In the future, connectivity may be an even more important factor when purchasing office space than location or price, some are predicting. Just like every office first had to be wired for telephone systems, then coaxial cable for the internet, and now wireless, in the future Smart technology will be standard for all office buildings.
Office space itself is already changing dramatically. More often than not, there are multiple companies in one building instead of one company per building. Outside of the building, office space is becoming more like a university campus designed just for office tenants. What will the office of the future look like? Here’s a glimpse:
Walls that Can Talk
By 2050, the office environment will be completely immersed in technology. We expect to be able to talk to walls without the need for a mobile device or app to tap. Projector screens will be unnecessary and video conferencing will be set up through the wall behind giant HD screens – maybe even holograms.
Augmented reality and virtual reality technology are only going to enhance those immersive technologies. Expect the office of 2050 to look more Star Trek-like than ever before. Humans will still be necessary but technology will enhance our abilities combining our horizontal intelligence, with the vertical execution capabilities of artificial intelligence.
Couches Instead of Desks
Already traditional desks and offices are changing. Expect that to only get more fantastical by 2050. Not only will the lines be completely blurred between work and life, or better stated, the office will be a place of social gathering primarily, most employees will only dip into the office from time to time.
Currently, more than 40% of the workforce works remotely at least part of the time. That will increase the need for businesses to provide office environments that are more comfortable and inviting in order to encourage workers to come to the office.
Smaller Spaces, Fewer People
Since there will be fewer employees working Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 in the office, the office space itself will continue to shrink drastically. Of course, there will still be a need for regular employees who reside in the office on the traditional office schedule but even their work will be less restricted and more flexible.
Offices Will be Customizable
No more “cookie-cutter” offices in 2050. All office buildings – walls, floors, cabinets, equipment – will be customizable. Rooms will be convertible to serve multiple purposes at different times. Imagine tapping a switch and a partition divides the room, turning it into a brainstorming session that won’t disrupt the rest of the office.
Everything Will be So Very Green
Thirty years from now, we expect that climate change and energy conservation will no longer be debatable. Businesses will recognize the financial savings and work efficiencies embodied in green technology (as many are now) and employees will demand it.
Considering that the workforce in 2050 will largely be made up of Gen Y and Gen Z who are already green oriented, every office building will be a green building. That includes mandates requiring builders to use all sustainable materials perhaps and regulations requiring buildings to meet much more specific green standards.