The future for the workplace

How do you design the employee experience for the future? What’s the new way to engage employees?

Back in 2019, in his book ‘Joy of Work’ Bruce Daisley wrote, “Our jobs – no matter what they are – can help give meaning to our lives. While we might be reluctant to profess our fondness for them, we should never be ashamed of feeling proud of being made happy by our work.” The fundamentals haven’t changed. Bruce has kindly let us use this quote in a foreword he has written for a new paper that outlines some more thinking on how we need to change attitudes towards how we all see and use the workspace (office) in the future.

You can download that paper here: Go Forward To Work

Since the pandemic we’ve worked with a number of clients on the future workplace. We’ve also had the challenge of looking at our own Teamspace and how we use that. It is an emerging picture, although we’ve been writing about the key drivers for a new blended way of working for some time.

Brands like NatWest have been at the forefront when crafting frameworks for different kinds of work. Their approach has put the employee first, offered flexibility and choice where possible, and yet at the same time has safeguarded customers and the business. Ultimately, the bank needs to serve customers first.

But just as customers do need to come first, there is no reason why employee experience can not be the most important driver for exceptional customer experience (CX). If we accept that EX drives CX, then we might, just might, be able to use the legacy of the pandemic to create a new and better way of working. A way that blends the metaverse; the home space; the employer owned physical space; the coworking space and the coffee shop, library, walk in the park.

For the 50% of workers who do not have to be in one pre-determined space, we can create a better EX. Even for those outside these parameters, the metaverse offers the opportunity for so many more people to work from different locations. Can we recreate the air traffic control centre in the metaverse? Why not?

‘Go forward To Work’ has been authored by our own Behavioural Scientist, Mark Hauser. In it he writes, “When imagining what the future office could be, it is important that we don’t impose a fixed image of what the physical workspace is, based on what it was previously. It is important we have the flexibility to re-think the desk beyond being a sub-let space at which to do all work in the office.”

Do we have any idea what the future of the office should look like? No. Until we start to experiment with this new way of working, we’ll know nothing. So, don’t rush to impose a new employee experience yet. Be agile. Test, deploy, test, redeploy, and be honest with your employees along the way.

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