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Imagining smarter workplaces by 2030

08 July 2009

Research into ‘The Smart WorkPlace of the Future’, contemplates that by 2030 organisations will retain core business functions but look and behave like social networks, creating corporate communities that attract employees from a global talent pool. See how it works with the video link in this story.

Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions latest research shows how the workplace will evolve by 2030. The research also explores the impact of global trends from a technological perspective. Produced in collaboration with The Futures Academy at the Dublin Institute of Technology, the study is based on insights from a series of workshops which have brought together a diverse group of academics and workplace practitioners.

The report predicts that Generation Y (aged 18-25) will trigger new innovative styles of working and management practices that incorporate social connectivity, increased technology use, automation, and advanced software. This technological ingenuity will have a significant impact on job availability – stock traders, for example, will be replaced by automated trading systems, thereby decreasing the need for human interaction.

“Alongside mobility, technology is the most important factor influencing the scale of change we are experiencing in the workplace today,” said Dr. Marie Puybaraud, Director of Global WorkPlace Innovation at Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions. "We anticipate technology will continue to impact the workplace by enabling workers greater choice in their working locales. To accommodate both working styles, corporations need to develop a virtual as well as a physical space to allow for greater remote working. Employees will expect technologies to intuitively meet their needs and be seamlessly integrated into the remote work environment. The workplace of 2030 will be a sensory place continuously evolving and responding to experiences by constantly adapting the environment and its infrastructure to suit the individual.”

By 2030, workplace design will have changed radically, and become a critical factor in attracting and retaining highly skilled staff. Most employees will work in offices, which offer the benefits of an integrated and energised community and a stimulating environment, with virtual workspaces complementing these physical spaces.

The research presents future workplace scenarios in the context of society’s shift from an industrial base to an information and knowledge economy. In this new world, fixed-term contracts and freelancing will increasingly becoming the norm, as knowledge workers choose to exercise control over where and with whom they work. Agility will be a key priority for the providers of workplace services and infrastructure, and the smart workplace will take advantage of technological innovation to provide the enhanced communication and connectivity necessary to support these changes.

“The main aim of this project was to explore a preferred future vision of the smart workplace,” explained Professor John Ratcliffe, Chairman of The Futures Academy at the Dublin Institute of Technology. “The future can be shaped, and we would encourage all organisations to look ahead and ask themselves how the workplace can evolve to take advantage of the latest technology to improve the productivity and creativity of our knowledge workers."

An interactive video has been produced to help understand the report findings.

The full report is available to purchase at $500. To find out more about research into FM and workplace innovation, visit

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