“The future of work is today,” state our friends at Quora Consulting. This is a statement that I buy into more and more. Attending quite a lot of facilities management and workplace events, I am personally getting a little bored of the “Future Workplace” presentations that talk about what the office (or lack of office) will look like in 10 years’ time and beyond. Without a crystal ball, it is unrealistic to have a stab at what that may look like. After all the iPad was only released around 5 years ago and look at how that has changed our lives.
So I get much more excited about the types of events that explore what is happening today; looking at the organisations who have adopted huge changes in the way they are working and the technology they are using to promote it. It’s interesting to learn about the people that drive the change, and the mind-set and opinions of those that adopt it.
I recently attended a presentation from Nigel Miller, MD at Cordless Consultants. Nigel gave a fantastic whistle-stop tour of technology in the workplace that is available today, rather than focusing on what it could be in the future. He highlights that there are amazing technologies we can adopt today to support changing workstyles.
Despite being at the forefront of workplace technology, Condeco is no different when it comes to property, workstyles and new ways of working. As a fast-growing company we seem to be doing some kind of workplace re-design or re-fit every year. Each time we design an exciting new workplace, we run out of space again. So we end up re-shuffling the banks of desks or removing break out space to squeeze more people in. We grow a bit more, take up more space, design a new office and off we go again.
Of course, we utilise technology as much as we can to promote flexible working. Tools such as Office 365, Microsoft Lync (Skype for Business) and Virtual Meeting Rooms allow us to work from wherever we want. And of course our world-class Room and Desk booking software supports our needs when we are in the office.
Utilising technology like this enables us to future-proof our workspace today. We all have access to the Internet at home, at work, at the coffee shop, and with everything sitting in the cloud, whatever changes may happen; your core services follow you.
I often think that not enough analysis goes into decisions that are made around office design and new ways of working. Without firm data behind a decision, how do we know we are creating the right working environments for our staff, and bringing in the right technologies? Our sensor solution, Condeco Sense helps organisations put a bit of science behind a business case with some hard facts on office utilisation and occupancy. But engaging with employees on their requirements is often overlooked too. Employee surveys from organisations like Leesman allow employers to see exactly what is important to their staff and how a building is meeting their needs. This insight into what staff are thinking is invaluable when thinking about what your office might look like in the future.
At Quora’s 3rd 2015 Smartworking Summit we dig a bit deeper into people and their mind-sets. We also try to define how organisations can be revitalised when we address this. Property, technology, and processes: these things are relatively easy to change in an organisation, but lets not forget they’re there to support the organisations’ employees. And if we don’t focus on the people, not only will we fail in what we set out to do, but actually what the point of it was in the first place!
I thought I would leave you with a question or two to think about:
In any business, there are some people driving change and pushing organisations forward. Some people come along for the ride, passengers on the journey who are excited by where we are going. And some people resist change; they are dragged along kicking and screaming, or perhaps even left behind.
Which one are you? Driver, passenger or dragged along behind?
And, which one do you want to be?