- Organisations are starting to reduce the gross amount of rented real-estate for their workers and thereby increasing the amount of usage and density (person/m2) of their leased space.
This is driven by economics and the hard need to do more will less by reducing expensive capital infrastructure costs and overheads.
But equally, this is being driven by the opportunity to re-configure the workplace using place and space as an enabler of collaboration, interaction and innovation to drive organisational performance.
- The connection between people, place and performance is realised through holistic multidisciplinary approaches integrating finance, corporate real-estate, human resources and information technology elements.
These include a multiplicity of flexible work arrangements including activity based working, pro-working and co-working initiatives. Up until recently the underlying processes, tools and benefits of what these approaches bring has largely occurred organically.
Leading organisations no longer see these as organic trends but seek to understand and exploit them for competitive advantage.
Relocation and the commissioning of new office spaces are increasingly being used as the catalyst for a far more integrated approach to organisational transformation. This involves place and space as an enabler in partnership with IT and flexible Human Resource and work arrangements.
- The value of the interplay between the physical place of work and the online virtual environment is driven from the outside in.
This is the “Consumerisation of Work” – and it in part rides off the back its cousin; the consumerisation of corporate IT – including the move to Bring Your Own Devices – BYOD (and increasingly your own application including personal cloud).
The always on, the always connected world which makes work-life balance difficult is resulting in an ever increasing number of people perceiving work as an experience. (After all it occupies the majority of our waking life).
The quality of that experience is becoming ever important to the willingness of an employee to engage and commit to their employer in what is increasingly becoming an untethered employer-employee relationship.
More commercial and retail spaces are going to be re-purposed to become anchor points for tele-workers, freelancers and creatives seeking a second base from their primary work area (whether that be a home office or car or office). These will not be daily destinations but rather temporary staging points with a geographic spread.
- Independently operated co-working spaces and multi-organisation project areas (or innovation hubs) are likely to grow in number and use as we realise that the more we are online and work remotely the more we need to connect and be connected face to face.
Internal meeting and conference rooms will be turned outward for external use through bookings on flexible/fluid space market places.
The coffee shop always a meeting place will also increasingly become a work place. Interstitial spaces (e.g. laneways and footpaths) between and within tenancies will become places for pop-up co-working and points of experimental activity.
Doing more with less for better outcomes requires doing things differently. In response to issues of needing to do more with less and positive employee engagement, flexibility and the notion that employers are also in the experience business successful organisations are making the connection between people, place and performance.