The 2040 Workplace: Remote Companies Go Mainstream
In the past decade alone we’ve seen major transformations in how and where work gets done. As technology continues to evolve, and as a society we begin to change our thoughts about work, we’ll see even more transformations in the workplace including more remote companies and increased flexibility.
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Despite considerable growth in the area of flexible work, there is still much to change as we look ahead to the workforce of 2040.  In a recent study conducted by Johnson Controls’ Global Workplace Solutions Business, the future of the workplace is thorough and played out through a fictional character named Nina. The Smart Workplace 2040 report details the differences in where and how work gets done, with a major focus on employee choices guiding behavior in the workplace.

As the workforce continues to shift to a more virtual platform, more and more remote companies will develop because the idea of work will shift from a place to what people do. Rather than work being associated with an office, work will be associated with tasks, duties, and responsibilities. As remote companies continue to grow, more workers will work from home and by 2040 most workers will do so frequently. Rather than focusing on GOING to work each day, they will focus ON the work they are doing.

With the shift to focusing on the work rather than the location, the times in which work is completed will be completely different. Rather than requiring the nine to five schedule, workers in 2040 won’t have set hours since the emphasis will be on results; as long as work is getting done, minimum or maximum hours won’t matter. And as a result of this new workplace, workers’ wellness will be the priority.

Here are eight areas where the 2040 workplace will be different:

  • Working patterns will be innovative and adaptable.
  • Workers will have the choice to work when, where, and how they want to work.
  • Remote companies and workplaces will be commonplace.
  • Technological advances will make entrepreneurship more common.
  • A major aspect of enterprise performance will be on collaboration.
  • Human services and support services will be a major operational focus.
  • Employee’s health and wellness will be the priority.
  • Networks will be relied upon as a way to create new ideas, products, and services.

In addition to the major changes outlined in the report, there are eight recommendations suggested to move the 2015 workforce into the 2040 workforce. These recommendations support a more flexible work environment while shifting focus to include a more human touch both internally and with clients. Check out some of the recommendations below:

  • Change from set hour schedules to flexible schedules.
  • Focus on end users’ needs and service delivery by adding a human touch.
  • Create work environments that support team and multi-team collaboration.
  • Make improvements to the way distributed teams work together.
  • Integrate technologies to track activity, record experiences, and respond to user demand.

Why remote companies will be the norm.

Looking at the way the 2040 workplace will operate with more emphasis on the human factor, it’s clear that remote companies are going to be the norm. Rather than spending all day in a darkened cubicle, employees will opt to work from home as well as use flexible working hours to make life work. Instead of having an environment where life happens around work, work will happen around life.

Given this information and the fact that several companies have already gone 100 percent virtual, making the transition now to a remote work environment will allow you to help create and mold the standards rather than play catch up. Additionally, professional employees at all levels are embracing flexible work, with many looking for companies that offer flexible benefits. To maintain a talented and diverse talent pool, companies will need to embrace remote working, flexibility, and a more results-oriented environment.

By Jessica Howington | June 21, 2015

Jane Gonzalez
Associate Editor