Four Transformations of the Work Place by 2025

Presented by: Orange County Business Journal, September 24, 2018 

Are you contemplating signing a lease term that will extend the next 7 or 10 years, or more? Do you think that developing a new, open space, with vibrant colors, open ceilings and concrete floors will sustain your organizational success? Work environments of the future will require more than just a hip, cool vibe or look. Hendy believes that tomorrow’s workplace will be ruled by technology, mobility, and driven by an organization’s purpose. There will be no need for stringent corporate standards that support yesterday’s linear work process. The “creative office” trend is at the edge of obsolescence. The sustainable, new office must be built to bring people and ideas together and become the catalyst of our client’s organizational trust to hold on to their biggest asset: their people. The following are four transformations that will impact our client’s work environment by 2025.

  1. New Demographics. Millennials Lead the Organization.

By 2025, two-thirds of the workforce will consist of millennials. The promotion of this generation to leadership positions will cement their values and footprint in the corporate world. They are agile, digital natives, who value engagement and creativity. Millennials are drawn to an activity-based work environment and require a sense of purpose in their individual work and the organizations for which they work. While this generation is commonly classified by age, the millennial influence and mindset have been adopted by people of all ages who have shifted their approach toward communication and collaboration with the rise of technology. The office space of tomorrow will need to optimize spaces for this mindset by leveraging intuitive technology, social connections and activity areas that are tailored to support an organization’s new technology-driven processes.

  1. Technology Reshapes the Work Place.

Mobility is no longer just for remote workers. Organizations will move even further into mobile work styles that increase the effectiveness of individuals and teams, and that can allocate space in smarter, more efficient ways. Mobility is how dynamic organizations and their people leverage technology to expand their capabilities and become more impactful.  This appeals to the growing number of professionals who practice work-life integration by making choices on how and when they get their work done.

While these technologies are improving how people can work and produce, navigating the choices and implementing the latest innovations are a challenge to many companies. H. Hendy Associates developed the Currents Studio Team to provide guidance and ensure technology, design, and workflow are integrated within the built-environment. Our integrated design approach allows a person to flow through spaces, access the information, systems and people they need to be effective everywhere, not just at their desk.

Personal devices and digital identity will become integral to using the physical environment as a tool to perform, instead of just a backdrop. Examples of this would be systems that allow the individual to easily assume control over a display to share information with a colleague, or take over a meeting space and automatically cue up a scheduled web conference, then reset automatically for the next user. Workspaces will be able to “recognize” a user and be able to apply personal preferences for adjustable desks, lighting, cooling and music.

In these connected environments the utilization of space, backed by data, enables our client’s to right-size their workplace footprint. With technology at the forefront of architectural design, we can build the physical space based on evidence that will optimize an organization’s performance.

  1. The Removal of Boundaries.

With the increased adoption of technologies that enable mobility, office space has transformed from a place to process work to a place to meet and expand ideas. Organizations will need to remain agile to support mobile workers that may no longer need an assigned workspace within the office. With a shift in focus to project-based work, our clients will need to create spaces for reconfigurable teams. Through use of moveable work pods, designers will create environments that can be easily converted into zones of collaboration, confidentiality, solitude, or demonstration. Instead of mapping the office by department, many organizations will develop activity areas based on project teams. An account manager, graphic designer, and a coder may find it more beneficial, in the technology-driven work process, to move out of a static departmental residence and create neighborhoods for ad-hoc project teams. The office of the future will need to allow for both self-organization and a master plan in order to create a true internal marketplace of resources that optimizes organizational performance.

This transition of a work place to a fluid environment reliant on technology disrupts the existing, learned, linear work processes of today. To ensure a successful transformation, H. Hendy Associates works with clients to engage their employees in becoming a part of the change by establishing new workplace protocols. Hendy’s strategy of change management focuses on how the change will enhance workplace performance and mitigate resistance to the change.

  1. Reassigning Purpose to the Work Place.

Millennial leadership and full technology integration will have a radical effect on the composition of the workforce and its operations. Although we can’t fully anticipate what the future will bring, having foresight will be fundamental to avoid the obsolescence of the office and retain talent. At H. Hendy Associates we understand the immense value in providing a physical workplace for employees and recognize that the rising trend of the mobile workforce does not equate to the extinction of the office space. The real challenge our clients are faced with is repurposing this office space to better align with the more dynamic technical processes of the future. With the implementation of creative work areas and spaces that facilitate spontaneous interaction, we are able to unlock employee potential through effective use of space. The one-size-fits-all open office is failing. In response, we are catering to a growing demand for tailored open areas, and closed focus spaces, that balance form and function. Hendy’s evidence-based pre-project programming ensures our client’s work environments are not just a place to work, but a place that makes it easy to get things done. A place where people want to be.