What Your Workplace Will Look Like in 2040

by Marcianne Kuethen
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When I was in third grade, my teacher showed us a movie predicting that someday, a housewife may use a computer at the kitchen counter to help organize her daily activities. “Yeah, right,” I remember thinking. “This futuristic stuff is ridiculous.” Yet, here I sit at my kitchen table,  tapping away on my laptop, with my iPad and smart phone nearby, while the sprinkler repair guy fixes a gusher in our back yard. I think I’m liking the future!

Equally ridiculous (only maybe not?!) is a new report just published by Johnson Controls Inc., describing what your workplace will look like in 2040. Knowledge workers will use not one but several different types of spaces throughout the day, depending on what’s needed–quiet space to think, work space while traveling, community space to collaborate, and more. In the next generation, knowledge workers are seen as entrepreneurial workspace consumers who work in fluid “digirati” groups to maintain both a highly productive and balanced life.

The report predicts changes to our working environment that have far-reaching consequences for all types of organizations. In Johnson Control’s quick summary, the Smart Workplace looks like this:

• Adaptable, radical working patterns
• Choice: Workers will decide where and how they want to work.
• Location: ‘Trophy workplaces’ [highly networked, campus-based HQ] will provide a highly experiential environment.
• Entrepreneurship will be the norm thanks to technological advances.
• Collaboration will be a major driver of enterprise performance.
• Human services will be seen as a premium offering; support services will enhance the experience as users interact with their surroundings.
• Health and wellness will be prioritized over work.
• A heavy reliance on networks and “crowdsourcing” to co-create product ideas.

For a quick overview of the Smart Workplace of 2040, check out their infographic.

Who really knows what your workplace will look like in 2040–but if this report is even partially accurate, employers and employees alike are in for a big change!

What do managers look for in entry-level employees? Click here to find out.

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