currently, 5G has generated plenty of press coverage leading to much confusion in the workplace. The scheduled 2020 rollout will create a new wave of business applications never before seen in this century. There will be 125 billion connected devices worldwide by 2030.
Today’s business demands faster, newer and less expensive. HR will clearly be impacted.
First, we need to define 5G. 5G means the fifth generation of digital advancement. 1G introduced analog cellular communications during the early 1980’s. 2G allowed for digital phones and texting. 3G added online data transmission. 4G launched smartphones followed by 4G (LTE) Long Term Evolution for faster mobile internet.
5G will connect machines along with rapid data exchange at near lightning speed. Further, it will operate by making a single network more dynamic allocating speed, capacity and coverage. AR (Augmented Reality) will be commonplace with expanded bandwidth and speed making workplace training in virtual reality easier.
Next, 5G is poised to affect many industries during the rollout and will impact the IoT (Internet of Things), which is an interrelated system of machines both mechanical and digital. IoT provides a real time frame of reference for a business to improve services and automate end user functions. The speed and latency will improve the digital world as we know it. The “thing” in the IoT can be anything assigned an IP address and transferred over a network. To remain competitive, a business must use IoT strategically for efficiency, better understanding of customers and improved decision-making.
The 5G platform can be used in the workplace, to administer a program reducing the three common types of human error (slips/lapses, skill-based and mistakes). By 2035, the 5G value chain will drive upwards of 3.5 trillion U.S. dollars in new economic support covering 22 million jobs. Companies that are not prepared for acceptance and absorption of 5G will be left behind competitively.
Just how will 5G impact the workplace?
The full impact is unknown at this time, however; we do know the following:
•Mobile data speeds will be 1,000 times faster than today with low latency.
•IoT (Internet of Things) will improve.
•Smart-homes, energy grids, smart streetlights.
•Sensor technology improvement for air-quality, parking spaces, garbage collection, agri-crops, livestock and farm machinery assisting farmers with water, fertilizers and pesticides.
•Autonomous vehicles. (40,000 people die annually from human error vehicle-related accidents).
•Home energy devices will order food, optimize power and water usage.
•Machine Learning will improve rapidly along with AI.
•Drones can rapidly deploy to investigate and assess emergency scenarios like accidents, flooding, forest fires, downed power lines.
•Firefighters entering a burning building can now read a visual schematic of the building in the helmet eye lens to assist occupants for rescue.
Although we currently have some of these technologies the advancement possibilities with 5G appear endless and will clearly impact the workplace. It is important to note that China is advancing their 5G rollout, followed by India.
Which industries will 5G impact?
Eventually 5G will impact every business with a pulse. Initially the following industries will change:
Manufacturing- Automation of routine tasks and reduction of workplace disruptions will occur. Drones can perform remote equipment maintenance.
Transportation- Powered vehicles will communicate with each other with precision. Enhanced data for traffic flow and gridlock will reroute vehicles avoiding travel delay.
Medical-Improvement of existing systems for remote and robotic surgery. Rapid transmission of medical files. Wearable devices will detect medical irregularities and implement early live saving intervention.
Retail-Smarter stock software will detect low stock and process faster replacement based on consumer demand.
All of these factors will bring about workplace changes. The demand will increase for jobs in cloud-based skills, security skills, machine-learning and IoT design skills. Demand for telecom and electrical engineers will increase. The gig economy will grow rapidly. Finally, 5G will bring about a reduction in labor costs, better delivery of goods and services providing transparency in customer transactions.
As an employer are you prepared for what 5G has to offer?
Let’s evaluate your company with a risk assessment or any other HR related matter.