Business leaders are always looking into their crystal balls to predict the next big trend as office workers continue to adjust to newer ways of working, following the rise of hybrid models.

It’s not enough to just have an opinion on what the future will look like.

Thus, Jabra conducted a comprehensive analysis to identify key macro trends influencing the future of work. The in-depth survey involved 76 academic and industry experts, ranging from business management and evolutionary writers to work psychologists.

Here, we address four work scenarios that will reshape the way work is perceived in the next five years. It addresses the four core pillars of businesses, employees, workplace, and technology.

Work future #1: Focus on employee wellbeing

Employers are mindful of prioritizing employee well-being and are leveraging technology, such as AI and automated solutions, to monitor and enhance health both at work and beyond for sustained peak performance.

Increased visibility with employers resulting in happier and healthier employees

Not only will employers better recognize employees’ productivity, but monitoring and diagnosing potentially overworked and stressed employees will also contribute to greater employee satisfaction and a more positive working environment.

Mental health a key business driver will lead to greater involvement from leaders

Ensuring employee well-being will become a part of broader business strategies. No longer solely HR’s responsibility, it will form a key part of managerial duties. Providing self-help resources and implementing measures to ensure a non-toxic and inclusive work environment will be crucial.

Emotions and data will evolve the workplace

Data from biosensors, combined with automation, will contribute to creating optimal working environments. Emotion-based workspaces will take centre stage, incorporating a blend of closed and open spaces. Various colour palettes and lighting setups are likely to be used to accommodate different emotional states and personality-based needs.

Work future #2: Agile superteams

The corporate business model is evolving. Smaller core teams rely on a flexible partner network from diverse backgrounds, necessitating data security solutions. Breaking down communication silos enhances data access and enables AI-driven tools for efficient online collaboration.

Portfolio experiences make for effective members across teams

Individuals will demonstrate their expertise through a portfolio sprinkled with experiences. Team building will grow in importance, and the ability to seamlessly transition between projects, understand client preferences, and work with various languages will be key to employees’ success as effective members of multiple teams.

Smaller fluid teams will require added focus on company culture

Business models will shift from having a large core team to a smaller core with a mix of partners. Known as a ‘Hollywood’ working model, the best people will be selected for any given project, meaning companies will have to work harder to promote and maintain their cultures.

Flexible BYOD

Employers may no longer be required to provide tech for employees, so work resources will need to be cloud-based and accessible from any device. A seamless cross-platform connectivity and cloud-based storage and access will be crucial to accommodate those working for multiple companies at once.

Golden Retriever lying on bed

Work future #3: Sustainability at the heart of business

Amidst escalating climate change concerns, businesses are embracing environmental responsibility.

Better employee understanding of the impacts of sustainable living

With a heightened awareness of sustainability issues, employees will better understand how they can make a difference at work. Employees may be rewarded for choosing sustainable options like cycling or walking to work.

Sustainable practices in focus

Businesses will prioritize reusing, recycling materials, and updating products instead of constant production of new ones. Not only that, offices will also have sustainable practices with AI and automation that will use data to ensure buildings are energy efficient by monitoring temperature and automating power supplies.

Software updates and data tracking

Data and AI will help in tracking and optimising sustainability practices and company processes. A greater drive for hardware that lasts also means relying on software or replaceable parts for advancements, new features, or add-ons.

Work future #4: Office everywhere

The future office is mobile and flexible, leveraging universal cloud technology and communication platforms.

Work happens everywhere, supported by advanced hardware with noise cancellation and open-plan designs that encourage collaboration.

Flexible working could lead to emotional disconnect

With the flexibility to work anywhere, compromise will no longer be necessary in achieving a work-life balance, removing the need to be in the office multiple days a week. Fewer in-person touchpoints may cause employees to feel isolated, making it more challenging to create and feel a strong sense of belonging at work.

Diverse talent requires evolved performance management

Organisations can access diverse talent from broader geographical areas, eliminating the need for employees to live within commutable distances. Businesses will need to ensure that they can monitor performance effectively for new roles when employees are working remotely.

Smaller office hubs with smart features

Smart workspaces and office furniture will seamlessly connect in-person, hybrid, and virtual meetings. With no need for a 5-day office commitment, businesses may opt for smaller offices, accommodating a dispersed workforce.

In conclusion, adapting to these trends is essential for fostering success and innovation in the years ahead. This proactive approach actively contributes to shaping a future where businesses align with the evolving needs of the workforce, emphasizing well-being, sustainability, and flexible working habits as key pillars of a thriving workplace.

Xuanling Lu is the Global Product Marketing Director at Jabra. A strategic marketing professional with a strong record of contribution in E-commerce, consumer/trade marketing, consumer behavioral research, innovation, and brand management, she has extensive experience with more than nine years of effective interaction and relationship management in the Asia Pacific Region (APR) and global market in both retail and digital space, working with creative agencies and multi-functional project teams. She has demonstrated the ability to bring new and innovative approaches to established marketing programs. An ‘out of the box’ thinker with strong analytical and critical thinking skills in a constantly changing, fast-paced business environment, she has a successful background in building and directing a customer-driven organization focusing on Customer Experience Management, understanding of business needs, and the ability to put plans into action.

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