Blog
Hybrid Work
Facility management

Office of the future: what can you expect?

Published:

November 27, 2023

Updated:

December 1, 2023

The concept of working remotely has risen over the last couple of years. Whether it is staying at home, booking a coworking space, sitting in a coffee shop, or videoconferencing from the nice terrasse of an Airbnb...One thing is for sure: the office building is far from being the only place where people can work and thrive. Employees are no longer location-limited. So, what is the office of the future?

This shift implies many changes for companies, both positive and negative. Versatility is key to adapting to the trends of the future of work and succeeding in this new era based on flexibility. While the purpose of the office evolves, its design also adjusts to our new ways of working. It is not only about furniture and layout arrangements but also about the psychological and emotional impact of our surroundings.

As you’re about to read, the future of the workspace possesses two major components: human-centricity and digital transformation. Are you ready to dive into the workplace of tomorrow and discover what you should expect to see in the office?

The office of the future is not only physical

Embracing digital transformation beyond brick walls

When picturing the office of the future, expanding your perspective beyond bricks and mortar to embrace digital transformation and more flexible work arrangements is key. Advanced technology, such as virtual reality (VR) solutions, 3D tools, and the concept of the metaverse, reinvent the concept of the traditional office. These innovations allow for the creation of interactive environments that can simulate physical presence and enable real-time collaboration across multiple locations, as if all participants were in the same room. Imagine putting a VR headset on and finding yourself in a boardroom with your global team. You discuss projects with your colleagues’ avatars, manipulate 3D models of products with precision, and make decisions as if you were face-to-face. This is the profound potential of the virtual office.

Adjusting to flexible work 

The importance of considering the virtual elements of the workplace cannot be stressed enough. These digital aspects help propel the trends of the future of work, including flexibility, global integration, and innovation. With the rise of remote work and the increasing demand for work-life balance, employees seek roles that do not tie them to a single location. Companies that incorporate virtual workspaces into their organizational structure remain competitive while attracting top talent who value these progressive work models.

Reducing carbon impact and monetary costs

Moreover, the development of a thriving virtual workspace is a strategic move toward sustainability and cost reduction. It minimizes the necessity for physical resources and decreases the need for commuting as well as office energy consumption and, thus, the organization’s carbon footprint. Additionally, it offers scalable solutions as companies grow or change. Building a modern workplace means harnessing the capabilities of virtual technologies to create a versatile, sustainable, and cost-efficient environment. Not only does the workplace adapt to your employees’ expectations, but it also matches your needs and aims to better the planet.

🌎 Discover the undeniable link between digital transformation and sustainability!

Woman working on laptop
Woman working flexibly from a coffee shop

The future of workspace is based on flexibility and hot desking

Using hot desking as a catalyst for flexibility

The office of the future is undoubtedly being shaped by a powerful trend: the demand for flexibility at work. At the core of this evolution is the concept of hot desking, where team members do not have assigned seats but rather choose where to sit each day. This concept maximizes space efficiency and supports an agile work environment. It helps businesses understand the realities of fluctuating in-office occupancy and the ever-changing needs of a diverse workforce. Hot desking offers a dynamic approach that aligns with the emerging employee demand for settings that adjust to different work modes, tasks, and collaboration requirements.

Adapting the workplace to one of the highest priorities for employees 

Hybrid work has transitioned from a temporary pandemic-induced necessity to the new norm for businesses worldwide. According to a 2021 survey by McKinsey & Company1, 52% of the workforce have a preference for a more flexible work model. It also highlights that employees value the ability to balance their professional and personal lives more effectively. A study by Microsoft found that over 70% of workers want flexible work options to continue. These, and many other hybrid workplace statistics, emphasize the long-term viability of hybrid and remote working as mainstream practices.

Creating work environments that match the trends of the future of work and make people thrive 

Embracing a hybrid model not only meets workers’ expectations but also opens up a wider talent pool for companies, unrestricted by geographical barriers. It provides a concrete solution to the evolving demands of the workforce, offering balance, autonomy, and empowerment. Adapting to these new models boosts organizational resilience, employee experience, and engagement. Businesses that develop infrastructure and policies to support flexible work thrive. Their efforts position them as attractive employers who recognize and respond proactively to the work trends of the future.

🎬 Do you want to learn more about our mission and how we can support your hybrid work environment? Discover the features of the deskbird app in our less than 2-minute video!

The office of tomorrow is more than an arrangement of desks and chairs

Designing an office space that goes beyond physical needs

The office of the future is not based on the traditional setup of desks and chairs. It considers employee well-being which, in turn, improves their productivity. This workplace is designed with a deep understanding of the intricate relationship between environment and performance. Acknowledging that the physical space in which people work profoundly influences their mood, creativity, and efficiency is the core pillar of the future office layout. For example, by integrating principles of biophilic design like plants, natural light, and organic textures, an office space becomes more than just a place to complete tasks. It turns into a source of inspiration, enhancing cognitive function and fostering a more vibrant and innovative atmosphere.

Developing a physical workspace that makes people want to come on-site

In modern workplace design, office amenities aim to enhance your employees’ quality of life. Many businesses have tried to force their teams back into the office like before COVID-19. But for plenty of good reasons, people want to keep the WFH (work-from-home) options. This is why the hybrid work model is the best to answer everyone’s preferences. Yet, some adjustments need to be made to convince workers to come on-site. For instance, the workplace of tomorrow includes childcare facilities that offer peace of mind to working parents. Similarly, pet-friendly policies and on-site pet care centers acknowledge the role of animals in reducing stress and boosting morale. These considerations reflect a broader shift towards holistic employee well-being.

Focusing on employee well-being and experience 

Wellness areas are another critical component, inviting staff to engage in activities that reduce stress, such as meditation, yoga, or exercise, thereby decreasing the risks of workplace burnout. Chilling zones equipped with comfortable seating and recreational activities encourage breaks and informal interactions that can lead to unexpected collaborations and fresh ideas. Such thoughtfully curated spaces not only enhance daily work life but also contribute to overall job satisfaction and loyalty. Ultimately, tomorrow’s office is a place that motivates employees and is a core pillar for innovation and productivity. Companies that invest in such enriched environments demonstrate a commitment to their teams, boosting positive culture and attracting the best talent who value these progressive approaches.

👉 Read more about the impact of office layout on productivity!

Employees working together at large table
Team collaborating on-site

The meeting rooms of the future create an immersive experience

Merging in-person and virtual interactions

Meeting rooms of the future are likely to become advanced hubs of collaboration, where the distinction between in-person and virtual presence blurs. The importance of creating an immersive meeting experience stems from the necessity to integrate remote staff with those who are physically present seamlessly. This fosters equal participation and ensures that no one is excluded. In the future, a wide range of workplace technologies will be employed to enhance interactivity and communication between on-site and remote team members.

Adopting virtual meeting technology to enhance experience and collaboration

Another key aspect of the meeting rooms of the future is their high-resolution displays wrapped around the physical space. This allows a 360-degree view of remote team members and content and simulates a unified team sitting at the same table. Meanwhile, advanced sound systems deliver directional audio, which makes it easier to discern who is speaking. In these rooms, augmented reality (AR) brings digital information into the physical environment, and employees can collaborate using virtual objects and data. Meanwhile, virtual reality (VR) technology can be used to enable participants to join from anywhere in the world in a fully realized digital conference room.

Integrating technologies to foster seamless and dynamic practices

Undoubtedly, Artificial intelligence (AI) has a big role to play in the office of the future. It facilitates meeting logistics, automatically handling scheduling, transcribing discussions in real-time, translating languages, and even suggesting action items to streamline follow-ups. Interactive whiteboards and touch screens ensure that annotation and brainstorms can happen dynamically, with changes visible to both remote and local participants. Therefore, these future meeting rooms are a powerful fusion of technology and human knowledge, enhancing collaboration and driving productivity regardless of geographical constraints.

Your future teammates are not only humans

Letting robots do “routine” work and take risks

The workplace of tomorrow welcomes an innovative team of new members: robot colleagues. In the (not so far) future, these embodied AI systems are designed to collaborate with human employees, performing a range of support functions to enhance the efficiency and quality of work. In many settings, robots will handle repetitive, precision-required tasks. Thanks to them, human team members have more time to focus on areas involving creativity and emotional intelligence, which are skills that remain distinctly human. Robots can also work in hazardous environments, reducing risk to human health.

Being aware of the essential needs for employees and robots to work together 

Integrating robots as team members rather than mere machines creates a shift in workplace culture. Robots in collaborative roles should be viewed as partners, equipped with unique capabilities that complement human skills. Thanks to this collaboration, teams are not only more productive but also more innovative. The main advantage is that the cognitive diversity fostered by this cooperation leads to creative solutions that might not be conceivable by humans or robots alone.

Understanding the benefits of teaming up with robots 

To embrace the future of work successfully, employees need to understand the benefits of teaming up with our robotic counterparts. Letting robots take care of monotonous tasks can elevate human roles, leading to more engaging and strategic positions and eventually to job satisfaction and professional growth. Furthermore, the partnership with robots can offer learning opportunities to upskill, preparing workers for the future job market that increasingly values technological literacy. Emphasizing collaboration over replacement fosters a future where technology serves people and human potential is fully realized in partnership with our robotic teammates.

🤳 Discover how to develop a human-centered digital transformation in your workplace! 

work meeting with laptops
Digitalization in meetings

The workplace of tomorrow is tech-savvy

Making the most of smart technology to boost well-being and productivity 

If you’ve read this far, you probably understand the immense influence technology has in the office of tomorrow. It is not merely a space equipped with digital tools, it is also fundamentally defined and enhanced by it. Advanced technology plays a crucial part in cultivating a healthy and efficient work environment. For instance, smart climate control systems ensure optimal temperature and air quality, adjusting in real time to occupancy levels and external weather conditions. Lighting systems that mimic natural light patterns can promote well-being and boost productivity, too. Ergonomic furniture with embedded sensors monitor and encourage good posture among employees.

Creating a safe and secure work environment with advanced technology

Tech-savvy offices offer higher levels of security. Biometric access control systems employing facial recognition or fingerprint scanning issue secure and personalized admission to the workplace. In the context of meeting rooms, as mentioned earlier, AI-assisted tools don’t just facilitate immersive telepresence for hybrid meetings but also provide security features like confidential mode, where sensitive information is displayed only to authorized staff.

Managing the office of the future relies on modern technology

Technology enables efficient workspace management in the office of tomorrow. Internet of Things (IoT) sensors can monitor space utilization, leading to an optimized office layout and the widespread adoption of systems like hot desking. Resource booking platforms like deskbird streamline the allocation of desks and meeting rooms in real-time, reducing wasted space and friction in scheduling. The blend of these technologies produces a workplace that is both functionally advanced and human-centric. It creates an environment where employees feel and are supported, secure, connected, and inspired to innovate. This tech-savvy physical space predicts a future where the office is a smart ecosystem tailored to the shifting dynamics of the world of work.

📆 Start a free trial of the deskbird app to give your employees more flexibility with workspace booking and week planning while saving costs!

The workplace of the future has a new purpose

Providing more than just a place to get the job done

The office of the future has been reimagined and repurposed as a cornerstone of company culture and social interaction rather than purely a production site. This reinvented space extends beyond the traditional role of being a place where people simply clock in and out; it becomes the epicenter of team bonding, community building, and cultural enrichment. As flexible work options rise, the physical workplace becomes a destination for collaboration, connection, and shared experiences that remote environments cannot fully replicate. 

Enhancing employee experience and connection

This is where employees engage in meaningful face-to-face interactions, strengthening professional relationships and fostering a sense of belonging that can sometimes be diluted in virtual settings. In these dynamic workplaces, informal lounges replace rigid cubicle layouts, encouraging spontaneous conversation and idea exchange. They become ideal environments for mentorship, celebration, and knowledge sharing, effectively boosting motivation and engagement. 

Promoting the company’s culture and values through office design

A thoughtfully designed office space now also acts as a tangible embodiment of the company’s values and aspirations. Every corner and shared area is an opportunity to communicate mission, vision, and identity. The deliberate focus on corporate culture within the physical work environment ensures that employees feel more attuned to the organization’s values, encouraging loyalty and a collective sense of purpose. By investing in spaces that prioritize these aspects, businesses affirm their commitment to the job at hand as well as to their teams’ well-being and development. In the office of the future, ‘going to work’ is about fostering a collaborative and energized community where company culture doesn’t just arise but thrives.

As we look into the horizon of the business landscape, it is clear that the office of the future is not a distant dream but an evolving reality taking shape before our eyes. Workers no longer expect an office space that provides them with desks and chairs to perform their jobs. The role of the physical workplace goes far beyond that. Dynamic workspaces, integrated technology, and an emphasis on versatility and wellness are the new pillars upon which the modern office stands. The impact of office layout on productivity and well-being also matters. Employee-centricity, advanced technology, and flexibility: these core aspects are all what deskbird is about! Request a free demo of the deskbird app to discover our innovative features and dive into the workplace of tomorrow!

1 What employees are saying about the future of remote work, McKinsey & Company.

2 The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work – Are We Ready?, Microsoft.

Paulyne

Paulyne is a hybrid work specialist, who writes about sustainability, flexible work models and employee experience.

Office of the future: what can you expect?