7 Top trends from recent ‘future of the workplace’ conferences.
Wow, it’s been hectic lately, many of the workplace conferences, workshops, meetings that were put on hold for the past two years seem to have all been rescheduled into a condensed, two month period. I’m certainly not complaining!
Themes and trends have centred around sustainability and employee workplace experience from various perspectives as well as ‘working to earn people’s commute not just to compute’, re-educating around the flexibility & use of workspace through to the changing demands and being able to adapt in the moment.
I must confess, I haven’t been lucky enough to attend all of these events from GCUC UK, to All-Island Female Entrepreneur’s Business Conference with WomenInBusiness, through to Workplace Trends Conference – ‘evolving ways of working’ and the European Coworking Conference in November. However, what has made the biggest impact on me is the importance in our ability as both an industry and as workspace operators & educators to continually adapt & flex in a fast paced workplace, and move from best practice to action orientated evidence.
Here are some of the key takeaways with a common thread through all of the recent future of the workplace events:
1.Changing demands & our ability as an industry to continually adapt in the moment and almost anticipate what might come next – evidence & action based not just following best practice. A great quote that came up in the Workplace Trends Conference was – “the future is only the future until it’s here.”
2.Workplace experience – we need to re-educate around the best ways of using a workspace, be able to utilise the tech, the infrastructure beyond our mobile devices & be really flexible in terms of what the buildings can be used for. Really understand what the end user needs to thrive in different situations, for different tasks, at different times of the day, including not just the physical buildings aspects but also their intangible surroundings, networks – this can include varying forms of lighting, seating, textures of fabrics, experiences, collaborations. 360 degree feedback & surveys can give massive potential here for all stakeholders.
3.Employee experience – as Paul Urmstom, Area Workplace Manager for NatWest Group said “We need to be commuting for the right reasons, working to earn people’s commute not just to compute.” The norm now for many is to work from home on a Friday, possibly two to three days a week in the office or even three days per fortnight. If you want your teams in on a Friday there has to be a compelling reason & experience for them to want to come in.
4.Talent attraction & retention – if firms want to attract new skills from wider geographical pools and retain their teams then they have to offer flexibility in terms of not just place of work but also hours of work. How are you measuring output, is it via what days & time employees are showing up or via their actual proven results?
5.Sustainability – this comes up again & again and has to be looked at from varying perspectives, both responsibilities & benefits, including the member’s, the employer’s, the building / owner / operator’s as well as the local economy & community.
6.Collaboration – it’s now for operators and landlords to really work in partnership and collaborate with flexible workspace members and tenants. Only then can we truly make a difference in creating a sustainable environment.
7.The growing piloting & support of the ‘4 day working week’. Peter Cheese of CIPD & Charlotte Lockhart, 4 Day Week Global talked around the 100 / 80 / 100 theory – 100% of pay for 80% of time with 100% of output and not just compressing a 40 hour working week into 4 days. Charlotte talked around a proven school of thought that using value based building and asking your teams what the best way of increasing productivity is for them / what’s getting in their way of optimising their time use is so much more effective than implementing a hierarchical 4 day a week based model.
If you’d like to learn more about flexible office workspaces and how hybrid working can help you & your business then your can learn more about the ways you can work with us here or book a discovery call with me, Suzanne here.