What can corporate real estate executives derive from several recent  predictions of what the future holds for the workaday life?

Earlier this month, The New York Times discussed “extreme commuting,” meaning now that people can typically trade off a day or two of work from home, they might turn those chits, and a longer commute on the in-office days, into having more land and a bigger house.

Then of course came the widely reported news that a Wisconsin company was offering employees the opportunity to have a microchip inserted beneath the skin in their hands that would grant access to entry points and food purchases.

And how about this: a widely shared Facebook post from Udo Gollub, the CEO of 17 Minute Languages makes some incredbily bold predictions about what he says is coming down the pike for all of us:

  • In 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination.
  • We can transform former parking spaces into parks.
  • Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood (note, see above)
  • Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can’t last. Technology will take care of that strategy.
  • There’s much more in the post, and we’ll also share this: At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities.  You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home (Like, OMG).

In what seems like opposition to at least some of the trends cited above, a survey we are announcing this week conducted with Cushman & Wakefield finds that more companies are moving to cities – urbanization – because that is where those highly coveted millennials prefer to live and work.

But we don’t think the trends toward ubranization and extreme commuting are mutually exclusive. What it means is that digitalization, access to WiFi, and changing workplace norms are enabling greater freedoms for employees and employers alike.

Since 2002, CoreNet Global has been tracking trends in technology and lifestyle and mapping them to the needs of corporate real estate executives, and we’ll continue to monitor and to filter the more outlandish predictions.

Make your own shoes – now that one’s a keeper.