Future workplace must be designed for collaboration

Smart Workplace 2040

Design of the future workplace needs to take on board new, collaborative ways of working, says a future-gazing report from Johnson Controls.

The Smart Workplace 2040 report, produced by Johnson Controls’ Global WorkPlace Solutions (GWS) business, describes how 25 years from now, work will be seen as something workers do, rather than a place they commute to each day. The report was peer reviewed in a series of three workshops in the US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific involving 26 workplace experts.

The report says that in the future most workers will frequently work from home, and will choose to visit work hubs or a “trophy workplace,” a highly experiential environment where they meet and network with other individuals. Technology will bring together networks of skilled individuals who operate in a similar way to today’s entrepreneurs, with collaboration the major driver of business performance and a core competency for every employee.

In summary, the report says the 2040 workplace will be characterised by:

  • 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, due 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 prioritised over work
  • A heavy reliance on networks and crowdsourcing to co-create product ideas.

The report’s author, director of GWS Global WorkPlace Innovation, Dr Marie Puybaraud said, “In 2040 we will consume space, not own it, so the report envisions how this will affect the everyday life of an employee and businesses. The findings have implications for leaders and real estate managers around the world as they anticipate the way our society and technology is changing and transforming the way we work.”

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