The Strategic Rise of Workplace

The strategic rise of workplace is about a shift in focus from strategy and management to talent and culture.

The traditional management view of workplace is about managing physical resources in a 2-20 year horizon (yes, physical here is a reference to people too!). Rethinking workplace (and management as a whole) is the greatest opportunity for organisations serious about attracting and retaining talented teams to gain competitive advantage.

One distinct feature of talent is their confidence and need for independence and therefore lack of need for traditional management. Tomorrow workplace is about serving these people and the respect of their time and space as opposed to the management’s and their preference of having everyone at shouting distance. The talent perspective of workplace is about improving personal and team productivity on a daily basis through smart use of time, space and technology (stack).

Smart people know that productivity is the key to wellbeing and thus the essence of work-life balance. Anything contradicting this is bad management. Employee happiness (productivity + wellbeing) is the new basis of strategic design of workplace and employee experience.

Everything about employees is strategic in the digital age. The word strategic is not used lightly here but with specific reference to building tomorrow proof companies where growth does not require more people but more talent. There is no question more strategic for tomorrow competitiveness than: “are we able to get the best out of the best?” Talent of course is not just a personal quality, but a product of strategy, culture and team work.

“Talent is … a product of strategy, culture and team work.”

We can all appreciate that this is not something that happens over night or in a single year, but requires long-term cross disciplinary development. But be very clear, it will not happen by accident nor will you be able to buy it from a consultant or service provider. That’s what makes tomorrow workplace so strategic. The old saying goes that culture eats strategy for breakfast but the strategic rise of workplace is really about culture and strategy aligning and meeting half way. In a fast moving digital age you can’t build strategies not supported by culture.

Being a smart, fast and innovative organisation requires seeing workplace as a community rather than just a resource and overhead. Elevating workplace to form the social operating system for productivity is key. Strategy aside, the billion-dollar question is of course, will FM be able to own and develop the tomorrow workplace or will it be HR that emerges as workplace community builders and thus pushing FM deeper into technical management of real estate?

Regardless of how the tomorrow workplace service is operated, there is no question of it’s strategic importance and design requirements.

Image: Integrated Employee Experience in the Digital Age

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