The workplace has evolved incredibly – from a time when physical skill and labour were the main focus, to today’s landscape, dominated by technological advancements. It’s safe to say that the idea of work, and the worker, has undergone quite the transformation over the centuries.
So how do we prepare for the next step in the evolution of the workplace? The answer may be simpler than we thought.
In the current economic climate, businesses are pro-actively changing in response to the growing expectations of their workers.
Now that people are defining the future of work, we need to examine their needs, their values and their purpose. In doing so, companies are following all kinds of ‘workplace trends’ to attract top talent. But the successful workplaces are those that have three core elements at their centre: Technology, Design and Culture. Each element on its own is a kickstarter to a better workplace, but when used in support of each other, they are a recipe for a brand new paradigm of work, possibly the best we’ve seen so far.
Rather than diminishing the human experience at work, technology should be used as a celebration of it. Technology is no longer a machine. It is our partner. Technology has enabled us to become faster, smarter, more productive and collaborative, leading to widespread economic growth and a higher standard of living. But while technology can offer the most dynamic change, it isn’t the only factor improving our workplaces.
If technology is our enabler, then design is our support structure.
Now, more than ever employers are starting to understand the importance of the physical workspace and how humans respond to that physical workspace which makes a huge difference to the overall performance of the organisation.
Terms and acronyms that didn’t exist 10 years ago are now common place - End Of Trip Facilities, ABW and nap pods, to name a few. Businesses across the world are now looking towards large scale companies to see how they have used design as a catalyst for change within their workplace and change in society as a whole. For workplace designers, it is indeed an exciting time.
So we have a future workplace which operates productively, and a design that supports our structure and workflow. Now for the last element, which brings it all together…
Culture creates a base level of what is expected, defines our values and underpins our purpose. When executed correctly, a workplace’s culture can set the behavioural code of your organisation and determine the roles played by technology and people in the life of your company.
Practices that promote a fluid, open, flexible and healthy company culture will show workers the recognition and respect that are commonplace in tomorrow’s office.
Steve Schmidt, BRM Projects Director, runs workshops on workplace solutions and wellbeing throughout Melbourne. Contact Steve today to have a chat about a workshop that would suit your workplace.
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