The Workplace of the Future: Sodexo’s 2014 Workplace Trends Report

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Have you ever wondered how many hours we spend at work? Well, it’s 54 per cent of our waking hours, and in the future we can expect to spend more time in the office, enjoying a series of memorable events and interactions that are company-initiated. This is according to the 2014 Workplace Trends Report published by Sodexo. Now in its third year, this study examines key trends and solutions linked to higher employee retention, engagement and increased productivity in more efficient, intelligent buildings.

The work world is rapidly changing, with a variety of trends coming into play - trends that did not exist 10 years ago. Sodexo's report also includes critical business intelligence and includes an article by the World Future Society, ‘30 Jobs for 2030’, that flags up that many of the emerging careers, from Chief Experience Officer to Energy Harvester, Office Concierge to Green Career Coach, based upon what will likely be core organisational needs by 2030. Therefore, the sooner organisations plan for these contingencies, the better.

The Sodexo report finds that today's workforce is looking for more meaningful, relevant work: flexibility, training, civility among peers, rewards and recognition relevant to personal values. Employees want an "experience"—one that creates an attachment to their organisation. This research provides insights on how companies can create that experience, and importantly, why not doing so will have significant bottom-line implications.

The future workplace will be as much about living as it is about working, and successful companies will focus on making the work meaningful to their staff while also ensuring employees are capable of the task at hand. The report examines how thriving businesses will need to design employee-centric office buildings and workspaces; tie workplace environments to the employee's experience; develop a workforce with a global perspective; incorporate games into employee training; develop processes that don't overwhelm employees in an "always-on" environment; and adopt an approach to employee well-being and health that is truly holistic.

This is already happening. Look at Google’s plans for its new London office, to be completed in 2016. The space is one million square feet and will have an open-air swimming pool, an indoor football field, a climbing wall and a roof garden. Staff will be able to cycle right into the building’s bike storage area and use the showers and lockers before starting their days. In addition to traditional sitting-desk workspaces, the floor will feature lots of open space to use for networking and collaborating with colleagues. Google considers the new space an extension of the company culture. We all will be looking forward to this kind of workplace of the future.

Photo Credit: Sodexo