New report lays out its 2040 vision of the workplace of the future
Mark Eltringham of Workplace Insight writes: The Smart Workplace 2040 report claims that 25 years from now, work will be seen as something workers do, rather than a place to which they commute. According to the study, work patterns will be radically different as a new generation of what it terms ‘workspace consumers’ choose their time and place of work. Most workers will frequently work from home, and will choose when to visit work hubs to meet and network with others. There will be no set hours and the emphasis will be on getting work done, while workers’ wellness will take priority. Technology will bring together networks of individuals who operate in an entrepreneurial way, with collaboration the major driver of business performance.
The main characteristics of the workplace of the future described in the report are:
- Adaptable, radical working patterns.
- Choice: Workers will decide where and how they want to work.
- Location: ‘Trophy workplaces’ will provide a highly experiential environment.
- Entrepreneurship will be the norm thanks to technological advances.
- Collaboration will be a major driver of enterprise performance.
- Human services will be seen as a premium offering; support services will enhance the experience as users interact with their surroundings.
- Health and wellness will be prioritized over work.
- A heavy reliance on networks and “crowdsourcing” to co-create product ideas.
The report makes eight recommendations, including dismantling the fixed office hours model in favour of flexible working contracts, focusing workspaces on end users’ needs and enhancing service delivery to embrace a high human touch, while designing working environments that reflect new ways of collaborating across teams. It also suggests organizational transformations to improve the way dispersed teams work together, and the integration of ‘shy’ technologies to track activity, record experiences and respond to user demand.