We have seen a lot of change to the way we work in recent years. The pandemic introduced hybrid and remote working, which are now the preferred options for many employees. We are also seeing four-day weeks being trialled as modern businesses strive to offer their staff more working holiday’s and benefits.

It makes you wonder; how will office spaces continue to evolve over the coming years? Within this article, we will explore how office spaces are predicted to look in 2050, backed up by futurists and technology experts!

robot example

Smart Technology will transform office spaces in 2050

Smart technology is already on the rise, and by 2050, it is predicted that smart technology will have advanced much further. Offices will likely be equipped with the latest technology, including advanced AI and virtual assistants.

Virtual reality in particular will transform the way people work in 2050. This 3D, computer-generated technology will be used in offices to create immersive environments that can be utilised in a number of different ways, including:

  • Meetings: Through the use of a virtual reality environment, team members will be able to come together from anywhere in the world and be within one virtual space. For example, employees who are working within the office will dial in appearing as holograms and interact with remote workers and it would be as if they were in the same room! Exciting, right?
  • Training: It is thought that new employees will be able to test themselves in real-life situations through the use of a VR headset, creating an immersive training experience that is unlike anything we have seen before.
  • Meditation: Health and Wellbeing is crucially important in the workspace, and smart technology in 2050 could help with this! Through the use of virtual reality, a relaxing space can be created for staff to visit and de-stress during their breaks.

That’s not all either. It’s said holographic receptionists, robots, and tea-delivering drones could also be a reality in the workplace in 30 years’ time. These findings come as fears develop about artificial intelligence and other technologies replacing 20% of the workforce within just a matter of 5 years, according to experts. Platforms including ChatGPT have only further accelerated these concerns.

Robert Nolan, CPO at Epsonow, expects offices to be operated by robots in the future. He says, “These robots will be controlled by people working from home, allowing them to be physically present in the office without the lengthy commute.” We shall watch this space!

Ergonomic furniture and health is even more crucial in workspaces of 2050

Brace yourself for this one. According to a life-sized doll that has been designed as part of a report about workplace health, in just 20 years’ time, the average office worker will have a hunched back, protruding stomach, and sore eyes! The doll, named Emma, was developed to show what workers bound to their desk will look like in the future if changes are not made, at least according to William Higham, the author of Work Colleague Of The Future Report.

According to the report, more than 90% of those who work within an office space in the UK said they suffered from health issues because of their jobs. 50% of British workers also claimed to have eye problems and 49% had bad backs, all caused by the working environment they were in.

Emma Model

Photo credit: Sky News

Of course, hopefully the future will not look like this! Especially since reports such as these are increasing awareness over the importance of ergonomics.

Office furniture should be designed to prioritise employee health and well-being. For example, fully adjustable task seating and height-adjustable desks that encourage more movement. At Haiken, we recommend:

  • Wright Cowork Desk: An ergonomic workplace needs a diverse range of options including desks with adjustable heights and sides, and that is exactly what Wright brings to the table (pardon the pun!)
  • Flexure: An organic and elegant height-adjustable desk with inaudible motor operation that ensures zero disturbance, and a shock absorb feature to mitigate any tremor transfer.
  • Wolfe: The clever four-height adjustable Wolfe has a telescopic frame that is robust and has an almost inaudible motor operation ensuring zero disturbance. Like Flexure, Wolfe also has a shock-absorb feature and is designed to suit the changing demands of a growing workforce.
  • Webb 2.0: This task chair keeps the comfort of the workforce at the forefront, with an excellent ergonomic design that is both supportive and comfortable. Webb 2.0 features a seat slide, a 6-position lockable backrest and 3D armrests. It also provides self-synchro mechanism meaning Webb 2.0 can automatically adjust itself to the user’s weight!
  • Stirling: Specially made from sensitive foam, Stirling’s seat moulds to every individual, providing incomparable user comfort.
Stirling Task seating

By opting for ergonomic office furniture, hopefully we can all avoid ending up like ‘Emma’ in 2050!

It’s even predicted that ‘nap beds’ could be a thing in offices of the future! They will be introduced to offices with the aim to help employees cope with stress and lack of sleep.

‘Green’ Office Spaces of 2050

With an increased focus on sustainability, it is predicted that office spaces in 2050 will incorporate even more ‘green’ spaces. This includes indoor gardens, green walls – which will be used to grow plants and food, and natural light sources.

According to the World Economic Forum, the built environment – including offices – makes up nearly 40% of global energy consumption and about a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, 80% of buildings will have already been built, so the priority now is decarbonising existing building stock.

Luckily, it is said that although significant energy and emission reduction in the building sector will be challenging, it is an achievable goal. In 2050, through intelligent design and the use of thermally appropriate materials, buildings are predicted to be resilient when facing climate change, whilst supporting biodiversity.

Zorla floor screen

Image: Zorla Mobile Floor Screen

There are more ways to make our workspaces more ‘green’ by 2050. Plants and natural light improve employee well-being and productivity whilst reducing the carbon footprint of the office. For example, if materials used within the office are sourced locally, then less energy will be required to transport them, reducing the overall carbon footprint of the office.

Similarly, energy-efficient office lighting that is solar-powered or LED can be installed, as these sources use significantly less energy than traditional incandescent or fluorescent lighting. Solar-powered lighting is also an ideal sustainable solution, as it is powered by completely renewable energy, meaning it does not produce any greenhouse gas emissions or contribute to air pollution. It also will reduce the overall carbon footprint of the office, encouraging a supportive sustainable environment.

Designing offices spaces built for the future with Haiken

Overall, while it is difficult to predict exactly what the future may hold, it is highly likely that office spaces of 2050 will be heavily influenced by technology and sustainability. We look forward to watching how office design changes over the coming years.

Until then, at Haiken, we are on a mission to redefine how people think about office furniture. To find out more about the office furniture we provide, please contact our friendly team today.