Variety is the spice of life, for some at least

A chance to work from JLL’s City office for the day last week filled me with fervour – it was a change of scene and a chance to expand my horizons and broaden my network. As we proceeded with our meeting, a colleague acknowledged that variety is the spice of life, I casually laughed it off. It was not until later that week that I saw the truth in this comment. It was change. A change in routine, a change in location, a change in workspace, and a change in setting. The ability to change work environments to suit individual work styles or tasks can help to stimulate and influence thought processes and inspire workers to produce better outcomes.

If we all had to eat the exact same meal for breakfast, at the exact same time in the morning how would we all behave? Yes tasks may be accomplished but would it be the optimal solution for everyone to perform at their best? It is a similar principal that is helping to drive change within the workplace as pressure from senior leadership mounts to maximise productivity in the workplace. JLL’s latest Global CRE Survey reveals that CRE teams are at the coalface of corporate productivity initiatives. 76% of CRE executives noted high demand to increase the productivity of the workplace, with 60% noting high expectations around improving people productivity.

The drive towards productivity has led companies to focus more intently on enhancing workplace experience – quite a challenge given the ever increasing diversity of the workforce. Some people are more productive in a bustling environment with high levels of interaction, while others achieve better results in a quieter work setting. As a diverse younger cohort begins to enter employment, companies are being challenged to provide a workplace that supports a multi-generational workforce. This variety will dictate an ongoing need for flexibility within the workplace, one that can suit a range of different work styles and activities.

Mobile technology will remain a key enabler of this trend towards greater flexibility. It was after all mobile technology that enabled me to venture to the City office to experience a different setting, to interact with other colleagues and essentially get the task in hand done more efficiently. Moving forward the one-size-fits-all thinking behind the current conversations about flexible, mobile or collaborative working are likely to give way to an approach that focuses more on satisfying a range of work styles, which ultimately aim to maximise value and productivity.

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