Disruption and flexibility in the workplace

With the advent of the information revolution, disruption and flexibility have deeply penetrated workplace environment. How to take it into account in your company this break with the conventions of the real estate market? How can we guarantee our employees the flexibility they need? The company and its managers’ role is of major importance in understanding these new trends and their consequences for the layout of the workspace. This article presents best practices on how to adapt to those ages and take into account to deal with a new paradigm in the real estate market.

Working environment: QWL, the theory of everything

Faced with the “great wave of flexibilization and individualization that affects absolutely all categories of employment[1], the traditional principles of labor are being questioned. Employees and new ways of working are now at the heart of corporate culture policies pursued by HR Work Environment departments. To be part of this move, companies must adapt and review their relationship to the workplace.

While for 41% of employees, Quality of Work Life (QWL) is the most important criteria at work[2], 3 million employees are still affected by professional burnout[3]. In 2017, improving employees’ well-being must be at the care of HR responsibilities inside companies. To succeed, 2 areas for improvement must be taken into account: reducing commuting time – estimated in more than 1 million hours lost in traffic jam[4] – and changing relations within teams, leaving more autonomy to employees. Today employee’s needs are clear: live near their workplace and find services (culture, health, food…) between house and office. In short, everything that will make life in town pleasant.

Porosity is the new major element that is expressed by real estate investors. Instead of being cut off from its environment, the office building is now in contact with this direct environment and specially with functions and services of the city around. It is no longer a working space but a living area.

Understanding the workplace: collaborate or die

Workplace from the 80s-90s where workers went just for the sake of having a space to work, evolved. In the new millennium, it is a place of collaboration and exchange. Nowadays, we do not want to go to office to work “traditionally” but to share, collaborate. This important change in the workspace has the advantage of refocusing the offices on its uses, the well-being of its employees and seeing it as a lever for performance and competitiveness. You have to create life and collaboration in your offices!

The relation between time, space and people have changed. We are now in the age of work dematerialization, in a worker empowerment vis-à-vis the workplace. Entrepreneurs and start-ups, who were the first to be affected by this transformation, took the disruption of the workplace very seriously. All companies are ever now wondering whether tomorrow there will still be need for a fixed office.

Fit your workplace to your employees’ needs

The key question is how to make an office building a place that meets the needs of its employees. How do I make my workplace flexible allowing physical encounter? The employee aspires more dynamism, more freedom, reorganize the office in function.

On a daily basis, this can result in more meeting rooms, and of any type: from the amphitheater to the micro room of two people to the solo phone booth. This can also be achieved by integrating hybrid spaces, other venues such as terraces, designated halls, coworking, flex office spaces, etc. The office can also be thought of as a grouping of Modular spaces to know in a single day several workspaces. Finally, it is necessary to make the light enter: workspaces must be turned outwards, be open on the city.

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