2020 is just around the corner and the workspace changes have already begun around the globe. While technology is the key force that is going to drive this forthcoming workspace revolution in 2020, we also cannot overlook the cultural shifts and the millennial attitude which are at play.
The changing expectations from technological innovations and advancements combined with the executives’ workstyles and smarter work environments are going to transform the face of workspace in 2020 and beyond.
Several reports have claimed that the future workplace is going to be dominated by the generation Z and their overall approach of work, attitude towards people and expectations from management are going to be the foundation of changes that the future offices will experience.
On top of that, the influx of technologies around artificial intelligence, automation, digital and mobile maturity, robotics, augmented and virtual reality, connected devices and so on will radically influence the future work environment and upcoming trends.
Let’s look at these top 5 insights that the organizations can delve into – to understand what the future workspace will look like in the next 5 years.
1. Entrance of Generation Z in the corporate world: The youngsters born after 1996 are popularly known as generation Z. According to BridgeWorks reports, around 61 million people from this generation will enter the U.S. workplace in 2020. Keeping this figure in mind, it is unavoidable for companies to understand their way of thinking, not just to attract and retain the right talent within the organization, but also to harness their productivity and energy at work for best business outcomes.
Moreover, the coming years will also experience a multi-generational workplace wherein employees from varied generations will work together. To future-proof their work environment, organizations are expected to encourage and nurture this blended cultural diversity by creating compelling employee experience with the help of shared purpose and business goals.
Companies in 2020 need to be aware and observant about the generation Z and their motivational factors, their challenges, aspirations and thought processes. Companies need to embrace the skills and talents they bring to the table and then make arrangements according to their expectations, experiences and expertise.
2. Rising digital and mobile maturity: As the youngest generation will enjoy prominence at workplaces in 2020, organizations will need to realize their level of digital and mobile maturity. It is important to know that generation Z are the digital natives who don’t live a single day without the internet and hence expect their workplace to give them more options to explore digitization of almost everything.
The future will witness perimeter-less workplaces with employees working from remote locations, who are open to experiment and engage with new and upcoming connected devices. With their heightened sense of mobile and digital maturity, they will stop at nothing to embrace and harness the latest technologies comprising artificial intelligence, data science, wearables, augmented and virtual reality, automation, robotics, Internet of Things, cloud computing, chatbots and so on.
In fact, digital and mobile technologies are the natural ‘go-to’ solutions for the new generation of employees who will take their affinity for innovation to a new level altogether. And companies are expected to keep up with this fast-paced technology adoption at all levels.
3. Significance of flexibility, comfort and convenience: In 2020, companies will realize that employee experience can be a strong defining element for company success and hence they are estimated to consider varied employee-facility factors to drive multiple benefits like productivity, employee retention, performance, operational efficiency and timeliness. Some of the global tech giants that have adopted enhanced employee experience as a corporate aspect are Google, Facebook, Deloitte, SAP, Tumblr and Intuit.
The modern employee-oriented companies of 2020 will give importance to state-of-the-art office complexes, flexible working hours, remote working facilities, resting rooms, entertainment and knowledge hubs, sports and fitness areas, leisure rooms and so on. The new generation employees are naturally drawn to workplaces that promote connectivity, work-life balance, convenience, flexibility and functionality and hence they befriend technologies that help them to stay informed and productive around the clock, anywhere on earth.
The new-age workplace will have to engage with millennials who like to stay mobile, reachable and agile all the time, irrespective of location, time or the device they use. Most importantly, this allows them to have the quality of life that they want while staying responsible for their work.
4. Need for social connection and community: The forward-thinking companies will be more people-centric as they will realize that happy employees are more creative, empathetic and productive. At the same time, the new millennials and Gen Z folks are more into social connectivity and community-building activities than their counterparts. Which means, they will have a natural intent to bond with their colleagues, will have greater social life and least affinity towards office politics and ego hassles.
The new generation employees will stick around the companies that will have a broader outlook, both in terms of technology advancements and humanistic approaches. As discussed in the previous point, workplaces in 2020 and beyond will see multiple generations working together and hence organizations will need to be more agile, accepting, employee-centric and versatile.
So, to put it together, the future workspace should understand that the new-age employees would own a unique mindset, which will try to balance individuality, answerability, social connectivity, sense of community, creativity, and team-work. Hence, it will be important to foster a work environment that will suit their ideologies and practicalities.
5. Increasing importance of team collaboration: 2020 will witness a greater level of connected workplaces driven by digital tools and smart mobile devices used by employees working from remote locations and different time zones. The youngest generation of employees will try to stay connected with their teammates, managers, IT admins and seniors to make sure they are always informed and updated about everything associated with their work.
In the coming years, organizations need to get better at providing improved options of real-time team collaboration, and instant and secure enterprise communication to promote easy, impactful and efficient employee engagement and decision-making. The coming years will see remote employees working in perfect harmony driven by shared business goals as companies will cater to their communication and collaboration needs.
To foster improved team collaboration, organizations will leverage solutions such as enterprise software integration, deployment of private apps, cloud computing, IoT, unified communication platforms, corporate employee networks, and varied web-based collaboration tools. Also, it is important to implement a centralized communication and collaboration tool controlled by the company IT team, which will further drive a secure team communication platform.
Apart from these core elements, the workspace in the future will also experience the following trends:
- Coworking is placing the traditional workspaces
- Companies are more concerned about employee wellbeing
- Corporate sustainability is gaining momentum
- Organizations to introduce smart buildings
- Smarter and more agile ways of social recruiting
- Adoption of design thinking to create people-centric workplaces
- Virtual workplaces will be the new normal
- Workplace designs will come to the forefront
- Companies will pay more attention to training and upskilling
- Importance of personal development and value-driven leadership
- Enhanced concepts of employee freedom, individuality, and flexibility
Organizations can expect to witness noticeable transformation in the next 5 years in terms of employee behavioral shift, their expectations from a modern workplace, influx of latest technologies, devices, and tools, and global business processes. Most importantly, companies should be able to realize that traditional ways of conducting businesses and managing relationships are drastically going to change where the new generation of employees will strive to strike a healthy balance between personal happiness and professional satisfaction, flexibility and answerability, technology and social intelligence. Is your organization ready to embrace the revolution?