When a global provider of real estate services peers into the future, what comes into focus above all else is flexibility—a flexible workplace unlike any yet seen in the real world. In this world, real estate facilities are consumed by employees, employees, entrepreneurs and working free spirits. Ownership of facilities, where it does exist, is joint, and far more work is performed with far more efficiency and accuracy at the "hive" or, as we know it, the home.

This is what emerges from Smart Workplace 2040: Rise of the Workspace Consumer, a truly exhaustive effort by Johnson Controls Global Workplace Solutions unit to determine how and where people will work in 2040.

That's not so far off, which is what makes the research especially intriguing.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.