Design Prose

Evolving Work Culture and its Impact and Implications on Workplace Solutions

Posted in Built Environment, Sustainability, Uncategorized by designprose on September 22, 2011

There is a paradigm shift on the horizon, shift geared towards exploring different work culture, one which is enabled by technology and which is enabling employees and employers to exploit a model different from a traditional model of 8 to 5 desk work environment. Workforce is increasingly getting geared with smart phones, laptops, tablets. It enables them to adopt a more suited model with a flexible schedule and frees one to be bound with the physical geography of office.

Human ecology plays an important role here and suggests us via research that we may never be fully devoid of human interaction achieved through face time. There is certain credibility attached and associated to build a professional relationship through face-to-face meetings. Perhaps our brains are more traditional in functioning towards that aspect. Although, it certainly questions the model of all the employees being present, all at the same time, all in one location to be most productive. Mobility granted to workers with the help of technology adds a dimension which is redefining the work culture we imbibe. Meetings can be effective via video-conferencing, information is transferred and shared accurately and in a  much faster way. And these techniques can enable effective collaboration for resources located in different parts geographically.

With that, alternative model for workspace is critical to explore. One that saves time, energy consumption in traveling and yet be as or more effective in achieving what the workforce team is set out to do. Successful business models are not solo achievements so effectively leveraging all the members potential and teams put together is both essential and critical.

Many companies are already exploring alternate models based on hot desking, office hoteling, virtual offices, alternative offices, laterally stacked scheduling for allocating essential office space and necessary equipments. What this does is that, it dramatically reduces the need for permanent, personalized office space. Reducing the burden of carbon emissions is the direct tangible impact with this practice. It also stresses facility managers and space planners to verify the effectiveness of space allotted. If the space leased is unoccupied or used less effectively, it adds a cost burden on rent and can be a negative spin-off to real estate.

There is a need to have checks and balances in this approach, a need to analyze the user needs and an urge to suggest a model that is best suited to work effectively and space allocation to best achieve this and yet not make us robotic in our approach and temperament.