8 trends for the working world of the future: what 2024 and the next few years have in store for offices

Every year, renowned economic research institutes publish new trends and reports for the past year and the near future. If you really want to keep your finger on the pulse of the times, don't let this information pass you by.

The shift in the working age in particular, with Generation Z now fully entering the world of work and accounting for 27% of all employees by 2025, changes in the world of work and working methods are foreseeable. Find out here what exactly will change and what will be more important in the world of work in the coming years.

Arbeitswelt der Zukunft - 8 Trends

1 Life is so much more than work

While many job advertisements promise plenty of free time and employers still proudly report on a great work-life balance, this term has long since become old-fashioned among young people.

Life should not be a balance or a blending of work and life. Life is just that: life. Work must be life-sustaining, but is no longer the purpose of life.

This is also reflected in the labor market. Whereas just a few years ago employers set the tone - "If you, dear employee, don't dance, then you can go" - now employees do the same: "If you, dear employer, don't dance, I'll go".

Strong loyalty applies to self-interest and the realization of one's own dreams takes precedence over blind loyalty to the employer.

Trends für die Arbeitswelt der Zukunft

2. thriftiness becomes a necessity

The wealth gap will continue to widen in 2024. While a few gain wealth without doing anything, the vast majority will face new financial challenges: High inflation, the rising cost of living and little prospect of rapid improvement are just some of the aspects that young generations are struggling with.

Budgeting and a shift, albeit unintentional, away from value-oriented shopping are further consequences. Money is invested in high-quality products and therefore long-term solutions. If high-priced purchases are not absolutely necessary, people will save even more than ever before.

Salaries also have to rise as a result. Young people are much less likely to sell themselves short and show little willingness to work for less than life-sustaining money.

3. office spaces are becoming more natural and modular

For physical office environments, two trends in particular are clearly gaining ground: Biophilia and modularity.

The principle of biophilic office design is proximity to nature: warm tones, plants, moss, wood and even water installations are part of the idea of bringing nature closer to work. Especially at a time when nature is no longer so tangible for many people in cities, bringing nature into the workplace makes sense and is beneficial.

As hybrid working remains a priority, fixed workstations in corporate offices are less personalized. Desk sharing, hot desking and freely selectable workstations are leading the way. Desks and work niches are therefore becoming even more flexible. Modular workstations make it possible to adapt quickly and easily to the user in order to ensure the highest degree of individuality in the shortest possible time.

Trends für die Arbeitswelt 2024

4. corporate offices remain with a new purpose

According to trend surveys, the main reason for not relying entirely on working from home is social interaction in the office. Young people in particular appreciate the flexibility offered by the home office, but do not want to do without the corporate office.

Two things in particular should be possible during the time on site: Exchange and community, paired with ultimate focus zones. After all, if you come to the office, it's to finally get work done without distraction or to meet up with your favorite colleagues again.

In keeping with this, large offices continue to offer communal areas such as meeting rooms and corners, cafeterias or genuine office living rooms. In addition, desk workstations should be shielded with plenty of privacy, equipped for long periods of sitting and standing and designed for maximum concentration thanks to practical acoustic solutions.

5 Where I want, when I want, how I want

Unsurprisingly, one of the strongest trends is the continued desire for flexibility and dynamic working conditions. Buzzwords that feel like they have been chewed over a million times already retain their importance in reality. Whether business models themselves, hierarchies, physical workplaces or digital working environments: Flexibility is gaining ground everywhere.

Dynamic, agile, reactionary in the short term: these characteristics are essential for companies and employees to thrive in today's world. This is also where so-called gig work comes into play: project-based assignments with short durations are becoming more popular, while independent working relationships are becoming more common.

This means that more and more people are working remotely, where they want, when they want and how they want. Loyalty and willingness to commit are decreasing, while the outsourcing of small jobs to individuals without commitment is increasing.

Trends der neuen Arbeitswelt - Homeoffice

6. home office for all

Especially in connection with the previous point, it is self-explanatory that home office workplaces will become the norm. Anyone who has a white collar job in 2024 will also work from home from time to time.

Personal hobbies are also becoming increasingly digitalized. Content creation in leisure time, the use of learning platforms or gaming and the consumption of digital content are part of almost everyone's life, regardless of their job. To this end, people are increasingly opting for a fully equipped home office.

Coupled with the current health literacy of younger generations, it is also not surprising that home workstations are often ergonomically designed: a sit-stand desk and ergonomic office chair are usually part of the basic equipment for the work alcove or workspace at home.

Trends in der Arbeitswelt der Zukunft

7. boundaries between industries and professions are blurring

Processes and companies are much less rigid than they were a few years ago. Agile working has become the norm. Collaboration with other areas of expertise or experts is also increasing in order to benefit from the synergies of different areas.

The trends indicate further exploration of this practice. What other opportunities arise from collaboration between completely unrelated fields? Which synergy effects have not yet been fully exploited or are still completely unknown?

This is gradually blurring the boundaries between rigid professional fields. Anyone can become a business partner and, in particular, an innovation partner.

8. innovation is not a to-do for tomorrow, but can happen today

Where resources are used in unusual ways and more efficiently, innovative ideas can also emerge. The trends are clearly pointing towards the urge to innovate instead of copying the old familiar.

Unrelated areas are being explored and, coupled with an openness to learning, are opening up unimagined possibilities. Innovation is therefore no longer seen as something immaterial, as something intangible from "tomorrow", but as a task that can actually happen and be implemented in real time.

Conclusion: future trends in the world of work

So what are the groundbreaking trends for the future world of work? How will and do people want to organize their lives in relation to work? The following 8 trends have clearly emerged from extensive research using many different sources:

  1. Life is more than work
  2. Frugality becomes a necessity
  3. Offices are becoming natural and modular
  4. Corporate offices with a new purpose
  5. Ultimate flexibility at work
  6. Home office in every household
  7. Blurring boundaries between professions
  8. Innovation as the task of today

In general, the world of work remains flexible, hybrid and agile. Some things we already know, others are on the way. The fact is that change is part of everyday life and we too can adapt to an open mindset in which change is the norm.