Buildings and space that anticipate your needs. Collaboration with robots. Cafes, parks, and airports as the new office.
The workplace is evolving more rapidly than ever, and employers have seen dramatic shifts in where, when, and how employees work. Here are five workplace trends that organizations should know so that their facilities can best support a digital, flexible workforce, according to JLL.
1. Smarter Buildings For Digital Workers
Today’s smart building technologies can empower digitally savvy employees to manage the temperature, lighting, and even the food choices and background music in their workspace. Smart buildings also provide better indoor air quality and environmental controls that not only improve a company’s environmental sustainability contributions, but also boost employee health, wellness, and productivity. Another productivity increase comes from today’s mobile apps that provide a direct, “frictionless” way for employees to enhance their workplace experience.
“Within the next 10 years, the office could be unrecognizable, offering more agility, flexibility and connectivity which support new ways of working, playing, and living,” said Maureen Ehrenberg, Head of Integrated Facilities Management, JLL. “Mobile apps and smart building technologies are catering to employee preferences for temperature, lighting, working, relaxing, and even coffee.”
2. Innovative Amenities And Workspaces For A Productive, Liquid Workforce
Innovative office designers are taking cues from the retail world, creating technology-enabled, collaborative, and high-quality experiential workplaces. In response to the growing “liquid workforce” of on-demand workers, and to accommodate mobile working, some companies are also providing networks of workplaces. From corporate co-working spaces to airport lounges and coffee shops, corporations want to ensure that workers have secure, reliable access to corporate data and resources wherever they reside.
Strategies to support this workforce are evolving every day. Some companies are even adopting telepresence robots and virtual reality technologies to enable collaboration among geographically dispersed workers. To further enhance productivity and employee satisfaction, concierge services are emerging in some workplaces.
“The workplace is becoming increasingly digital and the actual experience of work is becoming an incredibly important factor in talent attraction and retention,” said John Forrest, Global & Americas CEO, Corporate Solutions, JLL. “The one-size-fits-all model is no longer relevant as the workplace evolves to become more mobile, flexible and personalized.”
3. Humanizing The Work Experience
Progressive companies have realized that their employees are seeking hyper-personalized employee services and work environments. Digital building operations are making it possible to individualize the workplace experience more than ever before. Though it sounds counter-intuitive, the one-size-fits-all workplace is falling by the wayside as data demonstrates that different workers have different preferences. Today’s advanced building technologies allow employees to control their workspace environment, and make it easier for companies to offer workplaces that support their unique corporate culture. Increasingly, companies offer upgraded spaces such as club rooms, meeting rooms of varying sizes, lounges and, yes, even traditional individual desks—creating flexibility and choice for employees.
4. Unlocking The Power Of CRE Data
A digital revolution is transforming corporate real estate (CRE) globally. Traditional real estate service providers are becoming technology companies, focused on expediting workplace services and smart portfolio strategies as the lines are blurred between corporate real estate services, HR and IT. Integrated corporate real estate management systems can create a robust data set that informs location strategies and more accurate occupancy planning. Employees benefit too, as companies use data-driven decision-making—rather than guesswork—to enhance the worker experience, productivity, and boost talent recruitment and retention.
5. Designing For The Innovation Mandate
Innovation is no longer optional, and today’s companies must use every tool including workplace and real estate strategies to support their professionals in sourcing, testing, and bringing new ideas to market. In fact, employees at the most innovative companies benefit from better-designed and more functional workspaces, with adjustable features, collaboration areas, a variety of workspaces, noise management, and access to outdoor areas, according to Gensler research and JLL’s Fully Engaged workplace report. The innovation mandate also means investing in people, processes and tools to drive a culture of innovation forward, with recognition and rewards that celebrate the best new ideas.