BY Farah Khalfe 3 MINUTE READ

The workplace as we know it — rigid, divided and formal — is in the midst of a major overhaul. The concept of co-working spaces has taken a stronghold with Millennials and Generation Z in particular, emphasising the importance of collaboration, comfort and a supportive professional community spirit.

While employees were once forced to fit into uniform corporate environments, shared working spaces are an early showcase of a newfound working culture which marries corporate life with the creature comforts of home and leisure.

A report commissioned by leading workplace designers MoreySmith has predicted what the workplace of the future is set to look like — and lively, adaptable and AI-ridden sums up the forecast.

According to the report, there are three main trends that will merge to characterise the standard place of employment in the not-too-distant future. From a vast range of older and younger generations clustered together (more than ever before), to a sensory workplace that adapts itself to the needs of employees and hospitable amenities such as restaurants and art galleries within the workplace community, here’s how the modern workplace will evolve to transform the way we live and work.

The Sentient Workplace

Imagine a workplace that monitors the daily routine of its employees, using that information to make office hours more convenient and comfortable for each individual. Would you believe that this concept isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds? The sentient workplace is one which incorporates thousands of sensors and apps that interact with the smartphones and wearable devices of employees, replacing entrance cards and controlling potentially stress-inducing factors such as parking, desk allocation, food ordering and locker access. This is already occurring at Delloite’s Edge building in Amsterdam and has resulted in a 60% decrease in absentees, along with a fourfold increase in job applications. As a playground for personalisation and strategy for greater talent retention, the sentient workplace is set to revolutionise corporate norms – making the workplace work for you in order to better your performance at the company.

The Hospitality Workplace

The hospitality workplace is one in which a shared economy will exist, with public and private spaces combined in a happy, relaxed blend. Workplaces will boast public cafes, restaurants, shopping complexes, art galleries, barbers and even hotels. This new workspace reflects the changing nature of the work-life balance, where the lines between personal leisure time and business hours are blurred. As our lives become ever more fast-paced and business is increasingly conducted online, from any location, the hospitality workplace will allow us to fulfil both professional and personal obligations, as well as maintain much-needed down time is one diverse realm.

The Flat-Age workplace

As the average life expectancy increases, the working environment of the future will be populated with several generations. The last of the Baby Boomers will be dominated by a Millennials and an influx of the digitally-savvy, youthful Generation Z in the workplace. This will give rise to the concept of ‘diversity incubators’ – spaces in which people can receive help with unfamiliar or challenging work, and ‘mentor pods’ – enclosed areas where information can be passed from one generation to another. In addition, the needs of women and their roles of primary caregivers will be particularly prevalent and catered for in the workplace. Amenities such as baby-feeding schemes, scooter and buggy parking as well as sound-proofed crèches will become a norm.

According to MoreySmith, these workplace trends are reflective of the tribal and community centric nature of humans. “Community is key in the office,” says Joanne Bushell, Managing Director of workspace environment Spaces. Spaces is a creative work environment with a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit. With a focus on innovative design, Spaces aims to cultivate a culture of growth, idea-generation and a sharing economy, full of forward-thinkers and game changers.

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