Joining the team amid the COVID-19 pandemic has given Unispace’s new Principal of Strategy, Ian Worthy, a unique perspective on the current challenges being faced by employers – and employees – everywhere.
“COVID-19 is the curve ball no one saw coming and now the focus is about redefining the workplace so that businesses can maintain productivity – as well as staff engagement levels – across a largely distributed workforce,” Ian says.
Reflecting on his commencement amid this unprecedented time, Ian said his own experience only reinforced the important role workplace strategy would play in helping businesses and their staff emerge unscathed from the crisis.
“The workplace used to be looked to as the physical embodiment of an organisation’s brand but now it’s also as much about culture-building through a hybrid ‘hub and home’ model that enables flexible working, reinforces wellbeing, and allows for focused work at home coupled with collaboration in the office.”
“And while the pandemic has made us rethink how we work and where we live, nothing beats those serendipitous water-cooler moments and sense of community that only the physical office can bring.”
Currently working remotely from his home on the northern central NSW coast, and occasionally commuting to Unispace’s Sydney headquarters, Ian expects to see more staff basing themselves in lifestyle locations as working from home becomes entrenched.
Following a successful career in advertising, and after following his passion to obtain an interior design degree, Ian established his own design practice, Thoughtspace, where he led and mentored a multi-disciplinary team to deliver commercial fitouts for Star Casino, Foxtel, St George Bank, Suncorp, City of Ryde, Crown Equipment and Ecolab.
It was here that he also developed a strategic approach to workplace design that extended well beyond the aesthetics of a physical space. He said it was the natural alignment of his own strategic approach with Unispace’s ThinkCreateMake model that attracted him to the business, alongside his interest in people-centred outcomes.
“Understanding the needs of a business is paramount when it comes to strategy-led workplace design but even more important is understanding its people drivers,” he said.
“To design and construct physical spaces where people are enabled to do their best work requires an intrinsic understanding of an organisation's operations, culture and stumbling blocks, to achieve design solutions that benefit business, people and culture.”
Unispace Managing Director for APAC, Rob Aird says, "Ian will be a critical asset to the Unispace team as the strategic lead behind our Australia-based projects. His expertise will ensure our clients are receiving the best, data-driven solutions to their workplace needs as we enter a new age of working."