The pandemic has proven that most ‘knowledge workers’ (corporate staff) can get their job done in any location, at any time, and more companies are shifting towards hybrid work as a result. In the past, leaders used to think about office space in terms of square feet and number of desks they require. Today, it’s not about how many people you can fit into a building, but whether they will come in at all and how engaged they are once they’re there.
It’s time to start thinking of office workers as consumers
To entice employees back to the office, the experience they get on arrival needs to be worth their commute. Today’s workspaces need to offer an experience, an opportunity to deepen connections with colleagues, foster a sense of belonging and propel success, rather than just traditional desk space. Going forward, bosses should focus their attention on other parameters from employee engagement, collaboration, knowledge sharing and well-being to measure success and the value of the office.
To retain talent and to see offices buzzing again it’s time for employers to start thinking of office-based workers as consumers. Marketing and design firms have spent decades creating stores and restaurants that subliminally encourage patrons to stay, play and pay. Now it’s time to put the same wisdom to use when designing our office spaces. How can we create engaging, welcoming offices that workers want to come to when they have proven that much of their work can be done remotely?
Simon leads innovation and design at Unispace – a focus area that further enables us to create space that spark brilliance in the people who use them. He drives the ideation of new solutions to our clients’ wide-ranging challenges as well as exciting changes to our own approaches and technologies. Simon works across future-shaping, digital transformation, service innovation, R&D, big data, Unispace’s own tech products, and much more. A globally recognized thought leader, he participates in several think tanks and has been invited to be a contributor on the Forbes Technology Council.