Next year, more than 3.6 million baby boomers are set to retire and more than one fourth of millennial workers will become managers. Statistics like these and other trends continue to shape office furniture design and the way we work in 2016. Here are our predictions for the office of the future.

The remote workforce will continue to grow
In a recent study by Forbes, 64% of office managers expect their employees to be reachable outside of the office on their personal time. This further indicates a workforce that is more mobile than ever. According to Jones Lang LaSalle, the average employee footprint is expected to shrink to 150 square feet by 2020. Many of those employees aren’t even using their assigned spaces. Work will be performed in many different locations. Office furniture of the future will need to adapt to a variety of different situations. Expect to see more benching applications and both public and private enclaves, all wired for modern tech.

Office furniture and social media merge
It wasn’t too long ago that companies locked down Facebook, Twitter and YouTube from employees. In 2016, businesses will be creating social media policies that encourage employees to promote the organization on social networking sites. With this in mind, office furniture will become even more tech friendly. Social spaces will be designed to enhance the social media experience by including video and other technology that assists social behavior.

Employee health will be a big factor
Sit to stand office desks took off in 2015, and for good reason – a healthy employee is a happier, more productive employee. In 2016 we will continue the trend by providing additional health benefits to employees. Expect to see integrated exercise rooms, gym memberships, personal trainers and an emphasis on ergonomic office furniture all designed to keep the workforce as healthy and happy as possible.

Office design will be increasingly important to attract and retain talent
Workplace design can greatly influence a potential employee’s decision to take the job. There will need to be a wide variety of office furniture that adapts to different workstyles. Some people prefer cubicles and others prefer open plan. As more employees working remotely, office furniture needs to facilitate a mobile workforce as well. Color, style, ergonomics and culture will be critical to attracting and retaining top talent.

Generation Z will enter the workforce in 2016
Born between 1994 and 2010, Generation Z will be entering the workforce as soon as May, 2016. Generation Z is an entrepreneurial bunch and will expect many of the same amenities in the office as Millennials do. They are expected to be a little more realistic about careers, and are also frugal spenders as they experienced the burdens of an economic recession through their parents. Tech will be even more important in the office, as will adaptive social spaces. Unlike Millennials, a recent study by Millennial Branding revealed 53% percent of Generation Z prefer in-person
communication over tools like instant messaging and video conferencing.

One thing we know for sure is that the office of the future will continue to undergo dramatic change in the years to come. To prepare your workplace for the future, consult the professionals at Environments Denver for design advice and and products designed to meet the needs of a modern workforce.