News 17.10.2023

Need to Know

Our Work States Futures macrotrend report made it to SXSW Sydney 2023, Molson Coors’ non-carbonated drinks for Gen Z and why CEOs want employees back in the office.

Work States Futures at SXSW Sydney 2023

SXSW Sydney. Photography by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images, Australia SXSW Sydney. Photography by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images, Australia

Australia – The rapidly evolving landscape of work, driven by a new generation of empowered employees, was the focus of The Future Laboratory’s presentation at South by Southwest held in Sydney on 15 October 2023. Delivered by our Australian foresight analyst Rosanna Iacono, the presentation expanded on our Work States Futures macrotrend report, delving into the transformative shifts in how, where and why people work.

The presentation explored the emergence of new work states, where traditional office spaces are replaced by flexible, multi-faceted environments. This change reflects a departure from rigid working hours and locations to focusing on achieving new flow states – optimised for specific tasks. It uncovers how workplaces can stimulate different mental states to enhance creativity, productivity as well as performance. As the work landscape continues to evolve, embracing new forms of work states is crucial for businesses adapting to the changing dynamics of the modern workforce.

LS:N Global members can access our Work States Futures macrotrend here and it is also available for non-members to download from our Shop.

Find out more

LS:N Global is the trends and consumer foresight platform that powers The Future Laboratory services, which include our highly regarded Strategy team who can help unpack the relevance of Work States Futures specifically for your business. So get in touch with us now to find out how we can help you make a better, more resilient future happen.

MVRDV converts mixed-use tower into women and children centre

Shenzhen Women & Children’s Centre by MVRDV. Photography by Xia Zhi, China Shenzhen Women & Children’s Centre by MVRDV. Photography by Xia Zhi, China
Shenzhen Women & Children’s Centre by MVRDV. Photography by Xia Zhi, China Shenzhen Women & Children’s Centre by MVRDV. Photography by Xia Zhi, China

China – Dutch architectural firm MVRDV has transformed a tower block in Shenzhen, China, into a colourful women and children’s centre.

Behind a multi-coloured gridded façade, the Shenzhen Women & Children’s Centre houses facilities such as a library, auditorium, children’s theatre, discovery hall, therapy rooms and offices for staff, as well as commercial offices, hotel and retail spaces.

Aiming to promote adaptive re-use, MVRDV re-used some 24,000 cubic metres of concrete from the original structure, making a carbon-saving equivalent of 11,800 flights from Amsterdam to Shenzhen.

‘Showing that even the most inadequate of these structures can be re-used could save a crazy amount of concrete going to landfill – and eliminate millions of tonnes of carbon emissions that would have been created replacing that concrete,’ founding partner of MVRDV, Jacob van Rijs, told World Architecture.

Keep up to date with the latest sustainable innovations in design, architecture and mobility in our Sustainability topic on LS:N Global.

Strategic opportunity

Explore the potential of adaptive re-use for structures. Consider transforming existing buildings to significantly reduce waste and emissions, making it an eco-friendly alternative

Molson Coors works with Gen Z on non-carbonated spiked refreshers

US – Molson Coors is making a strategic shift into the world of non-carbonated beverages with the launch of Happy Thursday, a line of spiked refreshers targeted at young drinkers. Set to make its debut in March 2024, Happy Thursday was developed in consultation with Gen Z consumers over 21 years old. The first launch will feature four flavours: strawberry, pineapple starfruit, black cherry and mango passionfruit, each with an abv of 4.4%.

Molson Coors aims to tap into a niche for canned, low-alcohol drinks without carbonation, catering for consumers who are seeking a refreshing experience without the bloating and burning sensations associated with carbonated drinks.

‘We’ve been seeing and hearing directly from Gen Z that they don’t want carbonation. So, together we’ve taken everything the newest legal drinking age consumers love – smooth, flavourful refreshers – and made them spiked, paving the way for a whole new category of alcoholic beverage,’ said Jamie Wideman, vice-president of innovation at Molson Coors, in a statement.

As this generation redefine their relationship with alcohol, major beverage companies like Molson Coors are racing to align their product offerings with evolving consumer behaviours. In Tinned Tiples and No-Lo Taste Lifts, we previously identified the early adopters turning to canned drinks, low- or no-alcohol, and new drink flavours and food pairings to appeal to Gen Z’s palates.

Happy Thursday by Molson Coors, US

Strategic opportunity

Gen Z’s preference for smoother, non-fizzy options presents an opportunity for creative beverage offerings. How can you develop or expand your product line to include non-carbonated alcoholic beverages?

Stat: New study finds CEOs want employees back in the office

Kii Inc created a highly transparent space for video production company Lyonesse Pictures Office where the entire floor can be felt as one, Japan Kii Inc created a highly transparent space for video production company Lyonesse Pictures Office where the entire floor can be felt as one, Japan

Global – A significant shift is taking place in the mindset of CEOs with regard to remote working. According to the annual US CEO Outlook survey from consulting firm KPMG, 62% of the 400 US CEOs surveyed expect roles that were previously in-office before the pandemic to return to the office within the next three years. This marks a substantial increase from last year’s survey, when only 34% made a similar prediction.

This shift is attributed to a belief among business leaders that in-person collaboration fosters greater productivity. A notable development is that CEOs are inclined to reward employees who choose to come into the office. Some 90% of CEOs said they were likely to reward such employees with favourable assignments, pay rises or promotions. This suggests a shift away from the traditional perks like free lunches and gyms, emphasising a preference for rewarding in-office presence.

But experts such as Gleb Tsipursky, CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts, warn that such a policy might have a negative impact on productivity and employee retention. We have previously explored the post-pandemic transformation from workplace to Work States and how offering flexibility can boost creativity and productivity for workers.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses must be considerate of employee wellbeing when implementing changes to remote and flexible workplace policies. Many employees, such as parents, greatly benefit from flexible policies without which they might not be able to work full-time

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