Is it time to start scenario planning our workplaces for 2030?

JLL survey examines how quickly our physical workplaces will need to change to keep up with aspirations of future workers in 2030. Co-working will continue to transform the future of real estate and wellness will drive real estate solutions.

July 11, 2017

​A JLL survey, in partnership with TEDxSydney, delving into the future of our workplaces, built environments and cities in the year 2030 has found that the office working environment will need to start a big readjustment now to cater for the aspirations of the future workforce.

The JLL survey was conducted as part of JLL's continued event partnership with TEDxSydney and looked into what impact wellness, autonomous vehicles and tech platforms will have on the future of commercial real estate. The 260 respondents included members of the TEDxSydney community, JLL staff and social media followers.

The survey found the top four impacts on the way people will work between now and 2030 will be:

  1. The rise of new industries, particularly evolving from advanced tech, software, automation and data analytics; (67 percent of all respondents)
  2. Increased focus on physical and mental well-being; (46 percent)
  3. Innovation rising from start-ups and incubators (40 percent)
  4. A view that 'greener and more sustainable urban environments and real estate' would impact the way people work (34 percent of respondents)

JLL's Head of Property and Asset Management – Australia, Richard Fennell said, "What these four things tell us is that there needs to be a big readjustment of real estate to meet the aspirations and needs of the future workforce.

"And we need to start planning our future workplaces now.  If we think that driverless cars will be the norm in 2030, then we need to start scenario planning for that now.  Will these cars need to enter office buildings?  Will they need parking space?  If not, does that mean parking space in office buildings can be repurposed for community and people space

"Future proofing assets when designing new office and mixed use facilities for 2030 has to be top of mind and several likely scenarios need to be explored," said Mr Fennell.

JLL's Global Head of Research, Corporate Solutions, Dr Marie Puybaraud said a number of themes can be clearly seen from the survey results.

"The 2030 workplace will be about human to human interface.  In last year's TEDxSydney survey, respondents ranked 'human interaction' as the most important aspect of society in the year 2050, with 85 percent of people valuing face-to-face interaction.

"This year's survey reinforced the importance of this. 86 percent of respondents agreed that working alongside other humans inspires them to think differently, as opposed to 30 percent when working alongside robots.

"Other themes that came out clearly were that co-working will lead the future of real estate and wellness will drive real estate core solutions," said Dr Puybaraud.

A workplace that interchanges with the community

The majority of survey respondents found that it was important that a work building embrace and intermingle with the community.

JLL's Australian Executive Director and Chair for Corporate Solutions, Rajiv Nagrath said, "Over 90 percent of those surveyed said access to community spaces improved the culture of an organisation.

"We continue to see a craving for more access to nature and fresh air, with over 90 percent feeling these two things allow them to be more creative, and productive.  Tenants want buildings that enhance the health and wellbeing of its inhabitants and are craving for both space and initiatives to address mental and physical health at work," said Mr Nagrath.

Full survey findings will be released in a JLL White Paper later this year.