What will offices look like in 2020 … in Asia?

September 21, 2011 / By  

Having always been a fan of science fiction, I am sometimes amazed at how some of the most fantasist and visionary scenarios actualize in reality, at times even earlier than the authors themselves would have imagined.

Sticking much closer to reality than some of my favorite sci-fi books, my European colleagues Bill Page and Rosemary Feenan are launching a research program – Offices 2020, which looks for signals of change affecting the office of the future.

Listen to Rosemary’s podcast, noting that the emerging signals a decade ago were overwhelmingly technological with “cyber-savvy office workers” and new concepts such as virtuality, flexibility and disintermediation. With technology releasing us from the physical need to be in the office, the ‘workplace’ is transformed into the ‘workspace’.

The majority of predicted workplace changes did occur. Most offices are now smaller, IT-enabled, much more flexible … and, as Bill reminds us, smoke-free! What these changes did not do however is diminish the backbone role of the office.

Our current vocabulary gives us a hint of the mega-trends associated with change that stand a chance of becoming commonplace reality in ten years’ time. Some don’t sound so new – sustainability, productivity and 2.0 technology are already firmly embedded in many global MNC strategies. But they are gaining weight and momentum – the past decade was just a warm-up.

Offices 2020 tries to predict whether such mega-trends will force a ‘sea-change’ in the way we locate, design and use office space. Ten years is not a long time, especially in real estate. Sign up to receive updates as research becomes available over the coming months.

I am keen to know what offices over here in Asia will look like in a decade, given the region’s diverse cultures, faster growing economies, younger workforces and specific challenges. How do you think such change will be adopted by companies in your country?

Any thoughts?

PS – For a futuristic glimpse of what technology might bring us, check this link to see how children around the globe imagine the internet of the future (I love holographic communications and can’t wait to befriend ‘aliens’!)

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Talk to us 
about real estate markets.