I put together a list of considerations for companies investing in Workplace Design with my ever-brilliant colleague Jacob Simons, what else do you think should be considered?
The New Meaning of Place for Young People. Place is no longer a physical place, but through digital media place transcends physicality. e.g. "I'll meet you online" versus "I'll meet you at the mall."
Work Trends Perpetuated by Millennials. For example: BYOD (bring your own device), ubiquitous access to data, the app approach to technology, hackable systems, work-life integration (as opposed to work-life balance), rhythms of autonomy, purpose driven work, social media, etc...
Strategic Future-Casting. alent is a marketplace like any other. And just like any marketplace, the talent market requires sophisticated strategies and investments for future-employee engagement to ensure competitive advantage at recruiting time.
Urbanization and population density. With the influx if young populations, our cities are changing. This means the businesses in the city need to be aware of what kind jobs will most appeal to savvy young city dwellers. Creating a platform for civic engagement, accommodating urban transportation, cultivating diversity, ensuring safety, engaging public space, and making room for the arts are all strategies for future-minded urban businesses to consider.
The New Workday. There is a shifting attitude about what a "work-day" looks like – larks, owls, hyper mobility, zero-office workplace strategies, etc.
Community. Social identity paradigms and status signaling have changed with younger generations. The corner office doesn't mean as much as it used too, employee loyalty is no longer earned through perks but through the bonds of relationship. Motivation and accountability systems live and die by autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
The New School. MOOC's and experiential learning represent the shifting cultural value of traditional education. This means on the job learning is now expected of competitive employers.
Technology. The internet of everything, as well as other tech advances like fog computing, augmented reality, and distributed networks are shaping a new infrastructure for collaboration, productivity, and innovation.
Sustainable Working. The environment has never been as front as mind as it is today, but sustainability efforts go beyond place to technology, processes, and individuals. A new methodology for sustainable work takes a broader look at how people work (culture), not just where they work (built environment).
Information Symmetry. The decline of specialists and growth of generalists, as it relates to an individual's capacity to add value to an organization, is an important factor to consider when staffing, planning adjacencies, creating creative culture, and forming teams. Today's savvy business needs to design space that brings analysis and imagination together in harmonious ways.
New Capital Success Metrics. Capital has been redefined. It is the imperative of today's business to create organizational wealth, creative wealth, emotional wealth, physical wellbeing, etc... GDP is out, Social Progress Index is in. There is an extreme need and increasing demand for commitments between employee and employer to create this wealth.
Transition Planning. Millennials are the talk of the town, but not much has been said about retiring boomers. There are massive implications on corporate culture and knowledge/expertise loss with this generational exodus that must be planned for though strategy and design.
Engagement, not incentives. This means an employee's understanding of, and association with, the brand is critical to talent attraction and retention, as well as employee productivity and profitability. People, process, technology, and place are all implicated by purpose. If purpose is not the driving factor for the four components of workplace design, then the outcomes will be agnostic to the enterprise objectives of our client. Furthermore, starting with purpose ensures congruence of workplace strategies across the various dimensions of the organization.
*photo by Norman Ai, used with permission