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The Future of the Workplace

19.12.2014

The Future of the Workplace

The New Year offers a fresh start. It’s also the time when many people begin planning for the future, so it seems the perfect opportunity to spend a few moments looking at what lies ahead.

The New Year offers a fresh start. It’s also the time when many people begin planning for the future, so it seems the perfect opportunity to spend a few moments looking at what lies ahead.

The way we work is continuously changing and in recent years we’ve seen a near endless emergence of new practices and trends.

Can you imagine working today how we did 15 years ago? Fax machines would still be king, we’d have very little, if any, internet access and social media wouldn’t even exist.

Globalisation, demographic shifts, cultural nuances, changes in attitude and of course technology have been the big drivers of change throughout this time, but according to a recent report by consulting firm CBRE and China-based Genesis, things are going to keep on evolving, revolutionising how, when and where work happens.

Genesis is a real estate developer and, like those in the recruitment industry, ideally placed to pick up on the ideas, trends and behaviours shaping the future of our work place; and the emerging trends point to a transformation in the way we will operate.

In the next 10 years, the way we work and the communities we work within will change considerably. Already today some of these shifts are visibly apparent, whilst others are only beginning to emerge.  

The likes of Facebook and Google have already created communities and villages for people to work within, equipped with all the modern amenities their teams need to effectively do their job, manage their life and create a positive work life balance.

This search for a holistic approach to life will become fundamental to those with a choice of where to work, putting an emphasis on businesses to ensure employee happiness, well-being and high performance are supported in equal measure.

This trend is perhaps one we will see most quickly filtering through to the rest of us, as revenue alone will no longer continue to be the defining measure of a business’s success.

In fact, how much an organisation contributes to its people and environment looks set to become the new mark of value to many employees and clients.

Organisations will need to be lean, agile and authentic in the future, as we head towards a sharing economy in which people are already beginning to ask themselves ‘how much is enough?’

As technology threatens to remove competitive advantages from many industries, it may mean when it comes down to a choice of where people spend money, the decision will be led by the value an organisation offers and how good that makes them feel.

Work places will need to be geared up to benefit the employee in terms of how and where they want to work right now.

High performance spaces will need to be shaped around what makes most sense for optimising the work activities of the people within them, with every solution offering a unique mix of collaborative spaces and quiet areas – more ‘places to work’ rather than ‘work places’.

There will be a need to bring people together more, to support wider and more diverse work forces and to build a positive culture and community within an organisation.

Top talent will continue to be in short supply and in the future the best people may even choose to work freelance, picking who they wish to work for so they can meet their needs to feel rewarded and excited by their work.

Flexibility may then be the key, with organisations thinking outside the box in order to accommodate great people through home working, hot desks, the latest technology and strong values and purpose.

Whilst the future is always uncertain, what is clear is that things won’t stand still. You’ll need to be innovative and adaptable in the ways you bring the best out of your team.

You’ll also need to have a clear vision, company culture and philosophy if you want to gain a competitive advantage by attracting and retaining your industry’s top talent.

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