When we think of the future, we probably think of flying cars, self-cleaning houses and the world as a tech-focused utopia. But, with the average person in the UK spending 8 hours a day at work, what do we think will happen to the workplaces of the future?
Everybody has their own vision of what the future will hold. For some, it’s sustainable ecologically conscious buildings, covered in greenery and solar panels. For others, they hope the future will give them access to huge technological advances.
When it comes to workplaces, if current trends are anything to go by, sustainability and tech will go hand in hand. An environmental consciousness, coupled with a desire to increase and improve productivity will influence the design and layout of workspaces. Comfort, biophilia, ease and speed will likely play a huge role too. With staff spending so long in the places of work, it’s essential they are designed to suit the employee’s needs.
We’ve all worked somewhere that deemed space more important than comfort. Cramming as many employees as possible in a small space, sacrificing comfortable chairs and breakout spaces.
We’ve seen it happening already, but comfort is becoming increasingly important in the workplace. Ergonomic chairs are being selected in place of tired, old office chairs. Special keyboards that promote hand movement and reduce the risk of repetitive strain. But, what’s next?
The future could move towards making workplaces even more home-like. Encouraging sofa-filled breakout spaces for downtime, and even pods with beds in. Imagine that! Needing a short nap on your lunch break to power you up for the afternoon, and having a comfortable pod to do it in.
Time is money as they say, and making things easier to access makes everything quicker. Billi systems that already exist could help you cut time waiting for the kettle to boil, so who knows what the future will hold.
We’d love to see vending machines that provide hot meals at the touch of a button. A nice warm bowl of soup and a roll, and a steaming hot coffee all at the touch of a button would certainly help us work harder if we knew we had that to look forward to at lunch.
Other productivity increasing inventions such as robots have already started to be introduced in the workplace. They help reduce the need for human labour, particularly with repetitive jobs, and mean humans and their intuition can be put to work elsewhere.
With a huge portion of an individuals life being spent at work, a focus on wellbeing is essential. Providing access to clean drinking water, support through mental health issues, and encouraging fitness can all help maintain wellbeing at work.
If you manage a team, think about how you can support them in the future. Perhaps start a weekly yoga or mindfulness class? What about providing a healthy lunch one day a week to encourage healthy eating? There’s plenty of ways to show your employees you care, all of which can positively impact wellbeing.
The future could even take it one step further… Gyms in the workplace could provide a great space for employees to keep fit and work off frustration. You could even introduce herb gardens in the office kitchen space, or cookery classes at lunch to encourage people to cook, rather than purchase unhealthy meals.
We’d love to know how you imagine the workplaces of the future. Let us know in the comments.