The top six priorities facing the workplace right now
The modern workplace can be confusing – open plan versus closed spaces, no noise versus some noise, desk sharing versus…
The modern workplace can be confusing – open plan versus closed spaces, no noise versus some noise, desk sharing versus fixed desks, slides and ping pong tables versus school-room rows of desks? There are so many workplace debates circling office environments that it is hard to keep up with the trends and the fads, let alone attempting to work out which elements of the modern workplace should be prioritised over others.
Condeco’s latest modern workplace report, The Modern Workplace 2018: People, Places & Technology, identifies the top six priorities of the modern workplace, ranked.
1. Agility and flexibility
Most importantly, organisations should look at the way their employees are working. A move towards flexible working styles and agile working areas has been shown to have a positive impact on both employees and the quality of work. Flexibility does not necessarily mean releasing all employees from the confines of the office or knocking down all interior walls to create vast open workspaces, it can be interpreted in a way to best fit the company culture. This could range from activity-based working, desk sharing, working remotely or encouraging creativity and collaboration with informal workspaces.
2. Excellent meeting facilities
Meeting room quality and consistency is the unforgiving issue that every organisation faces, and the modern workplace report highlights this. Less than two-thirds of those surveyed in the report are happy with the quality of meetings within their organisation – clearly there is room for improvement. The meeting experience can be improved by cutting down on unnecessary meetings, ensuring meeting rooms are the right size, and most importantly integrating a simple, user-friendly room booking system.
3. Strong communication and technology integration
Video is becoming increasingly important in business, and organisations that do not embrace video integrated meetings may find themselves left behind. While the report found that many organisations are reporting an increase in the number of video meetings held, 12 per cent of those surveyed were unhappy with the quality of their video meeting technology. This calls for a greater investment in excellent quality video integration in office space.
4. Millennial appeal
It’s an undisputed fact that millennials are driving much of the changes to the modern workplace, particularly workspace design. The Modern Workplace Report identified that business leaders feel a pressure to keep up with the millennial ideal – cool, stylish and sexy workspaces that offer an experience, rather than just a nine-to-five grind. While this is a priority for many, it should be remembered that some millennials may have unrealistic expectations, and it’s more important to focus on function before appearance.
5. Environmental consciousness
Environmental consciousness was once the driving force to improve workplace environments, but the Modern Workplace Report found that it has taken a back seat as a priority as business leaders rated it just 3.9 out of 5 as a global concern. However, environmental consciousness has been put firmly back on the map recently due to increased global politics around the topic. This means organisations have to consider how they want to represent themselves internally and externally as key players in tackling ever-growing environmental challenges.
6. A focus on wellness
An abundance of research demonstrates that ‘wellness’ is not just a buzzword in business. Experts have recognised the need for organisations to create longer term plans to support employees in their mental and physical health. Despite this, wellness was also found to be a lower priority in organisational strategy in the Modern Workplace Report. Wellness was ranked just 3.76 out of 5 globally in the report, and not one country ranked it higher than four out of five. This suggests that despite the publicity and the hype around wellness, it may not be taken as seriously as once thought. The real impact of wellness is still being overlooked by many organisations.
Of course, priorities vary from organisation to organisation, but Condeco’s Modern Workplace report highlights a road map which cuts through the workplace fads and outlines a structure which addresses real concerns and trends facing the workplace today and in the future.