Businesses are run by people. And people can be quite complicated. I sat down with two "people experts" who have been studying and conducting research on the effects the workplace has on human behavior and our approach to modern office environments today.
Workplace Strategy & Inspiration From a Young CRE Professional
Cristina Herrera | Director of Change Management, Ted Moudis Associates
"When it comes to workplace strategy you need to really start thinking about how do you turn your workplace from a liability on a balance sheet, to a tool. How do you use it to showcase your values and your mission as a company?"
Originally from Australia and after following a chance opportunity, Cris ended up in New York where she is the Director of Change Management at Ted Moudis Associates. Cris is fascinated by human behavior and leverages her understanding of their needs to make a difference in their working lives.
Cris believes that design should be viewed as tool that not only supports the overall business goals of a company, but can impact recruitment and retention if the workplace reflect the values and mission of that organization. She has noticed that simply listening to the workforce is so powerful, and trying to better understand what they're saying and what they need can make all the difference in the world. Having a real, honest conversation with someone about what's important to them is so much more effective than telling people what they need. If you're aiming to create a better environment you have to be open to the possibility that what your workforce wants is different than your original plan.
She also had an article recently published in Work Design Magazine titled, Why Measuring Human Condition Results in Better Space Design. In the article, Cris covers "how the human condition and staff satisfaction can support overall business goals". Cris' blog discusses the influence of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to exploring data collection in the workplace, and understanding how the brain processes information. When workplace leaders look at both quantitative and qualitative data, it helps us separate perception from reality. It's easy to miss the root cause of an issue or of a success if we don't look at the numbers and the emotions.
Workplace Week 2019 New York Celebrates Workplace Innovation & Creativity
Andrew Mawson | Founder, global workplace change consultants Advanced Workplace Associates
"There seems to be a real misunderstanding about what real change management is. Some people think it's PR, some people think it's Communications. It gets confused with what people call workplace strategy and it's really a very different discipline. So we're going to have a bit of fun with that."
A real modern workplace champion, Andrew founded Advanced Workplace Associates in 1992, where they strive to help organizations make the transition from older models of working to more agile environments. He has seen a shift in the world of work, as people are thinking about the workplace as more of a valuable asset than just a physical structure. And as the workplace experience continues to be in the spotlight, Andrew believes that companies should focus their efforts on not just technology, but also the social and physical environments.
Through a number of evidence-based studies, Andrew has developed a unique understanding of factors that propagate high levels of professional performance. Working with The Center for Space Management, his research has driven him to the door of neuroscience, which he now believes holds the key to managing change and creating multi-faceted, multi-sensory workplace experiences that enable people to be the best they can be. Which also creates a link between how we relate to our environment and learn from what's around us.
Andrew is also involved with Workplace Week, which will be held in London for its 9th year in November and for the second in New York later in June. The event's goal is to "celebrate workplace excellence, innovation and creativity" and is the perfect place to continue to learn about how our environment and our behavior is shaping our workplace's future.
The workplace evolves just as we do, and it's always fascinating to take a step back and analyze exactly what is impacting the changes happening all around us.