The change in working methods and habits and the emergence of of new types of workplaces has been a theme in business discussions and organisational development. New work environments and work cultures of frontrunner and pioneering companies have gained much media coverage. The question arises, where will we go next?
One of Sitra’s megatrends for 2017 is the transformations of working life. Sitra states that the revolution of work has long been under discussion, and the industrial world is on the brink of the unknown. The rapid progress of technology that has led to digitisation, robotisation, artificial intelligence and automation is modifying almost all areas of known activity. However, there is currently no clarity as to what the revolution of work ultimately means. Public debate often addresses the significant diminishing of work and traditional workplaces while, on the other hand, welcoming the flourishing of new types of working methods and the creation of workplaces with the aid of new technologies. (Sitra, Megatrends 2017)
Change is on its way
The major changes that already have emerged in both working life and technological development will continue to evolve and will have a great impact on future workplaces and on organisations’ work cultures. Many interesting questions arise:
Are workplaces needed at all, at least in the way and form we know them today?
How will the use of different technical devices and applications change the way we work and communicate with each other?
How to create future working cultures when work is no longer tied to a specific place or time, people are doing more and more remote work, self-employment is on the rise and people can have several employers?
How to lead people through these changes and in this new situation?
The way in which we work, the channels we use to communicate and the expectations on our capability to learn new things has changed and will keep on changing in the future, in an ever increasing pace. Remote working and being digitally connected is everyday life in most workplaces already. The move from open space and single room offices to activity based offices is now reality. These enable multiple ways of working from silent to team-based work, from ad hoc meetups to bigger meetings and for different types of employees, from introverts to extroverts.
The current state of the art office is quite clear, but what will come next? The expectations for our employees and from our employees will continue to toughen. How can the future work environments support the new emergent requirements?
Leading futurist see that the future office will weave our digital identity into the physical workplace in ways that will make us super-productive, super-collaborative, super-creative, and perhaps even super-human. (Dan Chen, Frog, 2015)
This change offers many great opportunities but also causes multiple challenges to employers. Managers will still need to consider how to organise the workplace to respond to the new requirements. On the cultural and social side, they will need to think of how to motivate and empower these super-employees, create super-performing working cultures, attract and retain the most talented employees and naturally guide people through the continuous change process.
We at Agile Work can help you with the future change, both with the physical workplace transformation and the implementation of the cultural and digital change. We are excited to take part in the next wave of workplace and culture development, hope you are too.
Let’s discover the super-future together!
We are looking for new clients (naturally!) and new partners that share our passion. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the authors:
Kristina Noor-Ilander tackles questions on how to develop our business to face the future requirements of our clients. She also enjoys to pick mushrooms in the autumn forest.
Antti Pitkänen works on transforming employee insights into design strategy that will adapt to changing business environments and cultures. He is also the official Spanish ham (jamòn) man at Agile Work.