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/.
If office noise is such a problem, why don’t noisy coffee shops, airports, or co-working spaces bother us?
"The problem may be that, in our offices, we can’t stop ourselves from getting drawn into others’ conversations or from being interrupted while we’re trying to focus. Indeed, the EEG researchers found that face-to-face interactions, conversations, and other disruptions negatively affect the creative process."
This HBR article suggests the problem with noisy offices is more a matter of who's making the noise than how loud it is. Recent brain science suggests just the right amount of noise (i.e. coffee shop level) may enhance creativity.
Coworking industry tracker cites concern over increased competition, overvaluation, and Regus’ plunge in value
The coworking industry is getting more competitive. Recent examples include stories about coworking spaces offering of a year's free rent to prospective tenants, reports of coworking spaces spying on competitors and coworking spaces closing down due to growing competition.
Some are questioning the sustainability of co-working with Regus’ reporting a loss of 1/3rd their marketing value, a WSJ article likening WeWork's $20 Billion valuation to "pixie dust," and increased competition traditional office buildings, libraries, and coffee shops.
Our friends over at LiquidSpace just keep making it easier for teleworkers, mobile workers, and small business owners to quickly find an ad hoc place to work. Their latest move, a partnership with Marriott, promises even more choices when you need a conference room, meeting space, or even just some uninterrupted thinking time. Workspace on Demand – Marriott Partners with LiquidSpace – YouTube.
The Third Wave of Virtual Work – Harvard Business Review This is an intriguing article the confluence of shifting employee priorities, evolving employer imperatives, and emerging communications and collaboration technologies. Executive Summary: In three major waves of change over the past 30 years, employers and workers have converged on new arrangements for getting knowledge work done. First, home computers and e-mail spawned an army of freelancers, offering...