Future of Workplace Communication: What to Expect - Engage Colleague

Future of Workplace Communication: What to Expect

15 May 2024, posted in

In today’s dynamic corporate landscape, the future of workplace communication stands at the forefront of innovation and transformation. As we delve into the intricacies of this evolution, it’s essential to understand the pivotal role of technology and its influence on employee engagement and experience. In this article, we examine these key themes to help your business prepare for the future:

  • The current state of workplace communication
  • The role of technology in future communication
  • The impact of remote work on communication
  • Key trends in workplace communication

The current state of workplace communication

 The modern workplace has witnessed a seismic shift in communication dynamics. With the integration of advanced technologies, companies have transitioned from traditional face-to-face interactions to a more digitalised approach. This transformation has been further accelerated by the global pandemic, pushing organisations to adapt and rethink their communication strategies.

Data by the Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) shows that on average in 2023 UK workers spend 1.6 days of their working week in the office – slightly less than the global average of 1.7 days per week. To connect dispersed teams and allow productivity to transcend distances and time zones, the realm of workplace communication is vast, with digital channels connecting talents globally. Employees are empowered with a plethora of teamwork and individual work tools: email discussions, employee platforms, instant messaging for quick check-ins, video calls for face-to-face collaborations, and project management software.

However, the sheer range of tools presents challenges. The HR Review Trends for 2023 data reveals that only 59% of UK workers believe their work processes are productive, a decrease from 63% the previous year. Similarly, the percentage of employees finding their technology supportive dropped from 61% to 56%. The rapid adoption of various tech solutions during the pandemic resulted in disjointed tech strategies, causing some teams to use multiple apps for similar tasks. This inefficiency contributed to 40% of employees experiencing burnout symptoms and 37% feeling emotionally drained.

Preparing for the future requires an examination of tech strategy, streamlining tools, and ensuring employees are equipped with the right tools for their roles, leading to better efficiency will be crucial for improving employee satisfaction. For companies aiming to improve their employee retention, this should be accompanied by sharing values and prioritising development. A significant 63% of employees would commit to a company for three or more years if they believe in its values. Only 58% feel their current company can currently fulfil their career aspirations. (The HR Review, 2023).

The role of technology in future communication

Technology is so much more than just a tool; it’s the backbone of our future workplace communication. In an era marked by swift technological and AI advancements, from chatbots to virtual reality meetings, we are already seeing the rapid rate of technological advancements that are set to redefine how we communicate. The demand for skilled workers is on the rise due to automation increases, requiring workers to continually upskill and reskill. Automation will continue to influence the job market, but history suggests that new jobs will emerge to replace those that will be lost.

Concurrently, the workforce is becoming more diverse and must prepare for the next wave of workers – Gen Z, which Johns Hopkins University says will make up 30% of the workforce by 2030. This brings new challenges for employers and those going after their first jobs. Moreover, increased mobility, driven by globalisation, the internet, and remote work, demands businesses to be flexible and adaptable.

Technology will be pivotal in every process, reshaping HR functions, automating routine tasks, and enhancing decision-making through data analytics. Diversity, equity, and inclusion will also play a significant role in the future with technology aiding in addressing biases and promoting inclusivity. The future workforce – Gen Z, will expect this to be an integral part of everyday business practice rather than part of future goals or strategy.

Hybrid work models, combining on-site and remote work, are expected to continue. Meta predicts that the future will likely blend physical, hybrid, and virtual work environments to maximise workforce potential. The Metaverse promises an ‘infinite office’ where virtual and augmented reality will enable collaborative online worlds. Whilst this might not feel likely in the immediate future, to prepare for thriving in this hybrid environment, organisations can focus on strategic clarity, outcome-based management, rapid reskilling, effective collaboration methods, and accelerated technology adoption.

The 2023 report by Unily and Kjaer Global provides us with a vision for the workplace of 2030 through four distinct lenses:

  • The Emotional Workplace emphasizes work-life balance. AI’s role in productivity will allow for the importance of organisational culture to develop emotional intelligence into employees’ needs.
  • The Physical Workplacewill see the transformation of office spaces into social hubs, with designs inspired by nature and augmented by AR and VR technologies.
  • The Technological Workplacechampions a blend of human and tech, fostering continuous learning and innovation.
  • The Purposeful Workplaceunderscores the role of companies in societal matters, the significance of impact investments, and the need for decentralised management.

Collectively, these insights predict a future workplace centred on well-being, inclusivity, and purposeful leadership, ready to navigate the challenges of a dispersed workforce and constant change.

The impact of remote work on communication

The shift to remote work, a direct consequence of the pandemic, has reshaped communication paradigms. Companies have had to adopt new strategies to maintain team cohesion and ensure effective communication. Virtual team-building activities, regular check-ins, and the use of collaborative tools have become the new norm, emphasising the importance of adaptability in this ever-evolving landscape. A study found that while remote workers enjoy a high degree of autonomy, many also experience feelings of isolation (N Ratz, 2021). Not everyone who works remotely finds it favourable, highlighting the need for companies to understand and address the unique challenges faced by their remote or dispersed workforce.

Key trends in workplace communication 

The horizon of workplace communication is dotted with emerging trends. AI and automation are streamlining repetitive tasks, allowing employees to focus on more strategic endeavours. Digital collaboration tools are fostering a sense of community and bridging the gap between remote teams. As we move forward, the emphasis will be on creating a holistic communication ecosystem that caters to the diverse needs of a global workforce. These are some of the key trends current employers and employees can prepare for:

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: More companies are offering flexible work arrangements than ever, including remote work and flexitime. For instance, Buffer, a social media management company, allows its employees to work from anywhere globally. Other companies such as the online bank Monzo, have introduced schemes such as, ‘work from anywhere’, for a set number of weeks or months per year. Helmiatin Helmiatin et al., 2022, highlight the importance of workplace flexibility in enhancing employee engagement, communication, and the role of technology – emphasising the need for a broader definition of workplace flexibility that goes beyond organisational culture change to encompass a holistic approach to flexibility.
  • Collaborative Office Designs: Many companies are experimenting with office designs that are more collaborative and flexible to meet their employees’ needs. Google’s office in London, for example, features a variety of spaces for employees, including individual desks, team rooms, and lounge areas. Other companies are finding ways to support childcare or even pet care, which their employees are in the workplace environment.
  • Technology Support for Remote Work: Technology is increasingly being used to support remote work and collaboration. Popular video conferencing and messaging tools like Zoom and Slack enable employees to stay connected even when they are not in the office. Employee engagement platforms – such as Engage Solutions Group can give employees a window to everything they need for their daily working lives, facilitating socialising through social-media-like interfaces for enhanced engagement.
  • Employee Well-being Programs: Companies are investing in employee well-being programs, including on-site gyms and meditation classes. Aetna, a health insurance company, offers its employees a variety of wellness programs, including financial planning and stress management classes.
  • Upskilling and Reskilling Opportunities: Companies are providing opportunities for their employees to upskill and reskill. IBM, for example, offers its employees access to a variety of online courses and training programs.
  • Diverse and Inclusive Workplaces: Companies are making efforts to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces. Microsoft, for instance, has set a goal to have 50% of its workforce be women by 2025.

Preparing for the future

For companies to thrive in this new era, proactive preparation is crucial. Embracing:

  • Technological advancements
  • Investing in training programs
  • Flexible working arrangements

Fostering a culture of continuous learning will be pivotal

By implementing forward-thinking strategies and being receptive to change, organisations can position themselves at the forefront of workplace communication evolution.

Shahzad, 2023, explored the positive outcomes of flexible work arrangements. The research found that flexible work arrangements can lead to increased work engagement, especially in technology-focused entrepreneurial firms. Yan et al, 2023, also found a positive association between digital leisure in the workplace and resource recovery processes, employee wellbeing, and productivity. This suggests that as we move into the future, the lines between work and leisure may blur, leading to new ways of enhancing productivity and well-being in the workplace.


We cannot predict with certainty the future of work by 2030, however, much of the research emphasises the importance of adaptability and preparation. The key to navigating these changes is to prioritise employee experience, understand employee demographics and needs, provide training, and focus on the right talent acquisition, and office space utilisation, to foster a positive workplace culture.

Digital collaboration platforms, real-time feedback tools, and advanced analytics give the potential to empower employers to foster better cultures of transparency and inclusivity. Understanding the interplay of the nature of work, who the employees of the future are and what they will need is crucial.

The future of workplace communication is a tapestry of technological innovations, strategic adaptations, and a renewed focus on employee engagement. As we stand on the cusp of this transformation, companies and individuals alike must embrace these changes, gearing up for a more connected, collaborative, and efficient future.

FAQ Section:

  • What to expect in the future of corporate communications?Expect a blend of technological innovations, a focus on employee well-being, and strategies that prioritise transparent and inclusive communication.
  • How do you think workplace communication will change in the future?With the integration of AI, automation, and digital tools, communication will become more streamlined, efficient, and adaptive to the needs of a diverse workforce.
  • What do you think is the future of communication?The future lies in a balanced mix of technology and human touch, emphasising empathy, clarity, and adaptability.
  • What are the expectations of communication?The primary expectations are transparency, efficiency, inclusivity, and adaptability to the ever-changing dynamics of the corporate world.