The Future Commute

Recent shifts in technology, policy and demographics give workers and organizations more flexibility than ever before. And how we get to work, how long it takes and how convenient it is becoming almost as important as what we do when we get there.

On the low-tech side, walkability and proximity to residential and other amenities will be a requirement for top recruits, and bicycle infrastructure and amenities will incentivize widespread cycle commutes.

Getting a little more futuristic, parking garages will accommodate self-driving and self-parking cars, which will mean smaller and fewer parking spots and valet services for dropping off and picking up vehicles. Driverless cars will land on the market earlier than flying cars, but local air travel may not be far behind. Dubai is launching flying cars this year and it isn’t hard to envision this technology being widely adopted in the next decade or so.

Simplified commutes will lead to
more flexible workhours and even a
shift toward 24-hour work.

Ultra-high-speed travel
paired with technology that
enables seamless remote
connections will expand the
options for where an
employee might live or work—all while freeing up
more time each day for work or personal pursuits.

A new commute will also mean new considerations for workplace developers and designers. Simplified commutes will lead to more flexible workhours and even a shift toward 24-hour work. The workplace will require around-the-clock support and connectivity services, videoconferencing and virtual meeting capabilities and safe, secure accommodations.

As flying cars become a viable commuting option, parking will move above ground. Below-grade garages and extensive ramping systems will become a thing of the past, and architects will look to create new types of rooftop parking options.

In the decades to come, workers and companies will become even hungrier for new ways of doing things. Virtual Reality, bots and the Internet of Things are just the start as tech and human workers become indispensable but equal parts of the workforce.

Within our lifetimes, every new building will clean the air and produce more energy than it uses, and floorplates will be designed around a highly connected workforce with as many robots as people. Are you ready?

The workplaces of the future will have even tougher competition from the work-at-home office as consumer tech gets better and better. The workplaces that can attract the best talent will be designed for robot/human collaboration, focus on wellness and offer a seamless, perk-filled experience.

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