The workplace of the future – what does 2020 look like?

The way we work is forever changing. New technologies and trends that came into force in 2019 have had a significant impact on the world of work. 5G is already speeding up day to day tasks, employee wellbeing has become a key focus for businesses, workers are demanding more flexibility and a whole new generation has joined the workforce.

With 2020 upon us, we thought we'd take a stab at some of the trends to watch out for this year in terms of workplace habits and the changing working environment. Here goes!

1. Activity Based Working

Activity based working (ABW) is based on the premise that no employee 'owns' or has an assigned workstation. Rather, the broader workspace provides employees with a variety of predetermined activity areas that allow them to conduct specific tasks including learning, focusing, collaborating and socialising.

Providing intuitive workspaces that support particular tasks will become more common place within smaller organisations however it will not necessarily come under the banner of activity-based working. In the past we have seen ABW favoured (and subsequently rolled out) in larger organisations but now it’s smaller companies taking elements of this methodology to create something that works for them. It’s about creating your own version of ABW.

2. Wellness Fatigue?

2019 saw a growing number of workspaces that focus on supporting staff wellness which, in turn claims improved productivity and levels of innovation. However, we are already seeing wellness fatigue cropping up, and a level of cynicism creeping in. The terms wellness and wellbeing are becoming overused and over discussed much as sustainability was a few years ago. Not many organisations are actually doing anything tangible so perhaps the real innovators and thought starters in the world of workplace will be keen to distance themselves from the hyperbole.

3. More Holistic Approaches

At a high level, the focus is going to be on a holistic approach to the workplace, in other words not resigning to trends constantly. Trends only tell us what is already being done not what is right for a particular business. Larger organisations will want to partner with people who take a holistic view of their particular organisation and it will become more about understanding a company’s needs and aims, and what solutions will solve their particular problems.

4. Partnerships

In 2020 we also think we will see a move towards partnerships between businesses and experts rather than businesses using a one stop shop where the focus has in the past been on what’s worked somewhere else should work for you. One size does not fit all. Attracting people back into the workplace to make soft connections will also become more important.

5. Smart Working

Smart working will become the new buzz words. Greater productivity from fewer working hours. Focusing on quality of work not quantity. More items like desking and lockers will be booked by an employee before visiting their smart office and employees will be encouraged to make only essential journeys by car in a bid to promote eco-friendly working practises.

On booking, height adjustable desks and smart office chairs will automatically adjust to the ultimate healthiest position for the employee and could even go as far as a free health check using AI technology while working to monitoring stress levels. This one may be a bit further off than 2020 though!

What are your predictions for the year ahead? We’d love to hear ow your office space is changing – email us at