Antony Slumbers has long worked at the intersection of workspace and tech. With decades of experience in commercial real estate tech, web and app development, workspace software creation, research and writing about technology and property, and even European art dealing, Slumbers has unique insights into the impact built environments have on the way we work.
He’s particularly interested in conversations about the future of technology in the workplace and how tech in the coworking industry is “going to get turbocharged now in ways people largely don’t appreciate.” He sees a future in which AI and technology do repetitive tasks and free up humans to be more human.
“It’s not the way we work that’s changing,” he says, “it’s the work you do. As the world becomes more technological, there’s going to be more requirement for us to be exponentially human. Let the machines do what they want to do and realize that it’s different than what humans want to do.”
Slumbers describes the future workspace as data-driven, but human-centric. These spaces will self-regulate and provide information about things like temperature, resource usage and how where people are in the space. This will give space operators valuable insights into the needs and preferences of space users.
“I can see us getting to a point,” he says, “where we’ll be able to tailor our spaces really closely to the needs of our customers.”
Slumbers points out that, as the coworking industry has evolved, workspace design has evolved, as well.
“Offices used to be boring—posh boring or cheap boring—but boring” he says, adding that office spaces are now nice. The changing ways people work, coupled with a renewed focus on workspace design, is one of the drivers of the industry.
“It’s reinforcing the desirability of these types of arrangements,” says Slumbers, “both aesthetically and in terms of community.”
Slumbers will be at GCUC UK in London on September 25 and 26, talking about the future of work, tech innovations and how the workspace industry can prepare for some of the changes coming our way to help members and customers be more productive, healthy and happy.
“I’ll talk about the changing world of work,” he says, “and why exponential tech will allow us to be exponentially more human.”
Slumbers will touch on what’s happening with artificial intelligence (AI) and what it means for the new workforce. He’ll also explore the growing role of social intelligence and empathy in the workforce, and how workplaces can support this.
“The demand will be for workspaces that catalyze our human skills,” he says. “These spaces have to help us be better humans and help us leverage our human skills…The binary world is going to break down and we have to be able to leverage all our skills.”
Join Antony Slumbers and the global workspace industry community at GCUC UK in London on September 25 and 26.
By Cat Johnson