Workplace needs haven't changed solely due to the pandemic. We have always needed the right environment to work in. However, organizations now realize the importance of a well-designed work environment for their people. That's why we interviewed Anja Jamrozik, a Ph.D. research consultant with a strong background in behavioral science. Her previous research on how environmental factors affect work performance, job satisfaction, and well-being give inspiring answers to today's most trending questions about the future of work.
The elements of the future work-life
"Our work-life has been through a lot of changes during the last months. However, whether we will continue to work from home or return to the office, three elements will define the new way of working.
Tech-enabled: Working from home forced us to familiarize ourselves with tools such as Slack, Zoom, and GitHub. However, we will soon need to find ways to better integrate technology into the places we work. Our physical spaces will need to become more reactive to technology. For instance, adjusting the workplace to your preferences through technology will result in a more enjoyable and satisfying work experience. This may include equipping your space with furnishings and a proper hybrid meeting solution.
Collaborative: During the last 20 years, we are used to collaborating with each other more than ever before. In our short-term future, we will need to bring collaboration to the next level. Thanks to the greater autonomy we will also have, collaboration can become even more inspiring. For example, you might decide to book a AV equipped meeting room to work with your colleagues on a project or meet somewhere outside the office for a brainstorming session.
Thoughtful: The essence of our jobs might soon change forever. AI will automate a lot of repetitive and easy-to-do tasks. This means that we will focus more on activities that require creativity, empathy, and strategic thinking. Moreover, some of us might choose to work from home to benefit our planet, as environmental concerns are taken more seriously."
"Advice for management: We have broken so many habits, and we are at a point where we have the opportunity to do things differently. Think about the activities your employees have to do and design the workplace experience around them."
How to design an attractive future-proof workplace
Everyone seems to agree to disagree whether we will go back to the office full time or adopt a long-term remote working approach. "Working solely from home doesn't benefit employers nor employees in the long run. We might enjoy the extra privacy and flexibility at home, but nothing can replace the inspiring people we can meet in person. This is the time to make innovative changes in the workplace. We need to make people feel proud and happy for the organizations they work for. This starts by creating memorable workplace experiences." adds Anja. "To achieve this, we need to focus on two elements."
Bring people together: "Going to the office to answer emails and do focused work will no longer be our primary motivation. Instead, the office will be the place to meet and connect with people. That's why knowing who is going to be in the office will play a significant role in bringing people together. In doing so, technology can be key."
Give people autonomy: "Giving employees control over their workplace might have a more significant effect than what we think. The sense of control over their surroundings contributes to their well-being, and eventually, their performance. For example, booking meeting rooms, connecting with employees at work, and having an overview of your office occupancy are some of the simple functionalities companies can have in place to inspire a sense of control."
"Advice for employees working at home: The longer you work from home, the more important it becomes to reconsider your home office space. Setting up a good and ergonomic place for yourself isn't just a nice-to-have but a necessity."
How technology can spark spontaneity in the workplace
"Employees have never been more connected with each other. Nowadays, however, we cannot just walk over to colleagues for an informal chat. As a result, we notice employees missing the random moments of bumping into each other in the office. Talking to colleagues from other teams regarding projects and tasks was always the secret element of eureka solutions and creative ideas. We could create those match-making moments with technology. Having an algorithm in place that brings random people together could help in the creation of these moments."
Ready to create a future-proof workplace?
With Mapiq, you can make your workplace the place to be. Smart office technology can help you plan a safe office return, let your employees connect with each other in seconds, and always be in control of your workplace occupancy with our real-time occupancy insights.