The Effect of 5G for Workplace Productivity & HR

August 26, 20202:16 pm516 views
The Effect of 5G for Workplace Productivity & HR
Image source: Pixabay

Imagine you are in a sci-fi movie, conducting a meeting with remote teams through a 3D hologram. While you are not physically together, you could feel the situation of a meeting in real time. Isn’t it cool? Soon enough, this imagination will come into reality. 5G – the fifth and newest generation of the cellular wireless network – has the power to unlock these images and offer other wonders in the workplace. 

5G – faster, better and different 

Businesses consider mobile connectivity and fast connectivity essential. Both become increasingly mobile, with faster growth in demand for mobile data relative to fixed-line data, reflecting the shift from a wired world to a wireless one. As the next generation of mobile wireless network technology, 5G will provide a better experience and improve business utility through faster data transmission and more reliable connectivity. 

See also: The Future of Remote Work: 4 Challenges to Solve

For example, 4G technology allows download speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps), while 5G could potentially enable speeds of more than 1,000 Mbps. It currently takes about eight minutes to download a feature movie using 4G; people could be able to do this in seconds with 5G, study revealed. 

While 5G will be an advance on previous mobile technology, the wide array of potential uses means that it might develop as a ‘general purpose technology’ (GPT), such as electricity or the internet, that becomes ubiquitous in its own right. In any event, 5G is likely to:

  • Support the introduction of new goods and services, with higher data rates and lower latency expected to enable greater use of IoT devices.
  • Improve business efficiency in producing and delivering goods and services, while enabling scope for greater innovation and the development of new products. For example, faster download speeds and lower latency will make cloud computing more effective, and allow for better collection and analysis of big data that can lead to more real-time decision making.
  • Improve health and social outcomes. For example, wearable technology and IoT devices will help people better access health and education services in a more timely and personalised fashion – the gains from which will have a flow-on effect and will largely accrue to individuals.

As 5G enables greater sharing of data, such as through cloud computing and IoT devices, there will also need to be a greater focus on keeping those data secure. 5G will lead to an increase in the number of applications and connected devices, and along with this, the risks from cybercrimes such as identity theft and hacking will increase too. Network security architecture will need to adapt to achieve the right balance between security and flexibility of use to address new challenges that could emerge.

Remote work 

Based on some studies, remote work is rising and it will be here to stay. And if 5G truly delivers its better service, the biggest winner will be remote work as the newest tech will benefit both employees and employers. 

Telecommuting has increasingly been an option for star performers. However, since remote work typically requires access to reliable, high-speed Internet, remote work has been limited to be done in home offices or co-working spaces. With 5G’s enhanced speed and reliability, remote work problems – especially connectivity – will no longer be an issue. Employees can truly work wherever they want, whether that’s at home, in a park or on a train – and that won’t apply to just knowledge workers. Blue-collar workers and those in the service sector will have more opportunities to work remotely as well. Factory workers could inspect and monitor real-time system performance from afar, for example, and healthcare professionals will be able to monitor patient health through wearable devices.

HR homework

5G will not only create faster, better experience for employees and employers. IHS Markit survey revealed that the deployment of 5G technology will also create more jobs with 22 million globally by 2035. This job created by 5G will not replace those lost in a one-for-one trade, however new skills will be needed. 

Some companies are already offering programs to teach employees new skills in emerging fields. Amazon, for example, has announced that it was investing $700 million to reskill 100,000 of its employees in areas such as machine learning and robotics. 

In addition to upskilling, cybersecurity is another issue that needs attention both from employees and employers. With more workers conducting business over 5G networks, employers will want to make sure appropriate safeguards are in place. Upfront investment in cybersecurity for this very promising technology might be necessary.

Read also: Remote Workers Conscious of Company’s Cybersecurity, But May Still Engage in Risky Behaviour