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New alternative workplace strategies are constantly emerging, driven by new connected technologies and the shifting values and demographics of the workforce. What are right criteria for determining what strategies will work best for you? What are some of the common pitfalls to avoid? Read on to hear what the experts have to say.

Despina Katsikakis  on the social value of the workplace

Studies show that people are much happier when they feel connected to others in the workplace. People who have friends at the offce are at least four times happier at work than those who don’t, while over 70% of millennials want their coworkers to be a second family.

 

A renewed focus on community in the workplace comes along with a new focus on mental and physical health. Corporations want to build wellness into their workspaces, but they don’t always know how to go about it, and they don’t always have the vision to achieve it.

 

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the open-plan office at the turn of the century to enable the uninterrupted flow of work and clear visual supervision. It worked exceptionally well, but 100 years on the nature of work has radically changed,

while the physical environment has not kept up with these changes.

 

Open-plan offices tend to be the antithesis of collaboration, and sometimes actually promote isolation. But you can create opportunities for innovation through collaboration if you layer the work environment with places that support connection, and allow people to be spontaneous and accessible.

 

Truly enabling people-centric workplaces requires management vision and practices. You need to have the right culture and behavior, and the right space, technology, and services. The physical environment combines with behavior and attitude to deliver a message and influence workplace behavior. Organizations who want to create people-centric workspaces have to learn this lesson, in order to start walking the walk.

About the author
Despina Katsikakis is an internationally recognized thought leader on workplaces and their impact on organizational transformation and business performance.

   

Truly enabling people-centric workplaces requires management vision and practices. You need to have the right culture and behavior, and the right space, technology and services."

 

- Despina Katsikak

Workplace visionary

Elizabeth Dukes  on employee engagement

Emphasis on employee engagement and employee experience has skyrocketed, and employers are investing more more resources into ensuring that their workforce feels comfortable and motivated.

 

One of the most common approaches to encouraging employee engagement is leveraging new technology to improve experience. This might mean implementing new software solutions to promote professional development, improving communication through a faster and more user-friendly instant messenger platform, or fostering a collaborative atmosphere through knowledge management software.

 

To succeed, business leaders must seek the proper balance between connectivity and flexibility, for both onsite and remote workforces. By using wireless sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) to collect data about the workspace — such as occupancy and utilization — businesses can identify areas of the office where the workforce prefers to spend time. After identifying these spaces, managers can determine what elements they have in common, allowing them to design workspaces where employees feel happy and motivated.

 

Creating a digital workplace also opens the door for employers to offer flexible scheduling options. With instant access to the information they need at all times, employees can be empowered to work in their preferred location and on their preferred schedule, positively affecting productivity and career satisfaction.

About the author:
Elizabeth Dukes is EVP & CMO of facilities management software company iOFFICE

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