Many of what we once considered alternative workplace strategies, have now become mainstream. Now in its fifth year, this benchmarking study was conducted by Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), Global Workplace Analytics, and Haworth Inc., and additionally supported by Workplace Evolutionaries, a community of practice within the International Facilities Management Association. Over 130 organizations representing over 2.3 million global employees responded. The results were compared to longitudinal data collected across four similar surveys fielded since 2008.
The 'Once Alternative Workplace Strategies Report’, reveals significant changes in how and where people work. Some of the more interesting findings include:
- The worry over a loss in productivity when people are able to work anywhere is entirely unfounded.
- People impacts, rather than cost savings, are now the primary measure of success
- Internal mobility has more than doubled since 2008; External mobility (working at home, coworking places, outside the office) has remained flat
- Nearly half of employees are still permanently assigned to one space; no change since 2008
- Employee involvement in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of workplace change programs has decreased significantly
The free 50+ page report can be downloaded at http://we.ifma.org/resources/we-research/.
"It seems two very different behaviors optimize creative thinking for innovation processes...If we never rest, can’t focus, or don't work with each other, we miss out on finding new ideas and fail to execute them."
This new paper from Haworth gets at the brain science behind creativity and innovation. Though the terms are often used in close proximity or even interchangeably, they are completely different. Importantly, the kind of physical environment that supports one, is all wrong for the other.
- There's a sweet spot that's ‘just right’ for creativity to flourish. It's where distractions, stress, and emotions are not high enough to sabotage our ability to focus, but not so low that we’re bored.
- Innovation occurs when people create together. It requires both group focus and periods of socializing.
Serendipitous interactions—particularly among people with diverse backgrounds—fuel innovation, but ‘protected areas’ where teams can feel safe amongst themselves are important too.
A supportive work culture is equally, if not more important than the physical environment. People need to be psychologically empowered to move between spaces as they choose. They need to feel valued, appreciated, and supported by their colleagues and by leadership. They need to feel psychologically safe to stare out the window, take a walk, share what they know, offer a different point of view, or fail.
Make sure you book your place now for WORKTECH15 West Coast to join Heads of Workplace and other senior professionals to debate and discuss the future of work and the workplace. The conference will be held on December 2nd at the Mission Bay Conference Center, San Francisco.
One of the presentations to look forward to: Working in a Mind Field – How Cognitive Affordances Affect Our Mental Abilities Jeff Reuschel, Global Director of Design & Innovation, Haworth