I came across two posts while reading Contact Furnishings News that seemed to be connected; although, no parallels were drawn by the publication.
The first was called, “A New Breed of Project Manager Emerges“. Its premise was this:
Today’s workplace often contains five generations working together, including Baby Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Z—all of whom have different mindsets and skillsets. Baby Boomers and senior managers in particular often find it hard to adjust to new technology and environments that don’t cater to entitlement and privacy issues … This shift has caused project managers (PMs), facility managers, brokers, and architects to think differently about their roles.
The second was called, “For The Office Of 2050, Think Adaptation, Not Revolution“, the premise of which was this:
As tools like augmented reality, ultra-high-speed internet and video conferencing continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in office design, more office designers and leasing decision-makers have started to envision what the office of 2050 might look like.
If today’s workplace already contains five generations working together — and if tomorrow’s workplace (to say nothing of 2050’s) is likely to contain multiple generations, plus existing and yet-to-be-developed technological tools — we probably should have gotten busy a while ago. But it’s not too late.
The Future is Now
Since the pace of change seems always to be accelerating, the present seems less and less material (or maybe there’s just less time to dwell in it or on it). By the time we’ve thought about now, it’s already then. So, we might as well make thinking ahead our modus operandi. While we might not be able to predict the precise nature of change with any specificity, we can anticipate and embrace it. As it pertains to workplaces and office designs, that means we can and should connect dots, apply common sense, and design for flexibility.
Rather than going all in on open office spaces, we might leave room for privacy and concentration, should they be desired. Rather than attempting to accommodate the ostensible preferences of any particular generation, perhaps we could design for the consistent needs of human nature. And rather than having our attention diverted by the peculiarities of any one group, regardless of how it identifies or defines itself, we could design for the commonalities that exist between all groups, of all people, all the time.
If we can get there, we will have connected the dots that unify all of us.
See you at work.