Andrew Schunke – Managing Principal
We didn’t have Facebook and Google 20 years ago and we didn’t have an iPad or many electric cars 10 years ago. Five years ago VR and AR were multi-million dollar systems in research facilities or movie fantasies. 2017 is speeding past, the first quarter is almost a memory. We are moving through a time of incredible and profound change and the way we are working and will be working is part of this change.
Technology and connectedness has a enormous impact on how, where and when we work. To this end Activity Based Working (ABW) is the Nintendo 64 or Nokia 3110 of workplace evolution.
The idea that ABW is about cost saving and real estate footprint reduction belies the underlying and original intent and the future of workplace – to bring people together and give choice and encourage trust in an organisation.
If a workplace invests in change, technology and space, the cost saving in real estate or operating expenditure may not be realised. What does occur is the creation of high performing teams that believe in what they do, are empowered and can drive businesses forward in self-directed positive streams. This then results in financial performance on a much wider scale than could ever be achieved through simple rent reductions.
Staffing can account for approximately 90% of business costs so when an adaptive workplace supports their people any minor improvement in performance and retention will be enormously valuable.
As we now move to agile and nimble workplaces and beyond the challenge for business is how to engage their staff on a personal level. Science shows us that personal face to face physical connection is key to our basic brain growth and ongoing knowledge development. This is where workplaces need to ensure we facilitate and create spaces that support and welcome personal interactions.
The work café and open meeting space are morphing into standing meeting zones, barista service areas and the resort office. Smaller team focused spaces will replace the large expansive open work areas. These spaces will accommodate 10-15 people with shared spaces, collaborative pods and mobile whiteboard and pinboard surfaces supplemented by smart surfaces.
Digital interactive walls with multiple touch inputs will allow a shared digital vision. Leaning rails, walking meetings and experience clusters will all form part of your next workplace. Mobile technology will become foldable and adaptable from phone to tablet to laptop to projector to smart surface interface. Magnetic charging standards will allow all devices to charge simply by sitting on or near a charging surface.
The engagement and attraction for staff will be through the Barre studio and acupuncture clinic sitting next to your Virtual Reality Immersion retreat.
But hopefully it will be about people making time and space to share a simple conversation.