A few weeks ago I visited New York City while attending the Future Offices Winter Event to learn about the drivers influencing the workplace. We know that workplace design matters and can positively impact the level of engagement employees exhibit through my article in Smart Business Magazine. Through my few days there, a number of common themes arose.
The word, “experience” is all the buzz across a variety of sectors. Retailers are focusing on how to create a memorable experience for shoppers, to incentivize them to shop in store rather than online. Universities are focusing on enhancing the college experience to attract students. The modern office is no different. Understanding the value of human capital when it comes to the costs of doing business, employers are focusing on improving the experiences of their employees in order to attract and retain the top talent. Employers are prioritizing food offerings, wellness activities, training, and professional development. Additionally, companies are looking for ways other than amenities to engage employees.
Internet of Things:
With the evolution of connected devices in our homes, employees now expect to see these products at work too. Mobile phone apps will remind us when to adjust sit-to-stand desks. Automated package delivery systems will send messages when packages arrive, minimizing or eliminating the need for a staffer to deliver packages to your desk. Meeting rooms will be assigned based on appointment criteria, rather than scouring our calendars for open rooms. Plants will notify us when they need water with sensors. The possibilities are endless with the goal of minimizing administrative work allowing us to do our jobs more efficiently.
Coworking vs. Flexible Office Space:
Coworking space started out as a way for solo entrepreneurs and start-ups to have a professional environment to work and meet. While this need still exists, flexible office space has entered the market from traditional coworking providers and new providers. Flexible office space is personalized and branded within a building with shared amenities, facilities management, and shorter lease terms.
While this type of space is becoming the norm in larger cities for both small organizations and as an enterprise solution, it’s unclear to me at this time how prevalent it might become in the Cleveland market. If you have experience with this model, I’d love to talk to you for a future blog/article I am writing.
The event was thought-provoking and inspiring in many ways. As was the city of New York itself. I extended my visit for a short retreat with my husband and was awed once again by this amazing city! My favorite new stops were the Oculus and One World Trade Center as well as walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.