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Office Design of the 2030's: Top Five Features

 

The future will soon be upon us; filled with wacky designs and wonderful creations that will change our lives in all sorts of ways that we can only begin to imagine today.

 

The rise of smart devices, highly accessible Wi-Fi spots, wearable technology and a move towards remote working and virtual conferencing means the need for a fixed workspace may be greatly reduced overall. Perhaps there won't even be a physical office in 2030! 

 

On the other hand, we're betting that there will always be the need for a physical workspace and a bit of good old human interaction to partner it.

 

Holographic interfaces - future office tech

 

The addition of holographic interfaces in the office - Could it be this simple? 
Image source: Kusic CA, 2013

 

 

SEC Interiors latest blog showcases a variety of ideas and concept designs (both realistic and far-out) that we may well see in a future office space. Of course, these are all just estimates, but you never know what might develop between now and then. So let's take a look!

 


 

1. An Office That Can Commute To You!

The rise of autonomous vehicles in the next few decades could give way to an entirely new form of working. Reported initially by Bloomberg, Work on Wheels is a rather interesting design concept. Without the need to drive, future vehicles could allow you to work not only on your commute, but on the go all the time. Non-stop working! What a joyous prospect for us all...

 

IDEO - work on wheels - mobile office

 

The chance to work anywhere & everywhere - Your boss is gonna love this one 
Image source: IDEO Design, 2015

 

 

All jokes aside though, the ability to work on the go may well boost just about everything - the economy, worker productivity, employee happiness and much more...You can check the video out here. Although a rather unique concept, this might be a rather useful idea for those always on the move and needing to work whilst travelling. You never know.

 


 

2. Furniture Of The Future

A future office space isn't complete without the addition of some fancy furniture to compliment it now is it? Utilising the power of magnetic force and the illusion of levitation, users of these fantastically designed cloud pads (featured below) will be able to hover mid-air on a stylish and comfortable plexiglass mold. The furniture itself is elegant, innovative and really gives us a taste of what we may see in future furniture design. 

 

Of course, furniture design has to be practical as well as stylish, but we won't worry about that just yet. Now, if only you could float into your business meetings on one of these. That would be a most unique entrance...

 

Intelligent office furniture - cloud pads

 

"Come fly with me" - The illusion of levitation 
Image source: Design by D.K Wei via Web Designer Depot

 

 

In terms of future furniture trends, you can expect to see all sorts of wacky designs and minimalist workings at play in your future workplace. Designs will incorporate built-in technology, ergonomic features and compact systems that combine both storage and furniture for practical and efficent space saving purposes.

 

Additionally, if the latest furniture shows are anything to go by then the move towards a living office look (i.e. a home away from home) will be a most popular development in both present and future office design and space planning. Just think, you won't even be able to tell which one you're at! 

 


 

3. The Look & The Feel

It may well be that in the future, there is no set desk or space in which employees are specifically assigned too. Future workplaces will look to offer multi-faceted environments in order to cater and adapt to multiple employee needs. For example:

 

  • Green spaces will allow workers to take fitness breaks and to help clear their minds, boosting wellbeing and productivity in the process
     
  • Open spaces will allow the development of colleague relationships, creating social environments and idea incubators that in turn will help to promote and fuel creativity
     
  • Isolated spaces to allow individualised areas in which people can focus and hone in on their specific tasks, making it easier to get jobs done

 

Pickard Chilton - the future of office design

 

The office of the future - Just don't get too close to the edge! 
Image source: Pickard Chilton Design

 

 

All of these developments will greatly impact the way in which office spaces are designed, and will no doubt make the office of the future not only look better aesthetically, but feel better as well!

 


 

4. Your Future Colleagues

Come on, you knew it was coming. Touted as our current and future replacement, the robotics of the future will no doubt play a major part in our future workplaces. Perhaps we won't quite be seeing the advanced android kinds featured in films like Blade Runner and co. (although countries like Japan seem to be hot on the heels of that prospect) but we'll no doubt start to see all sorts of little bots roaming about, cleaning and hoovering, delivering packages, acting as secretaries and more...I for one welcome our robot overlords!...Cliched I know, but let's face it, it won't be long before Skynet properly comes online!

 

Our new metallic friends we'll be accompanied by our increasing dependence on ever developing digital touch screens and virtual technologies, and it might well be the case that your future colleagues are even beamed in to you via virtual holographic interfaces. (Beam me up Scotty! - No, I don't think that reference quite works here!)

 

Holographic streaming isn't even that big a jump when you consider that Skype is already the precusor to this development. This will be especially true to reality for those who work in larger, more internationally based companies. You can still keep up appearances of course, albeit in a pixelised form.

 


 

5. Alternative Office Spaces...

In the future there may not be a permanent office space at all! The rise of break-out areas, co-working spaces and collaborative environments could shift the focus from the old fashioned cubicle or set desk, to an environment in which workers will need to adapt to hot desking, home working and on the go mobility. 

 

At present, 87% of people still work within an office environment according to Small Business, 2015, however based on future trends this figure will most likely change. Technology will of course be the key driver behind a push towards remote working, however there will always be a need to have a permanent office space where employees can link together and work from. So it looks like it'll be a mixture of both physical and personal office environments as opposed to one or the other in this case. 

 

Those who do choose to work remotely are going to need a quiet space to avoid the hustle and bustle of home distractions - Children, pets, TV, video games... There are a number of interesting design concepts currently in development, one solution focuses on the idea of a stylish and enclosed private office pod (featured below).

 

The man shed - home office

 

A new take on the man shed!
~
 Image source: Sunshine & Design, Personal office pod

 

A personalised area that is customisable, peaceful and one that can fit nicely into your garden surroundings (if you have the space that is!). This certainly gives a whole new meaning to the idea of the man shed...Guys, you now have a justified excuse to create your own personal man cave; an area of tranquility that will supposedly aid you in your work right?. Thanks technology!

 

So there you have it, a fun guestimate of some of the design concepts and ideas you may see coming to you in an office of the 2030's. We hope the blog inspires you to go wild! Send your own ideas in to us via Twitter or Facebook - we'd love to hear them! But for now, check out Future Laboratory's colourful retro styled vision of the future. The sooner mobile desk racing becomes the norm the better I say!

 

The future workplace - infographic by Future Laboratories

 

Race about on your mobile desk... 
Image source: Future Laboratory, Vision of the Future

 

 

Want to bring the future of office design a little closer? Perhaps you like the present? (try our - Office Design: Top Five Modern Features if so). Either way, get in touch and we'll see what we can do. Thanks for reading folks!

 

 

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Post by Adam Bissmire-Mullen