10 Workplace Trends Shaping The Future of Work for 2024 and Beyond
Do you want to drive success in your business this year? If the answer to those questions is YES you'll want to take note of these workplace trends shaping the future of work for 2024 and beyond.
To succeed in today's competitive and rapidly evolving business world, you'll need to prioritize employee satisfaction in your workplace strategy more than ever before.
It's no secret that one of your biggest challenges is to attract and retain top talent. And while many businesses focus heavily on offering competitive salaries and benefits packages, there's another key factor that can have a major impact on employee retention and productivity: employee satisfaction.
In this article: 10 Workplace Trends Shaping The Future of Work for 2024 and Beyond
- 1. Polywork
- 2. Biophilia
- 3. Deckony
- 4. Habitat
- 5. Adaptability
- 6. Ultra-flexibility
- 7. Co-creation
- 8. Wellworking
- 9. FoNo
- 10. Micro-architecture
Studies have shown that employees who feel happy and fulfilled in their work are more productive, engaged, and likely to stay with their employer long-term. On the other hand, a lack of job satisfaction can lead to high turnover rates, decreased morale, and lower overall productivity.
With new ideas about how and where we work emerging, it's important to have an awareness of how employee needs are evolving, and actively search for actionable ways to implement these trends in your business.
In this blog article, we’ll take you through 10 trends shaping the future of work for 2024 and beyond, with a focus on the design and workplace strategy that ultimately amount to the all important bigger picture - keeping your employees satisfied at work, and cultivating and thriving business along with it.
“Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.”
- Steve Jobs
Polywork refers to working more than one job. And we’re not talking about side hustles.
Millenials and Gen Zs are leading the way in the polywork scene. Rather than being tied down to one company, some are choosing to freelance alongside working for a company, and build their careers more autonomously. They choose to structure their working week in a way that allows them to work in more than one role.
Why should you be aware of this workplace trend and embrace it in 2024 and beyond?
Hear us out, there are benefits for your business. Polyworkers bring an eclectic range of skills to the business outside of their employed role making them a strong hire and, because they are working less days, you’ll tick off cost efficiencies too.
This isn’t the first time you’ll have heard us talk about the popular workplace trend biophilia. It’s a key consideration when it comes to office wellness (something we’re super passionate about here at SwipedOn). And what’s the intention of office wellness initiatives? To keep your employees’ satisfaction levels at an all-time high.
The term ‘biophilia’ in the office refers to creating spaces that enhance well-being and improve human health and productivity by connecting people to the natural world. This can be achieved by ensuring employees have access to natural light through windows and skylights, using natural materials for furniture (e.g wooden desks), incorporating real plants, and featuring patterns and colours that emulate those found in the natural world. Note Design Studio have gone a step further for The Office Group, incorporating the ‘oxygen room’ and the ‘recharge room’ into the design as spaces dedicated to wellbeing by promoting restorative and healing effects on the mind and body.
Incorporating biophilic design elements, and understanding the positive effects of biophilia on mental wellness, is an important consideration for employee satisfaction.
Wave photography artwork by Lou Lou B Photo
A ‘deckony’ combines the idea of a deck and a balcony, to create an indoor-outdoor space that can be utilized in multiple ways; informal meetings, office yoga, a social space for eating lunch or Friday afternoon drinks. What does that look like? Windows that open to the elements to create the feeling of a deck or balcony with all the juicy stuff we love about wellness - an instant connection to our natural world.
This office for PAE Engineers in Portland, Oregon, incorporates the idea of a deckony as an informal, multi-use space. “It could have been a corner office. Instead, PAE [Engineers] wanted to make it a corner for everyone” Kathy Berg, ZGF Architects.
Spatial design should be top of mind for any business with employees based on site. A big workplace trend for 2024 is playing with how that space is utilized can create a unique place which employees love to return to day in, day out.
A huge workplace trend we’ve seen in workplace design in recent years; recreating the feeling of the home in the office. Take that a step further to the idea of creating settings - or habitats - and you'll have yourself a team of satisfied employees.
The traditional approach to fitting out an office with furniture and fittings is to slot them into the space. A habitat refers to creating multiple spaces and puts your employees' needs at the core of the design. These habitats might be based on how people manage their work or introducing technologies to make life at work seamless, all while creating the same sense of belonging, relaxation and security that employees feel in their home space.
A great way to have a better understanding of what your employees want is to ask them. Involve them in the process of creating these habitats for a truly employee-centric space that caters to a range of functions.
The pandemic urged us to consider our dwelling more than ever and the possibilities for what that space can be used for; a work space, a living space, a space to play and to nurture our families. Hybrid work might be a massive buzz-word right now but we are seeing a mass return to offices all over the world - in a progressive and fluid way which embraces adaptability.
This workplace trend encourages businesses to consider services, furniture and technology that elevate this experience of adaptability is a guaranteed way to stimulate employees to come to work and keep them feeling satisfied and productive.
Hybrid work just levelled up with this workplace trend.
While employees enjoy the flexibility of working from home, nothing beats the collaboration and interaction which the physical workplace offers.
Meeting room booking, desk reservations and locker allocations have become increasingly embedded in the operations of modern businesses, reflecting a new level of flexibility and app integration with an employee-centric approach.
This ultra-flexible work model allows your hybrid workforce to become even more agile. If you’re wanting to catapult your business into the present, you’ll need to embrace the unpredictability around how many people will be in your workplace at any given time. Provide the tools to give your workforce peace of mind at work and implement the technology that meets your compliance requirements.
With collaboration at its core, co-creation is an initiative between companies and employees, or companies and their customers, which enables the joint design of initiatives, experiences, products, and services.
This workplace trend encourages businesses to involve the employee in ideation within your business, promoting employee satisfaction as their input is validated and valued. Co-creation comes with benefits for you and your business too! Unique ideas in business are not always easy to come by, but these are sure to help set your business apart from the competitors.
Taking a wider lens on the subject, co-creation is a holistic approach to creating with all contributors to your business, which includes visitors and customers alongside employees.
Health and safety continues to be top of mind for employees since the pandemic.
Wellworking is a workplace trend that embraces the idea of taking the health and safety concerns of your staff seriously, listening to them and implementing technologies and initiatives that nurture peace of mind at work, as well as taking measures to keep your staff safe and healthy. This includes facilitating the ability to split work in different locations and being accepting - and adaptable - to different points of view.
Recognizing health and safety as part of the workplace experience is crucial for employee satisfaction and enabling your business to thrive in 2024 and beyond.
You've heard of FOMO (fear of missing out). Here's a new workplace trend for you - 'FoNo' - which means the fear of normal. At it's core, FoNo describes the feeling of not wanting to regress back to what was the norm prior to Covid-19.
Let's contextualize that.
A recent study by Ipsos and the World Economic Forum found that 72% of people surveyed would prefer their life to change significantly rather than go back to how it was before the pandemic hit. The pandemic was a massive tipping point in recent history. And when it comes to workplace operations, it has been progressive tipping point which has seen old, oppressive mechanisms replaced by a more flexible and inclusive approach.
And while employees have been empowered with autonomy, business owners have had to instil a new level of trust in their workforce. You'll need to embrace the idea of FoNo to drive your business into future success, by building a relationship with your workforce which nurtures autonomy and trust.
Design is a huge area of consideration for future workplace trends as our environment has a direct impact on mental and physical health. Being clever about how that environment is designed and organized forms the essence of micro-architecture.
We're talking pods, cocoons and spaces within spaces to make up common rooms, meeting rooms and individual quiet spaces to create functional and comfortable spaces that support the needs of the people who will be using them. Micro-architecture also embraces technology such as workplace management systems to create an adaptive and responsive environment that can be used for different activities in the workplace.
How will this keep your employees satisfied? Micro-architecture has employee satisfaction at it's core and can help to create a productive, functional and comfortable work environment. Tick, tick and TICK.