The future of the workplace trends 2030+

How will technology and artificial intelligence change the way we work? What will the offices of the future look like? What skills will be valued and how can we futureproof both our business' and our personal success? Download our brand new report in partnership with Kjaer Global for answers to these questions and more…

Future of workplace guide

Get the free guide

Discover how Seth Godin and other visionaries foresee the future of the workplace in 2030+.

Unily has joined forces with prominent futurists at Kjaer Global to explore predictions for the workplace of 2030 and beyond. The Future of the Workplace 2030+ report synthesizes opinions from thought leaders and industry insiders to explore the challenges and opportunities that businesses will need to navigate over the coming decade.

Featuring interviews from renowned entrepreneur Seth Godin - as well as senior executives from global brands Shell, L'Oreal, and Mars - we discover how those currently shaping the future of business see the enterprises of tomorrow operating. Underpinned by globally recognized methodology established by Kjaer Global, the report is a pioneering vision of the future workplace.

What will the Future of the Workplace 2030+ report tell you?

The Emotional Workplace

What attitudes will dominate the workplace?

The first chapter considers themes of culture, wellbeing, social capital, and trust to unpick changing attitudes to work. The emotional workplace. What will be the key drivers of change? The influx of Gen Z? A new tech/human partnership? The gig economy and the rise of the freelancer?

Early insights into some of our findings

We’re already seeing a shift, with over 60% of Gen Z (the future workforce) wanting to work for organizations that create positive change. This trend will continue, as well as a greater sense of work/life balance, in part due to AI taking over manual and repetitive tasks, allowing us to play to our strengths. Leaders will need to prioritize giving all employees a voice, and creating clear visions for their businesses.

The Physical Workplace

What will the offices of the future look like?

Office spaces are already changing to become more flexible and collaborative with the rise of hot-desking, co-working spaces and, of course, the digital workplace. How will this trajectory play out in 10 years time? How can we create the physical conditions to optimize our workforce in the future?

Early insights into some of our findings

Head Office is no longer a statement of corporate power, instead being designed around employees. Technology, an ever-developing value system, and neuro-diversity are likely to bring about a shift in the physical office. Deep work becomes as important as meetings, the trend for introverted employees being seen as increasingly valuable continues, and employees bring more of their personal life into their physical work spaces.

The Smart Workplace

How will technology and AI shape the workplace?

Understanding that technological innovation has been responsible for major societal changes for the last 50 years, we know that the same will be true in the next 10. How will attitudes to technology be different in 2030? What impact will investment in AI and intelligent technologies have on the workforce ecosystem? What business models will prove most resistant in this time of exponential change?

Early insights into some of our findings
Learning and knowledge will be at the forefront of the smart workplace, while AI takes on an increasingly important role. We’ve seen an upward trend for fluidity within workplaces, with previous employees becoming freelancers, contractors or returning to the organization with new information and a refreshed drive. This is likely to continue and be turned into an asset.

The Purposeful Workplace

What will drive us to work?

The penultimate chapter deals with questions around the drivers of change and the concept of purpose. What will give us purpose? How will we define success? In order to prepare our businesses for tomorrow, we must understand the attitudes and behaviors that will be driving future societies and how we can create cultures and environments that are fit for purpose.

Early insights into some of our findings

By 2030, Gen Z will make up almost a third of the workforce. Their focus on organizations that do better, offer better benefits and “walk the talk” will be a big influence. These digital natives understand the role of real life experiences. Traditional hierarchies are likely to be blown away, with a focus on autonomy and employees understanding and sticking to an agreed set of rules themselves.

Job Titles From the Future

Many job titles stay the same, while organizations tend to add new ones to suit the trends and demands of the workplace. Chief Happiness Officer, Head of Do The Right Thing, and Chief Listening Officer would have seemed a far away concept 20 years ago, and are now a well accepted part of doing business.

A sneak peek into some of the job titles we expect to see in 2030 and beyond:

  • Cultural Translator
  • Data Sense-Maker
  • AI Educational Programmer
  • Purpose Agent

How we conducted the Future of the workplace report

Unily, committed to delivering excellence and innovation in the digital workplace (that’s us), joined forces with futurists Kjaer Global to explore the future of the workplace in 2030 and beyond.

We focused on trends now and how they’re likely to develop, as well as what we expect the next generations to look for in their organizations. We chose 2030 and beyond as our workplace future to ensure the trends were realistic but also future-focused. And we bench-marked current knowledge, allowing us to spot potential new directions.

Finally, we collaborated with experts, visionaries and industry leaders to create a full, future-focused report packed with expertise and vision. Experts we collaborated with include Seth Godin, Author, Entrepreneur and Marketing business expert, Stephane Charbonnier, Chief Human Resources Officer, L’Oréal, Tushar Mhaske, Digital Employee Experience IT Manager, Shell and more.

Work in a post-pandemic world

In the light of Covid-19 we revisited some of the major trends highlighted in the original Future of the Workplace 2030+ report (2019) to understand which trends had been accelerated, disrupted, and displaced.

We reevaluate the previous conclusions with a post-pandemic lens that sheds light on the most pressing questions of the current moment. Will home be the new office? Will corporate HQ be a thing of the past? What skills will be most valuable in the new world of work and why will culture be more important than ever?

The emotional workplace is likely to see a continued focus on digital skill-building, and culture to build confidence and trust with employees, along with other skills and changes developed in the pandemic. But how else has it changed in light of the pandemic?

The physical workplace will of course see a quick adoption of working from home and hybrid working, giving employees more freedom and flexibility while businesses save on office costs. HQs are likely to be less prevalent while pop-up offices will become a thing. But will companies start enforcing mandatory office days? Will we keep the fluidity of the pandemic days?

The technological workplace is likely to democratize innovation, as well as bringing a faster shift towards adoption of AI, along with many other speedier adoptions. What else will change in the technological workplace post-2020?

The purposeful workplace will see different leadership models, with an increasing focus on empathy, an increase in freedom to innovate, and reverse mentorship - where employees teach leaders as much as the other way round, along with many other shifts. Download the report for the full picture. 

Who is the report for?

Anyone seeking to prepare their business for the future; internal communicators, HR practitioners, IT specialists, business leaders, consultants, strategists, and analysts.

What will the future of work look like in 2030 and beyond?

Some of the findings you can explore in the report:

  • Gen Z will make up almost one third of the workforce by 2030, meaning a greater focus on purpose, work/life balance, inclusion, diversity and more
  • Leaders are likely to focus on learning from employees at all levels, encouraging them to have a greater say
  • Technology like AI will take away many of the manual and repetitive tasks, allowing employees to focus on their strengths and reducing “admin noise”
  • Quiet spaces for deep work are set to be just as important as meeting rooms
  • Boomerang employees will become a valued part of the workforce mix
  • Management structures will be flatter, allowing more creativity and innovation

Download the report now by filling in the form:

Future of workplace guide

The future of the workplace trends 2030+

Discover how Seth Godin and other visionaries foresee the future of the workplace in 2030+.

Future of the workplace FAQs

What does the workplace of the future look like?

The workplace of the future is likely to see organizations focus much more on values, visions and purpose. Technological developments will allow employees to concentrate on what they’re good at and make more time for deep work, while AI takes care of most of the admin. Most of us will work from home more, and management structures are likely to be much flatter - allowing employees to be much more autonomous.

Read more

What skills does the workplace of the future need?

The workplace of the future will need a combination of soft and hard skills, as well as new and old skills, including:

  • Resilience
  • Innovation
  • Creativity
  • Digital literacy
  • Data literacy
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Cross cultural knowledge
  • AI skills
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Initiative
  • Self management
  • Technology monitoring 

And many more. Read the report for more.

Read more

What is the future of the workplace?

The future of the workplace is likely to see an increase in the trends we’re already seeing now. For example emotional intelligence, innovation, creativity and autonomous working are already increasingly important. There will be more of a focus on designing the physical workplace around the needs of employees, rather than the needs of the business. And companies will need to have a strong vision and values to be a place people want to work. AI will take away most of the administrative tasks, and deep, quiet work will be valued alongside meetings and collaboration.

Read more

What skills do leaders need to design the workplace of the future?

Leaders need great vision to design the workplace of the future. They need to understand the trends we’re seeing now and realize which are here to stay, and which are fleeting. They’ll need to be listeners who take all employees’ opinions into consideration, while maintaining a strong vision for the business, which is communicated effectively. Flexibility is vital too - the working world is ever-changing and being adaptable to change is vital.

Read more
Insights for you

EX Insights to your inbox

The list that everyone wants to get on. Subscribe to receive the latest insights, upcoming events, and inside scoops.