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Workplace Design within the Period of Gen Z, AI and the Metaverse

HOK office and inside design consultants Kay Sargent and Tom Polucci share how the hybrid workplace is evolving within the period of synthetic intelligence, Gen Z and the metaverse.

Watch the dialogue on the evolving office (above), or skip down for 4 large takeaways.

1. AI: Job Killer or Job Enabler?

The emergence of ChatGPT and different synthetic intelligence instruments in 2023 have many individuals worrying about shedding their jobs. However don’t sound the doomsday alarm but, stated Sargent.

“For years, we’ve been utilizing sensible expertise to enhance constructing operations,” stated Sargent. “Now, we’re serious about how expertise can improve the person expertise. I’m enthusiastic about AI simplifying many duties and permitting us to deal with what’s necessary.”

As for job losses, Sargent famous that manufacturing automation led to layoffs in some sectors but additionally established new fields in engineering and robotics. “Each time we get rid of one kind of job, we create others. It’s about understanding how and the place issues are shifting.”

2. Metaverse Meets Office

The metaverse is a sizzling subject because the tech behind digital twins and various realities turns into extra widespread. For instance, may bodily workplaces be wholly changed by digital workplaces?

Not going, stated Polucci, who sees the metaverse as one other area kind for workers to work together. “We’ve been speaking about these kinds of areas for the reason that early aughts with the emergence of Second Life. Creating such digital areas for folks to attach may enhance some facets of the workplace, significantly relating to fairness. We are able to create these impartial areas the place everyone seems to be on equal footing.”

The workplace provides youthful employees social connections and alternatives for in-person coaching.

3. Era Z 💗 The Workplace

Youthful employees don’t worth the workplace as a lot as their older colleagues, proper?


“Youthful generations profit probably the most from being collectively and having in-person experiences, equivalent to mentoring, establishing connections and constructing social capital,” stated Sargent.

“When requested in the event that they’d be OK with eliminating the workplace, 77% of Gen Z respondents stated no. They worth being collectively in the identical area. They simply don’t essentially need to do it 5 days every week.”

To accommodate these employees and make the workplace “well worth the commute,” corporations are creating gathering areas that foster collaboration and connections. These areas have to be amenity-rich and versatile—not only a convention room with a video monitor and the most important desk you possibly can shove into the room, warned Sargent.

“Consider these areas as extra like theater phases that may flex and regulate for various makes use of,” stated Sargent. “We have to be intentional about how these areas can allow folks to perform at a better stage and join.”

4. Workplace Insurance policies Earlier than Design

The previous design maxim “type follows perform” takes on added relevance as we speak as companies proceed adjusting their hybrid and distant work insurance policies. With out established insurance policies, the workplace gained’t carry out in addition to it may.

“We’re having increasingly more conversations with shoppers about their office insurance policies and operations,” stated Polucci. “If there isn’t a alignment contained in the group on how and the place folks work, then the design options aren’t going to work both.”


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