In today's fast-changing business landscape, organisations are facing new challenges such as the adoption of hybrid working models, the rise of the gig economy, and the increasing accessibility of talent.
As a result, many companies are left with significant amounts of unoccupied real estate.
To address this issue, Real Estate teams must rethink their approach to physical space while considering the following:
Ensuring spaces are well-suited to employee needs
Promoting flexibility while maintaining connection and collaboration
Fostering a sense of community and belonging
Rebuilding social capital through deliberate interactions
Using innovation to drive productivity to new heights.
This is a unique time for organisations, and they have a game-changing opportunity to experiment and redefine their approach to offices and workspaces.
PERCEPTION: THE OFFICE IS EMPTY
In February 2023, we surveyed our LinkedIn followers to get their perception of the extra space available within their company's office.
While there is extra space around people, companies are actively looking to optimise their space usage and the concentration of their employees to drive a sense of belonging, creativity, and socialisation.
However, it's now clear that Real Estate leaders need to focus on the "how" of making these changes. The typical Real Estate or Facilities change management process will no longer suffice.
This is where we can help!
OFFICE AS A DESTINATION
As leaders of the Future of Working program for two large organisations, we discovered that the current design of the workplace is in need of a new look.
Gone are the days when organisations used Activity Based Working (ABW) design principles.
The ratio of collaboration and socialisation to overall workspace must now shift from 30% to 70%.
The design of individual working spaces must also change, utilising smart furniture to create focused work areas that eliminate sound and distractions for those who are unable to work on focus tasks at home or elsewhere.
Another insight we gained during the pandemic is that healthy people networks, measured by the number of connections within a month, consist of around 80 connections.
These networks are diverse in terms of seniority, tenure, and roles.
However, post-pandemic, networks have significantly shrunk, with people now having less than 40 connections. These networks are also less diverse and tend to function as echo chambers.
This highlights that the office still has a purpose, but until organisations make it a destination by design, offices will not contribute to the new performance paradigm that leaders are seeking.
It's time to make the office a destination.