The Future of the Workplace

A Foresight Report for MoreySmith

health & wellness
category - workplace
type - case studies
Case Studies
We created a Foresight Report for design and architecture practise MoreySmith, to help them further understand the psychology of the future workforce and emphasise the importance of workplace design. Read an excerpt below.

‘To be forward-thinking, it is critical that we are open to innovation and fresh perspectives,’ states Linda Morey Burrows, founder and principle director of MoreySmith.

In the century ahead, designers and architects will advance towards innovative Open Work spaces, a model of future-facing office design.

Open Work spaces will supersede today’s open-plan offices, empowering people through fit-for-purpose buildings and workspaces that will support tomorrow’s increasingly agile, diverse and multigenerational workers - also known as the 5G workforce.

The Future of the Workplace report identifies and explores the social, cultural and technological forces shaping office design, revealing the characteristics and approaches to future working environments that will satisfy and inspire the workforce of the late 2020s.

Through this report, we have identified and explored three archetypes for the future Open Work space that our research suggests will inspire the creative palettes of tomorrow’s leading architectural and design practices.

Below is a snippet from the thought-leadership report created by The Future Laboratory. If you are interested in finding out how we can help you create a future-facing foresight report that combines quantitative and qualitative research with original case studies and innovations to solve your business objectives, get in touch with our team.



Commissioned by:

2 March 2018

Author: Kathryn Bishop


: Sentient Workspaces

Primark by MoreySmith, Dublin. Photography by Donal Murphy

Imagine a workplace that monitors your blood sugar levels and heart rate for signs of hunger and exhaustion, a space that oxygenates and perfectly chills the air around your desk to counteract any chance of an afternoon slump.

This will be your workplace in 2025, an intuitive, human-orientated environment driven by smart AI systems that optimise workers’ performance, sharpen their focus and meet their demands, leaving them feeling healthier, cared for and more energetic at the end of the working day than at the start.

AI-driven desk systems and smart wearables will allow the 5G workforce to log and measure their daily working output against their surrounding Open Work environment, while giving employers essential insight into ways to enrich the workspace. Elsewhere, dense planted areas or analogue workspaces will offer for time out and contemplation in the Sentient Workspace.

“More than half of UK companies have no wellbeing strategy in place”
UK’s Reward & Employee Benefits Association

: Hospitality Workspace

Deskopolitan collaborative workplace by MoreySmith, Paris. Photography by Frédéric Baron-Morin

Tomorrow’s Hospitality Workspace will be a one-stop urban flagship destination for the 5G workforce, a place where work, play and rest are combined under one roof, forming convenient destinations and innovative communities that will attract the globalised, footloose workforce of the late 2020s.

Company-owned office space will be positioned alongside collaborative start-up incubators in this future flagship setting, with mixed-use floors where the 5G workforce can socialise or sleep, complemented by public facilities such as galleries, gyms and health centres. 

These spaces will satisfy workers’ requirement for attractive and considered Open Work surroundings that are equally adaptable to the individual preferences of tomorrow’s workforce. They will immerse themselves in the sharing economy ethos of the Hospitality Workplace, using convivial communal third spaces such as kitchens and games areas to integrate with their colleagues and inspire greater camaraderie.

“The most innovative workers are at least twice as likely to have access to Hospitality Workspaces”
JLL 2016

: Flat Age Workspaces

Argent by MoreySmith, London. Photography by Jamie Mcgregor Smith

By the late 2020s, workplaces that incorporate sound-proofed VR learning labs, mentoring pods and diversity incubators will become mainstream as businesses wrestle with the expectations of a 5G workforce that includes digitally native Generation I, socially conscious Millennials, and the last of the diligent Baby Boomers.

The move towards Open Work offices will be steered by the Flat Age Workspace, where buddy desks will ensure workers with complementing skillsets or knowledge are teamed up to boost intergenerational working relations. Elsewhere, mobile interior elements will encourage play and experimentation, supported by circadian lighting that can be deployed to boost alertness and concentration, and scents to inspire energy or relaxation.

Ultimately, the flow of the Flat Age Workspace will draw on Professor David Dewane’s Eudaimonia Machine concept with a series of convivial through to private zones that inspire collaborative learning and knowledge-sharing, while also supporting the 5G workforces’ emotions, neurodiversity, and learning and working idiosyncrasies.



"60% of workers see knowledge-sharing within teams as essential, while 41% see mentoring as very important"
Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies’ Learning in the Workplace study 2017

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