Within computing, the definition of default is a setting or option that a computer uses if you do not choose a different one. The overall default setting or option which our workplaces have had historically is the locally based male, aged mid-twenties to mid-sixties. But now a different setting and option must be actively chosen in our workplaces, products and concepts to modernise and maximise the workforce in order to welcome and adapt to the current diversity.

We are in the midst of three main shifts and they all call for ditching default thinking.

Shift 1: The 4G Workforce The four generation workforce is characterised by the young, more mature and senior employees working side by side as the digital thought economy allows for broader and longer careers. Designing with insight into how the different generations think and act will be crucial.

Shift 2: The Design Equality Movement Female professionals have been entering – and staying – in the workplace for many years. Whilst the strive for equality between women and men is a staple of the modern workplace, the opportunities lie in fully researching eventual differences in gender structures and psychology to find out how this affects the design of objects and space. Questioning the existing design status quo from a gender perspective will be a driver for creating a truly inclusive workplace environment.

Shift 3: The Introvert/Extrovert Puzzle Everyone has different ways of thinking to find solutions and solve problems. A main difference lies between the introvert and the extrovert personality, and today’s workplace is wise to cater to both. Solving this puzzle will lead to all kinds of minds uniting to reach a common goal.

This article has been taken from the Kinnarps Trend Report 2015. Click here to download the full research paper.