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Over the last decade there has been a seismic workplace revolution – creative, playful and high-tech spaces have emerged as important tools to keep high-performing people motivated and productive.
At the very heart of this reimagined workplace is the growing importance of the user-experience and now, organisations of all shapes and sizes are beginning to think about how to curate a positive work experience on a daily basis – from how colleagues interact with each other, to how they undertake their work and experience the brand.
Open and flat management structures are replacing dictatorial leadership and consequently, employees enjoy greater freedom and choice about how they work. It makes sense that, with the ubiquity of mobile technology and less hierarchical management, workplaces would become more fluid by extension, with work seen as an activity rather than a place to go.
Consequently, work now happens everywhere – in co-working spaces, coffee shops, on park benches, at railway stations, in home-offices and from client’s premises. With employees faced with such choice, a new challenge has emerged.
To answer this, we have to first ask why competing is important at all. The simple answer is that there is infinite value in bringing a workforce together in the office – it is the one space where a brand is brought to life, culture is nurtured, knowledge is shared, community is established, and a sense of company-belonging is forged. With recruitment and retention a major issue for businesses, employers need to recognise workplace experience and design as means to keep talent close, loyal and engaged.
WeWork is an excellent example of how design drives experience. WeWork has given rise to a generation of occupiers who view space as a service, rather than a fixed overhead and has set the bar high with its creativity, innovation and commitment to making work as easy and fun as possible. Their environments give as much focus to sociability, networking and technology as they do a variety of well-designed activity-based work spaces.
There are six primary considerations for employers striving to curate a truly positive and compelling workplace experience:
Organisations with high performing workplaces have given due consideration to each of these elements and have created a cohesive experience that accurately reflects the way the organisation and its people work. The success of a modern workplace can be defined as one that employees actively choose to occupy – a choice they exert because they want the on-brand experience of working with high-performing colleagues in a supportive and well-equipped environment.
The modern workplace provides an opportunity to facilitate the face-to-face collaboration and relationships needed to drive innovation and unlock productivity gains. With the UK’s output at an all-time low and the aftershock of Brexit still unknown – people-focused employers must re-evaluate their priorities and ensure a compelling workplace experience that keeps their best assets close, loyal and productive.