Many are predicting that the most important aspect of the office of the future will be connectivity capabilities. In New York City, these factors may eventually eclipse the importance of location and price when leasing office space or purchasing office properties. Just as offices first had to be wired for telephone systems, then coaxial cable for the internet, and now wireless, the future Smart technology will be the new standard for all office buildings.
Office space itself is already changing dramatically. More often than not, companies are reducing their footprints, resulting in multiple companies in one building instead of one name tenant per building. So what will the office of the future look like? Here’s a glimpse:
Walls that Can Talk
By 2050, it is predicted that 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 setup through the wall behind giant HD screens – maybe even holograms.
Augmented reality and virtual reality technology is 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 become more evident in the future. Not only will the lines be blurred between work and life, or better stated, the office will be a place of social gathering in which many employees, who will be working remotely, will visit from time to time.
And the future is already here: more than 40% of the workforce currently works remotely at least part of the time. As those number increase, so will 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 Millennial’s, Gen Z’s and the next generation, all of whom are already green oriented, every office building will be a green building. That includes older properties, which will be required to meet specific environmental criteria. Builders of new developments will automatically use sustainable materials to meet much more specific green standards.
We can only image what the office barista bars of the future will look like, too.