Welcome to the Brave New World of Work

A new white paper examining workplace needs and practices entitled ‘Meeting the future of work’ has just been released by Regus and Quora Consulting. The report is based on a survey of 25,000 staff of different generations, seniority and backgrounds, located across 19 countries.  It is worthy of review for its insights into the workplace and its evolution.

For me, a few standout points were:

  • Around one third of staff surveyed thought current workplace technology was ineffective for their work needs. One comment received, which I think rings true for a lot of us was: “I’ve better technology at home than I use in the office”.  This will be an ongoing challenge to Chief Information Officers who will need to take a long hard look at the business value of their IT interventions, the complexity of their interventions and the pace of delivery.
  • As new work-setting practices and drivers, such as increased social, environmental and ethical responsibilities or remote and flexible working, are required to enhance corporate competitiveness then it will be crucial that IT, Real Estate and HR are in alignment with common goals and objectives. In today’s work ecosystem, there is no room for isolated actions. This issue was central to our own recent white paper, ‘A new dawn for workplace strategy?’
  • New solutions are required.  Just over half of staff in the survey found current workspace configurations ineffective, with a high demand for effective meeting consistently ranking among the most significant requirements.  More efficient workspace configurations can represent a huge opportunity for companies to realise savings from leaner workplaces.  Efforts need to be made by business leaders to appreciate the gains from trusting and encouraging staff to seek opportunities for temporal and spatial autonomy.
  • Perhaps the biggest change impacting upon the workplace over recent years has been the huge increase in the number of women entering the workforce.  As this represents such a big change in the workplace I feel it warrants a separate blog entry – so please read my next post for a discussion of related workplace implications.

Unfortunately but unsurprisingly there is no crystal ball that allows us to see the future workplace, but those interested in driving effective organisational transformation through workplace strategy would do well to start by understanding the challenges and opportunities existing workplaces present to employees.