The Future Worker

Workplaces respond to trends and the latest technological wizardry, but demographic shifts hit the accelerator on workplace evolution. By 2040, the world’s population will be more than nine billion strong, all with more diverse needs and desires than ever before. Leading up to that, the workforce will become even hungrier for new ways of doing things. Virtual Reality, bots and the Internet of Things are already starting to change the way we communicate, interact and live our lives. By the time 2030 rolls around, tech and human will be inseparable, indivisible, one.

Future Worker

Teams of professionals—many of whom will be freelancers or contractors—will work seamlessly in multiple geographies on a common project. The corporate monolith may no longer exist. Or maybe there are just six of them. And the workplace may be a quaint misnomer that went the way of the water cooler. Indeed, tomorrow’s workplace will focus on those things that cannot easily happen in the digital realm—culture, wellness and an enriched social experience that may (or may not) have anything to do with the task at hand. And that may be all we need.

But, in the meantime, what does that mean for today’s work environment? Let’s take a look at how each generation is shaping and re-shaping the workplace.


Many boomers reached retirement age back in 2013 but a good portion of them never retired or are actually returning to work. To accommodate this shift, workplaces will incorporate more comfortable space for older people—fewer stairs, easy-to-read signage, accessible and ergonomic.

Gen X

These hard-working, self-reliant workers are getting closer to retirement age, but they still make up a large portion of the workforce. Their entrepreneurial spirit means they are more likely to change jobs than remain loyal to a corporate organization. And while they’re fluent in technology, they look for direct, face-to-face communication to get the job done.

By the time 2030 rolls around,
tech and human will be inseparable,
invisible, one.


Millennials have been entering the workforce in droves for a while now. They are goal-oriented but are also passionate about doing things they love. They’re dependent on tech and will likely hold more than one job or career at once; they’re driving the gig economy and demanding digital integration in all facets of life.

Gen Z

By 2019, Gen Z will make up more than 20% of the workforce—and they’ll be doing things we can only predict. In fact, 65% of today’s grade school kids will end up at jobs that haven’t been invented yet. How do we create a workplace that can handle these uncertainties? Focusing on flexibility, integrated work and life spaces and highly tech networks can bring the workplace into the future, despite many unknowns.

Workers and organizations have more flexibility than ever before, and that trend will continue. Walkable and bike-able commutes will continue to be in-demand, but hyper-speed trains, flying cars and driverless vehicles will make their debut sooner than you think.

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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