Workspace 2030 – what will the work of tomorrow look like?
The world of work has changed dramatically, even in the last few years alone – computers are used in place of pens and paper, many companies are using intelligent tools like customer relationship management systems or simple time recording at a click instead of file folders and index cards. There are hardly any service providers or products that could do without the appropriate technology if they want to establish themselves on the market. Yet even though working life seems so modern, a look to the near future shows that the possibilities created by digitisation and technological and economic development are far from exhausted.
What will the office of the future look like?
Ergonomic furniture, sensible interior design. A lot is being done already to create the best possible working environment and for healthy and efficient working. Nevertheless, workflows are constantly changing towards more flexible and free working. We can already see this in modern working models, such as home offices or trust-based flexi-time. A few companies are even trialling six-hour work days in order to be able to give their staff more leisure time and also to benefit from their productivity. Even the division into classic departments seems old hat, standing in the way of creative work and preventing joint projects from being collaborated on across departments. Here, business premises are no longer assigned by rank or use of space, but much more by the actual tasks and best approach. This makes employees mobile and able to organise themselves depending on the nature of their tasks, for example in spaces for frequent callers or in larger project rooms for brainstorming and discussions with the entire team.
Smarter technology will also come to offices. Rooms that create the ideal temperatures themselves. Blinds that automatically draw or roll themselves up depending on lighting conditions. Intelligent sensors that track movements and indicate free work spaces. The networking of these and many other technical aids play a key role here, in order to promote both efficiency and productivity.
Flat hierarchies and individual working
The importance of hierarchies is steadily declining, with their place being taken by team work. Individual performance is much more important to many young people today and should therefore be much more promoted and appreciated. Instead of traditional seminars, the trend is now for organising yourself and exchanging ideas, brainstorming in large groups without pressure. Well-being is also a key aspect that many employers have now taken on board. Ideally, offices will therefore become healthier places, starting with lighting through work equipment to recreation or even sleeping rooms. Art and music will contribute a lot to the atmosphere of the 2030 workplace, and ever more employers will allow staff to bring their pets in with them. What this also means for the offices of the future is that companies will move away from large offices and towards office environments offering freedom. The office doesn’t always have to be the actual place of work, often serving rather as simply somewhere to meet, while the actual work can be done at many different locations.
The employee is free and flexible
In general, attitudes to the current working relationship are changing. Where a job a few generations ago was still something you had for many years, if not an entire lifetime, today many employees change industries many times in their working lives. What this would need, however, is for training to be ever more incorporated into daily working life, through e-learning for example. The permanent internet connection provides instant access to information; knowledge is at your fingertips whenever you need it.
Companies will also have to respond to this process. This might include by only retaining a core permanent staff who can take care of cross-sector tasks, even now. They also have to respond to the growing expectations of workers, as high salaries are no longer enough and company culture and working environments often play a more important role instead. An attractive location, the office decor and furnishings, good infrastructure and ideal communication channels are key factors here.