Three megatrends are demanding rapid change in the workplace: generational change, health and wellbeing, and sustainability.

The end of office hours (and offices)

The 71 million members of Generation Y, or what many call Millennials, (those born between roughly 1980-2000) have vastly different workplace attitudes, values, working styles, and expectations than previous generations. And they are entering the workforce in huge numbers as Baby Boomers retire. Access to faster, cheaper, and smaller IT technologies make it possible to work from everywhere, and Millennials find cubicles and offices less and less compelling as convenient working spaces like coffee shops and home offices become viable.

Workplace wellness

The rise in healthcare costs has created a new focus promoting wellness through the indoor environment. About 90 percent of people’s time is spent inside, and much of it in the workplace. This increased focus on wellness has inspired solutions that encourage physical activity, provide healthy food options, and reduce the amount of toxic materials in our offices.

According to Dr. Roger Sahoury, author of Gladiator’s Guide to Corporate Health & Wealth, nearly “55% of workers identified a workplace wellness program as an instrument in improving their overall well-being. In fact it equates to $250 million in savings in lowered health costs.”

Susie Stokes published an excellent post on this very topic. Commercial developers and operators have gotten wise and are using the built environment to promote active movement throughout the day that nourishes the mind and body to achieve optimum performance and productivity.

The value of values

Research shows that 90 percent of people want to work for a company with a strong green reputation. Today’s workers demand tangible sustainable features that allow them to participate in the performance of their space. And companies need an engaged workforce to help meet their sustainability commitments. The workplace is the nexus that offers employees a visceral connection to the company’s sustainability commitments, which can inform behavior changes needed to have a positive impact on sustainability performance.

The question is: how do organizations respond to these trends to create their own engaging and healthy workplace of the future? In this video from Greenbuild 2015, Vice President Brad Pease, along with Greg Dekker of Teknion, and Joanna Frank of the Center for Active Design, share their vision of the future of sustainable offices.

Place worker performance at the center of the design process to inform space planning decisions to achieve greater employee engagement and higher productivity, along with healthier occupants and improved building performance.

Have we predicted the future of the workplace with these three trends? Let us know what you think in comments.

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