The paper will describe the set-up and results of the ‘Futures Forum’ study. Through different methodological approaches the future of work and its implications for the future workplace were explored. What will our workplace look like in 2025? And how best to support this work, in alignment, by all the different organisational support services (HR, IT, FM and RE)?

Different stakeholders were involved through different methods. First a global literature study summed up some of the contemporary views on future directions and future studies. Focus groups were held with office end users and young employees. A Delphi study was applied to a multidisciplinary expert group. And finally results were further developed in a ‘pre-design’ workshop. The study was supported by a consortium of private and public partners.

Fast digitalisation of work will have substantial repercussions for work processes and work environments. New types of work and of organizing work are appearing and need to be accommodated. Work organisation will be more dynamic, and communication will be key. This dynamic environment brings a demand for an agile response of the support services in the organisation and a work environment that can accommodate changes easily. The main findings centre around 8 theme’s for the future workplace: changes in work, move towards digitalisation, adaptive potential of organisations, liberation of old structures, attracting and retaining employees, self-employment and self-marketing, and future employee needs.

Due to the dimensions of the research topic, a broad thematic perspective was applied, so a further in-depth exploration might be valuable. The stakeholders that were involved in the data collection were mostly contacted through research partners, which might narrow research findings.

In a last step of the study, a ‘pre-design’ workshop, a first translation was made towards practical design oriented decisions. Insights into the future developments in the workplace will have to be approached in the real-life workplace. Conclusions can be further detailed and determined as a strategic agenda for all support services in the organisation.

Many ‘future studies’ have taken place in the past, and they all apply a different research scope. This study aimed specifically at large office owning organisations in the Netherlands, and on the implications for the future workplace that are to be addressed in a communal way by the organisations’ support services.