In March 2020 the world underwent a seismic shift, which saw the majority of global offices move their employee workforce to remote home-based work, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. While it is unlikely that all companies will stick to the Work From Home (WFH) model once the pandemic subsides, it is equally unlikely that business will return to a rigid office model seen prior to March last year. Indeed, industry experts have predicted that a hybrid model, which mixes home and remote work as well as traditional and digital mediums, will dominate the workplace of the future. Here are some of the current trends and predictions regarding the future of the workplace:
DYNAMIC COLLABORATIVE SPACES
Pro-office workers often cite collaborative meeting spaces and in-person group work as a reason for shared office spaces. It is likely that the offices of the future will focus on collaborative meeting rooms. However, it is also likely that these meeting spaces will be significantly more tech-savvy than the conference rooms of the past and present. It is expected that all meeting rooms will have tech facilities that allow people to join the meetings remotely in a more advanced and succinct way than current channels allow. Indeed, as Bonan Sun, a designer at Gensler said in a recent report by the company: “[in the future] one person may be on a train while another is in their home office with a dual screen setup, and the rest in a room together with touch screen enabled worktables and large format displays. Traditional conference rooms that mimic our former in-person experience will evolve.”
SEAMLESS IoT IN THE WORKPLACE
While centralised offices are unlikely to be the only workspaces in the future, it is likely they will provide competitive advantages for those who do choose to commute in. As a 2020 report by Sceen Cloud notes, our workplaces are about to get “a whole lot smarter”. The company envisions this to be everything from improved health, safety and performance tracking to intuitive environments which respond in terms of temperature, light and the individual needs of each employee’s space.
AN INCREASE IN ROBOTIC TECHNOLOGY
The experts at ISG envision that the workplace of the future will be robotic, as well as human. The company anticipates a hybrid model which will move beyond smart technology, to one in which robotic technology takes on a great portion of company work. “ A hallmark of the workplace of the future will be human employees working side by side with digital ones,” explains ISG.
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