8wordsProfessor Jeremy Myerson provided us with his predictions for the key words and themes to watch this year, which are:

1. Chatbots: Artificial Intelligence (AI) switch from science fiction to a workplace near you in 2018 with Chatbots leading the charge. But the discourse will swing from robots taking our jobs to humans having to do the work of robots.

2. Narrative: The workplace brandscape will make a comeback in 2018, but the storytelling element will be more abstract and subtle in approach than the overt branded statement interiors of the early 2000s.

3. Mindfulness: The big health and wellbeing accent in 2018 will be on the mind rather than the body. Mental health will top the agenda, as days lost through stress, anxiety, depression and burnout cut into corporate profits.

4. Flex-Space: Watch out as large companies shrink their corporate footprint in 2018 and seek out flexible alternatives, making the co-working juggernaut unstoppable.

5. Data Analysts:  2018 will be a breakthrough year for collecting data in the workplace building through smart sensors and beacons, but the key question will switch from how we collect the data, to what we do with it. In-house data analysts could be on answer.   

6. Smart Precincts: A big year ahead not just for smart buildings but for smart precincts, which are the building blocks of digital cities. These digital districts are set to blend mixed-use developments with smart services.

7. Biophilia:  2018 will be a big year for bringing nature into the workplace to boost wellbeing. Not just plants but natural materials such as slate and hemp too.  And not just natural plants – tech-enabled robotic plants will make their entry too.

8. Superfoods:  In a fresh bid to improve performance and productivity, companies will focus on the links between nutrition and neuroscience, offering the right diet to sharpen the brain.

The academic and author, specialized in design and innovation, is director of the WORKTECH Academy that aims to build a global online knowledge community of senior decision makers and leading opinion formers, exploring the future of work and workplace. Jeremy holds the Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design at the London Royal College of Art and is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford. He has consulted widely with businesses and governments around the world and sits on the advisory boards of design institutes in Korea, Switzerland and Hong Kong and has been recently named one of Britain's 100 most influential people in digital technology.

By MediaBUZZ