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Future State: People

How will people work differently in the future?

January 8, 2020

Last year over 80 designers in 4 cities, including Detroit, were asked to formulate ideas about the future of work. These discussions centered around how work will change in the future and how those changes will affect People, Process, and Place.

People: Dueling with Duality

Ever feel like you’re toggling between work you and life you and that something’s got to give? The tensions of life-work integration came up again and again across the four cities during the Future State program.

An illustration of a woman juggling many items that symbolize aspects of her life including a laptop, stapler, phone, camera, guitar, and basketball.

The paradigm shift Future Staters see coming is not just about working less or working from home more. It’s about being fully present, whatever you’re doing. They envision a future where people, and the organizations they work for, will develop better boundaries between the two worlds to encourage deeper, more meaningful engagement with both. You’ll disconnect from tech, confident that work will go on without you for a few minutes, maybe even a few days—and vice versa when you’re in the office.

A photo of a woman drawing a diagram on paper.

It’s not so much productivity that’s in need of an overhaul, it’s attention. You’ll stop bowing to the master of multitasking and focus on the single task at hand. The most important collaboration with your boss won’t be the big client presentation, it will be designing the perfect work-life continuum for you.

You’ll rely on individual analytics to understand when you’re at your best and seek out the work cultures that embrace how you’re built, all of which translates into working during your peak performance hours (which may not be 9–5) and relaxing away from the office to recharge.

In the future workers will integrate their two equally important worlds, their two selves, into one, fully present at work, fully engaged at home.

Interested in creating an office designed for the future?

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