November 4, 2020

Understanding the Future of Work

It seems most large consulting companies are talking about the Future of Work. What does this mean It seems most large consulting companies are talking about the Future of Work. What does this mean, and how does this impact you?
The great thing about the notion is that it is not prescriptive. If done right, The Future of Work is continuously evolving, regardless of a pandemic. As each business evolves, the business’s future state and work created by that organization are different. Therefore, your space should be as flexible as the people driving the work. The Future of Work should be applied to a business based on its specific needs and drive how work is done. Respectively, the workspace should support both.
Right now, no one’s business looks the same, good or bad, as it did this time last year. Think about this, 42% of today’s job skills will be obsolete by 2022. There will be 133 million new job roles that emerge which currently do not exist within that time frame. This will take 101 days of learning for each employee. This is the Future of Work: how your business evolves and its impact on the space and the people.
So, let’s break down the specifics. How do we undercover what is taking place and then how it is applied to your space? When we start a client engagement, we first want to uncover the business drivers facing the organization. Through research, we have narrowed down the top business drivers to 14 things that dominate workplace conversation, and these are:

1. Attraction and Retention of Talent
2. Advancement into new Market Segments
3. New Technology integration
4. Productivity
5. Health and Safety
6. Culture
7. Reduction of Real Estate
8. Innovation
9. Communication
10. Branding and Image
11. Shift in Business
12. Employee Engagement
13. Collaboration
14. Work from home

When the executives and leaders of the business collectively decide on the company’s top 3-4 drivers, the Future of Work begins. For each driver, the Vision, process of execution, roll out, training will alter the way your teams work. Every aspect will be tailored to support where the company is going and create a solid foundation for growth.
SKG has the tools and the team to help you uncover what is most important to the business. Once top business drivers are exposed, we can move to on-site observations and interviews to explore the physical environment needs and challenges. Observations help understand the environment from a more objective lens, how it’s utilized, and implications on the user. On the other hand, interviews provide perspective on an individual and team level and allow us to understand what the department needs are.
Surveys are the fastest and most efficient tool to study everything from employee satisfaction to culture to furniture and tools. These are a great way to take a pulse on the company’s energy, and it can be used at any point in the discovery process. We highly recommend using surveys as an evaluation tool every quarter to stay informed on the essential aspects of culture, technology, and the physical environment.
Lastly, sensors offer real-time occupancy data that can help bring people back to the office. The passive, anonymous, and high-res workplace sensors provide metrics that support space utilization and occupancy and tie into other services like seat assignment, booking, and janitorial.
Future of Work is unique to every organization. It is continually evolving, therefore, requires tools to measure its effectiveness and support its agility. Research & strategy provides a solid foundation for client’s decision making and flexibility to move through change.
CBRE explains the advantage of Research & Strategy and its future:
‘Workplace effectiveness is most commonly judged by space utilization (49% of respondents), which will become even more critical in a hybrid workforce world (Figure 13). Like retail stores do with shoppers, office effectiveness could be measured by employee foot traffic. Measuring the effect of the workplace on employee engagement is also becoming increasingly important.
In a world where the office’s role is changing and traditional metrics are not as meaningful, it is critical to find innovative ways to measure space effectiveness. In CBRE’s 2020 EMEA Occupier Survey, 44% of respondents said that they expect the basis of space procurement and accounting to shift from headcount to service quality of user experience within three years. This reinforces the need for an effective method of measurement supported by technology.

Future of Work brings forward innovation, flexibility, and a holistic approach to the workplace. Organizations large and small have a tremendous opportunity to explore what can be done better and embrace the ever-changing environment’s uncertainty. Data and research support all of that and more and prepares leaders for whatever the future holds.


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