The Changing Dynamics of the Australian Workplace.
Today’s workplaces are changing as rapidly as the technologies which are enabling them, and this change dynamic is being driven by organisations searching for improved levels of productivity, employee attraction and engagement.
The current investment (by organisations) into the three ‘workplace pillars’ of people, place and technology, is in response to the negotiations being conducted by organisations and their employees to leverage change.
The 3 Workplace Pillars
People (social), Place (physical) and Technology (virtual) – The way work is now conducted is open to a wide-ranging review. Most of the assumptions and rules of the past are no longer valid.
The drivers of change are:
- Cost reduction (primarily real estate)
In many workplaces today, the fixed desk phone is a thing of the past and in a growing number of organisations so too is the ‘allocated desk’. However, the most dramatic workplace change is from the acceptance that supervision through the line of sight is dead and management through outputs rather than inputs is one of the primary enablers of the new generation of workers and the workplace.
Workplace transformation involves investment in the 3 workplace pillars:
- Place (physical) – hard (built) and soft (furniture, fittings & Equipment).
- Technology (virtual) – Information and communication technology (ICT) aspects of the workplace. (for more information on technology and office design, read our blog ‘Is Your Office Design Ready for Artificial Intelligence?’)
- People (Social) – Change management
Whilst hybrid workplaces may not necessarily cost any more than static solutions, the largest incremental change in expenditure will manifest itself in enabling technologies.
Returns on Investment (ROI)
In return for this investment organisations are seeking and realising:
- Improved occupancy efficiency of real estate
- Cost saving and operational efficiency
- Organisational agility (improved customer responsiveness)
- Sustainability and carbon reduction
- Competitive advantage and differentiation
- Brand awareness
- Attraction and retention of staff
- Improved disaster recovery and contingency planning
The Branding of Workplace Solutions
Terms such as static, high performance, hybrid and activity-based working (ABW), have been used to label workplaces. The loudest at the moment is ABW, offering the greatest license and range of work settings for employees, providing organisations up to 30% more efficient use of their real estate (PCG estimates that less than 1% of Australian workplaces are actual ABW environments)
Most workplaces today sit somewhere between the static and ABW solutions and will inevitably, in concert with the provision of enabling technologies, ‘unleash’ employees from ‘allocated’ real-estate and enable a Hybrid/Agile workplace solution.
Investing in Workplace Solutions
PCG has always believed that a deep understanding of an organisation’s people, process and place to be a prerequisite to developing new ways of working –
there are no cookie cutter solutions in ‘unlocking’ new and relevant ways of working and one size certainly does not fit all in this instance.
Smart investment into the workplace is guided by three overarching philosophies:
- ‘Iterate people not the workplace – get it right the first time'
- ‘Your people can’t express what they want when they don’t know what they can have’ – allocate sufficient time and skills to fully investigate and equip the workplace with the work settings and technology required to enable organisational transformation.
- The success of any corporate real estate transaction should be measured against the workplace agenda.
We advocate investment into the 3 workplace pillars – people, place and technology and advise that continued investment in people is essential to ensure the ROI.
If you have any questions on how to achieve a high-performance workplace, please don’t hesitate to contact PCG for a free no obligation discussion.