If your vision for the future workplace is a drab, cold warehouse sparsely dotted with drone employees, think again.
Over the next decade and beyond, workplaces will be geared more towards the needs of its employees, which will mean a diverse mix of spaces, furniture, and amenities, experts say.
"My view is that we're going to see more and more flexibility in workplace design," organizational psychologist and "The Best Place To Work" author Ron Friedman told Business Insider.
In researching his book, Friedman analyzed thousands of academic studies in behavioral science to better understand the conditions that help us work more effectively. In the past, he said the focus of workplace design has been on saving space, primarily for financial reasons.
"That's changing as the knowledge economy grows, and there's a greater appreciation for the extent to which the brain is influenced by its surroundings," he said. "Offering a selection of spaces for workers to choose from is going to become essential for business success."
To determine what this trend of designing workspaces around elevating worker performance might look like in the future, Business Insider also conferred with experts from office space rental company WeWork, research and advisory firm CEB (now part of Gartner), and architecture firms WXY architecture + urban design, nARCHITECTS, and ESI Design.
In designing workspaces that will serve the future workforce, Mimi Hoang, a principal at nARCHITECTS, told Business Insider, "the aim is to create synergies and spontaneous opportunities for collaboration through the diverse mix of work-related functions." Workspaces of the future will essentially function as "an expanded ecosystem."
"The day of everyone sitting by themselves at their own desk is coming to a close," Michael Schneider, a senior designer and A/V technologist at ESI Design told Business Insider. "With interpersonal, creative work proving more resilient to automation than many of the rote jobs conducted at individual work stations, expect the office of the future to be centered around collective spaces."
Emily Webster, a senior designer and A/V technologist at ESI Design, also told Business Insider that, as more and more jobs are handled by freelancers or gig workers passing through temporary spaces, offices will "need to prevent employees from feeling like strangers waiting at a bus station."
Based on these conversations, we've compiled a number of workspace design elements we may see over the next ten years and beyond.