What Will the Workplace Look Like in 2025? Hint – It’s Continuing to Change

The Workplace in 2025

In 2019, most employees were working in an office five days a week. It changed during the pandemic as we witnessed a shift to remote work. Most workers showed that they could be as productive or even more productive than in an office setting. But what will the workplace look like in 2025?

Today, companies are working and reworking their strategies to make sure they attract and retain valuable staff. After all, without them, most organizations cannot exist. Plus, we’ve seen over the last few years there’s a shift in priorities. Unemployment is low, workers are needed, and many prefer to have a hybrid work week. This leaves companies and human resource professionals with a newer dilemma that requires agility as they try to appeal to five generations of employees and multiple workplace schedules.

The role of the office has changed. People aren’t going to go back to five days a week. Offices are going to be hubs of innovation and social interaction.

Workplace Flexibility in 2025

2025 will continue to see employees praising the opportunity to work from home as it allows for the freedom and flexibility that they became use to during the pandemic. And, non-linear workdays can thrive in this environment allowing those who are not happy with the traditional 9-5 to work different hours. Perhaps working from 12 pm – 8 pm or 3 pm -11 pm, as we each have different windows where our productivity is best. For me, it is 7 am -3 pm!

According to Lynda Gratton, a professor of management practice at London Business School, “People’s thirst for autonomy and flexibility will continue to be central. Expect more companies to provide both place flexibility (working from home) and time flexibility (taking a sabbatical). Those companies that do not will have to pay more for their privilege of inflexibility.”

As I mentioned in previous articles, employees have the power now and this will continue for years as the U.S. economy grows and Millennials and Gen Z ask for and often demand flexibility that generations before could only dream of. Adding to this is the need for safety measures at work. Clean, sanitized offices will be focused on preventing the spread of infection, thus continuing to play an important part of ensuring staff is healthy.

Diversity, Culture, and Well-Being

Diversity, culture and well-being will continue to play a key role in retaining employees. Millennials want this (as do other generations) and they are the largest generation in the workplace. Gen Z is the most diverse in U.S. history and will demand this as they will become the largest generation in the workplace in coming years.  We need to be prepared today as this will only grow with time.

Eric Ellis, president and chief executive officer of Integrity Development Corp., an Ohio-based consulting firm, says the strategy sessions he holds about improving diversity, equity and inclusion now include more CEOs and not just human resource executives. “CEOs are more interested now and putting more pressure on their organizations to change.”

AI

And, we need to remember AI. While I am not an expert on the topic, I understand its importance and we’ve all seen and heard of how quickly it is developing and bringing with it advances in science, medicine, healthcare and so much more. Technology is advancing rapidly. This includes adoption of robots, autonomous vehicles, commodity sensors, and more artificial intelligence advances, all of which will enable global collaboration and re-thinking of work and global commerce. 

Companies need to be open to the changing landscape as it pertains to worker needs, a more hybrid workplace, technological advances and new trends in input and interest in all of this and more from leaders and CEOs. This will be true in 2025 and beyond.

We’re only a few years past the pandemic, but the data is clear. The ability to successfully change, adapt and remain focused on our staff, technology and inclusion/great workplace culture will lead the way in 2025 and many years to come.