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    What Is The Workplace of the Future? 7 Top Leaders Weigh In

    Elizabeth Dukes

    Whew! We’re still coming down from the excitement of last week’s Workplace Champions Summit.

    Between the Astros’ handy 5-to-2 defeat of the Angels, food and drinks with some of our favorite people and all the ideas that were shared, our third annual user conference was hard to top.

    One of the themes on everyone’s mind was the idea of designing a workplace today that will meet the needs of employees tomorrow and for years to come. While we can’t predict the future, we all have some idea of what the workplace of the future will look like. We know that creating a strong employee experience is at the center of the conversation, along with smart workplace technology and data insights.

    What else? We asked many of you who attended the conference what the workplace of the future means to you and what you’re doing to prepare for it. Here are some of our favorite responses.

    The Workplace Of the Future Is Collaborative

    “It’s about giving employees more space, not less, and showing them what they’re getting by giving up assigned desks. It’s all the amenities, the rooms, phone booths for privacy. You have to learn to manage your time better and your space better. We change desks every six months. It’s more open, more collaborative, and it makes you more aware of the needs of other employees.”

    -Connie Drake, Senior Applications Specialist, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting

    The Workplace of the Future Is Employee-Centric

    “It’s your people. Focusing on them and what they need to thrive is really going to be the future. It’s not about technology for technology’s sake; you need people to tell you what they need first.”

    -Nancy Barton, associate manager, facilities services, Acorda

    The Workplace of the Future Is Growth-Driven

    “It’s built for purpose. That’s what our new building is. We designed it on a grid system to be flexible so we could add 100 people in a few months if we needed to, and they can easily move from one place to another overnight. Employees have offices with flexibility and the option to sit or stand. There are lots of efficiencies.”

    -Tony Behar, Manager, Strategy & Portfolio Management, Conoco-Phillips

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    The Workplace of the Future Is Adaptable

    “One size doesn’t fit all. There are different styles of people who prefer different environments. We are testing ways to develop the most ideal place for employees, which is an ever-evolving group. We are planning buildings 10-20 years out, so how do we develop a plan that is adaptable but will stand the test of time? You have to know your culture, know your people and be willing to investigate other solutions.”

    -Jodi Parrott, Facilities Planning Specialist, FBL

    It Involves Systems Thinking

    “If you’ve played Jenga, you’re familiar with systems thinking. You have to consider how one system affects another and manage the tension that exists between them. You have to anticipate unintended consequences.”

    -Vik Bangia, Managing Principal, Verum Consulting

    It’s About Integration

    “Hummingbird puts all the main pieces of iOFFICE into one app or employees so they can find people and places, reserve rooms, request services and receive mail or visitors. Our vision for Hummingbird is working with other platforms so adding it is a one-step process.”

    -Kenton Gray, Chief Technology Officer, iOFFICE

    It’s About Sharing Ideas

    “It’s not about knowing all the details on how to get it done, it’s about knowing who to go to. That’s what this podcast is all about; bringing together people from different backgrounds with different areas of expertise.”

    -Mike Petrusky, Host of The Workplace Innovator Podcast

    Preparing For the Workplace of the Future

    The workplace of the future is one that emphasizes greater flexibility, mobility and connectivity. The expectations from both employees and the C-suite have never been higher. That means forward-thinking facilities managers and workplace leaders need to be proactive about the way they design and manage the workplace. And they’ll need to look at new metrics to demonstrate success.

    To learn more about what metrics to measure, check out our newest version of our most popular resource, 8 New Facilities Management Metrics You Need to Know.

    Elizabeth Dukes

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Elizabeth Dukes

    Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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