A lot has been written about “workplace of future”, co-existence of Robots and increased use of AI. This article will not repeat those. Instead, we will explore an ideal world of the future, which is “utopian”.This has been based on some dreams but also on discussions with a number of millennials and Gen Zs. An ideal world is not only borderless but fluid and dynamic.

We are fully aware that it is not only technological changes that will make an impact but also the mindset shift which will lead to an effective workplace model of the future.

Imagine you are in 2025, not too far away from 2019. You are in your living room in your pyjamas in Singapore at 4 pm and you have to attend a conference in London. You wear your Virtual Reality Headset and enter the conference. The speakers are in different parts of the world, your fellow participants are in different parts of the globe and yet all of you are together in a simulated environment. You participate, contribute and are as present as you can be in person.

You finish it and move on to go to dinner with your friends in Tiong Bahru. You press a number on an application on your ultra-smart phone and a flying scooter comes to your balcony to pick you up. You board it and go to your destination. After dinner, you come back using an electric cycle (which can become manual), because you need some exercise.

You come back, record your presentation for tomorrow and send it to the participants in different time zones so that they can look at it at their convenience and send you their questions or comments. The participants request for a meeting which you organize using the virtual meeting room.

Some of your mails are driven by bots and you look at the ones that cannot be answered by them. You work for some time and then relax.

With so many technological advancements and new ways of looking at things, the above scenario is possible. In fact, some of them are already in existence. How does it change our lives as corporate dwellers?

In my opinion, it will really help us to be more productive by reducing or eliminating the need for an actual office. The flexibility will help people with different lifestyles and priorities and reduce the need for travel. There will still be plenty of contact as the whole system will be based on interaction, may not exactly be “real-time” but it will still cater to the “human contact” need.

I see a future with training experiences that will be enhanced to provide real life experience. The anytime, anywhere engaging technology will make learning fun and effective. The different modes of meetings and training rooms using Virtual Reality will help in creating real-life experience while saving time in travel.

I visualise the use of AI in different fields of work-life will help us to focus on the augmented experience and help in creating new concepts. It is already happening with chatbots for recruitment, learning tools to match needs with available programmes, training communication skills using an App, predicting the relevance of a job using an angle of workforce planning and so on.

I am looking forward to an environment, where we are connected but may not meet in a physical state. The transient nature is a bit scary but is the only way we will be able to reside in a borderless world as a global citizen. I see a world with companies having different hubs for employees to meet physically when work demands or for social interactions from time to time.

I am looking forward to a world where diversity and inclusion are completely intertwined as people will know each other by the first name but it will no longer matter where you are from or what language you speak as there will be automatic translators available.

In my dream, I also see a world, which is forward-looking and with humans having time to spend with their families and friend as flexibility is the key for future workplaces.

I see the future where companies are looking at re-skilling workforce and able to re-deploy based on needs. Career pathing is done by using AI to match the skills of the person to potential jobs.

I see a future where employees may not only hold one job but have different jobs with different employers during a week. This will not only ensure variety for the multi-generational workforce but will also benefit industries, which do not need full-time employees on a regular basis. The gig economy of freelancers may go one step further with people juggling different careers at the same time and still be 100% dedicated to each.

I see a world that is environmentally friendly with less travel, less carbon-foot prints, ironically more connected and more aware of the impact we make on society.

I see a future that is beneficial to corporate dwellers and help to make life more meaningful. The confluence of a different generation, mindsets and ideas will aim to make “global thinking” a reality. Who knows, we may end up inventing new ways of making the earth a more liveable place with harmony.

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