What does the workplace of the future look like?

workplace of the future

Workplaces of the future will be designed around individuals instead of institutions, and will operate like interconnected hubs, allowing people to select work spaces that suit their changing needs and wants.

“We think that ideas will move between people, not institutions,” said Juliet Bourke, human capital partner at Deloitte.

“In a borderless knowledge economy, powered by big data and global networks, insight will be the new currency and the concept that ‘time is money’ will be left behind. This means that organisations and workplaces will need and want to be different.”

A recent report, commissioned by AMP Capital and authored by Deloitte, found that in the future, workers will be more diverse and individually empowered, and highly valued for their connections across businesses, industries and the globe.

Work will be less about time and more about insight through data and collaboration as well as more virtual and global, while workplaces will enable people to work in the cloud and have their feet on the ground, adapt to multiple needs and purposes and be in multiple places, including vibrant precincts.

“It’s not just about the skills they have to perform a job, but the value they bring in terms of their global connectivity and relationships spanning employment boundaries”

The report, It’s (almost) all about me. Workplace 2030: Built for us, talks about the changing nature of work, workers and workplaces themselves.

Each of these issues is core business for HR directors in the here and now, according to Bourke, who said advising business colleagues on how to plan for the future is also important for HR leaders.

“A key implication for HR is helping leaders see a different value to their employee; ie, it’s not just about the skills they have to perform a job, but the value they bring in terms of their global connectivity and relationships spanning employment boundaries,” she said.

“And this ties into a key finding about work itself – powered by big data, the new currency of work is not hours but insight and globally and virtually connected employees who can deliver insight will be in hot demand.

“So anticipating and treating employees differently, and creating leaders who can manage diverse employees and create value through collaboration will be new a critical area of development.”

Bourke said the fundamental challenge, for all leaders, including HR directors, is to lift their gaze long enough from the day to day to anticipate changes one year down the track – let alone 15 years.

“And yet that change is coming upon us with speed. How can we build talent management systems in 2013 to anticipate that our next talent is more likely to cycle through our workplaces than stay for a long time until they reach the executive carrot?

“How do we create physical workspaces that entice people to come and work for us and facilitate collaboration?” asked Bourke, who said the challenge is to shift “creaky HR systems” to become more agile and move from a “one size fits all workspace” to one which is technologically savvy and located in multiple hubs.