The Office Of The Future: Five Predictions For What Workplaces Will Look Like
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As we hurtle toward the future at lightning speed, the workplace is seeing a tremendous change. While it can be hard to keep up, don’t panic- the future office is smart, bold, and fun. Traditional offices are making way for unusual spaces shaped by new ideas, innovative solutions, and technology. As the Creative Director and Founder of Dubai-based architecture and interior design firm Design Haus Medy, I am constantly looking forward to the future- here are my predictions on how our office spaces will be like in the years to come:
1. Digital natives
Along with the exponentially increasing power and capability of technology, several other trends will have a dramatic impact on the workplace over the coming years, affecting organizations of all sizes. One is the entry of “digital natives” into the workforce and the consumer marketplace. Technology is dynamic, it evolves constantly.
It's also having a huge impact on how the next generation of digital natives interact and build relationships. Whether it is demanding meaningful work and flexible career options as employees, self-employment as highly specialized contractors, or products and services from all providers that are equal to the best of the best, this is going to change both supply and demand for all businesses- and it’s happening now.
2. Open doors
The "open plan" concept popular more than a decade ago has since been enhanced with smarter, more advanced planning models. Gone are the days when the workplace was a static environment, where employees arrived at the same spot each day to perform the same routine tasks.
Today and tomorrow’s space solutions need to be varied enough to accommodate a vast set of needs, while also being able to change rapidly. Moreover, the workplace must reflect the needs of the company and its team. Think open spaces, and room to breathe! Offices will be designed to serve as open communication landscapes. Central aisles and cubicles will be a thing of the past.
3. Play at work
The office needs to be engaging! If you want to boost moods and motivation, offer small incentives, praise, and playful challenges. For example, gamers will know the immense satisfaction that one gets from levelling up, defeating a boss, or unlocking a new weapon or skill. It’s addictive and tempting. Correspondingly, it requires an individual to invest as much time as possible into the game.
As such, it’s not surprising that human resource professionals have caught wind of the positive impact gamification can have on employees and businesses. Despite what one might think, gamification does not mean filling the entire office with video game consoles. Instead, it refers to the process of incorporating game mechanics and game design principles into mundane tasks.
4. The co-working studio
The co-working environment will continue to thrive. Today, this office style is made use of not just by small startups, but also established businesses who enjoy and promote the flexibility and convenience that shared office spaces allow. Co-working spaces have come a long way, no longer simply desk-sharing these offices are very varied.
Some of the latest, most notable examples of "next-gen" workspaces include Amazon Spheres and Apple Park. I like to call them “next-gen” workspaces. Whether a bare-bones DIY workspace with a power outlet, or a pro provider who offers free coffee plus an on-site gym and yoga studio, many of today’s co-working hosts champion communal desks and benches shared equally between friends and colleagues.