Lexicon of work: eight key words to watch in 2018

What are the key buzzwords to bandy around as we head into the new year? WORKTECH Academy gathers up the prime suspects in a round of predictions

Flex-Space:  Watch out as large companies shrink their corporate footprint in 2018 and seek out flexible alternatives, making the coworking juggenaut unstoppable. Another latte, anyone?

Biophilia:  2018 will be a big year for bringing nature into the workplace to boost wellbeing. Not just plants but natural materials such as slate and hemp too.  And not just natural plants – tech-enabled robotic plants will make their entry too.

Superfoods:  In a fresh bid to improve performance and productivity, companies will focus on the links between nutrition and neuroscience, offering the right diet to sharpen the brain.

Chatbots: AI will switch from science fiction to a workplace near you in 2018 with Chatbots leading the charge. But the discourse will swing from robots taking our jobs to humans having to do the work of robots.

Smart Precincts: A big year ahead not just for smart buildings but for smart precincts, which are the building blocks of digital cities. These digital districts (think Hudson Yards or King’s Cross) are set to blend mixed-use developments with smart services.

Mindfulness: The big health and wellbeing accent in 2018 will be on the mind rather than the body. Mental health will top the agenda, as days loss through stress, anxiety, depression and burnout cut into corporate profits.

Narrative: the workplace brandscape will make a comeback in 2018, but the storytelling element will be more abstract and subtle in approach than the overt branded statement interiors of the early 2000s.

Data Analysts:  2018 will be a breakthrough year for collecting data in the workplace building through smart sensors and beacons, but the key question will switch from how we collect the data, to what we do with it. In-house data analysts could be an answer.

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