(RE)CREATING THE HUMAN CENTERED WORKPLACE
The modern office has evolved into the embodiment of how creative interaction is supported by the design of the Human Centered Workplace, its infrastructure, technology, experience, and brand. From the building entrance to the individual workspace, all spaces, material, furnishing, and technology have been articulated over many years to support collaboration and the creative ‘experience’.
More recently, the global pandemic has focused the conversation on the implications of a paradigm shift in the way we live, work and interact. How we ‘(Re)Create the Human Centered Workplace’ will require creative and flexible solutions to support collaboration, teaming, and a creative culture. As we adjust to what many proclaim a ‘new normal’, four reasons remain that substantiate why employees’ physical presence in the office will continue to play a vital role in a company’s success. In this process . . .
WE DESIGN FOR COLLABORATION | Because through collaboration we generate ideas, empower creativity and fuel the engines of our economy. When teams solve problems together in real time in the Human Workplace, collaboration flourishes and ideas are strengthened due to the various perspectives, qualities, and insights offered by the contributors. The absence of static connections, awkward distances or prefabricated communication protocols allows the focus to remain on solving problems, embracing disruption, deepening understanding, and cooperatively gaining consensus. Nuances of in-person communication that can only be accessed when teams collaborate in the same space, such as body language, tonal inflections, visual, verbal and physical gestures, both subtle and overt, come in to play as well during ideation.
WE DESIGN FOR LEARNING | Because through learning and mentorship we foster talent and experience. The mentoring process, developed around relationships and built over time, is most effectively facilitated through in-person teaching and observation. Face-to-face interaction enriches the educational impact between mentor and mentee, creating opportunities for problem solving and talent development while removing barriers and encouraging future leadership.
WE DESIGN FOR EXPERIENCE | Because through socialization we build a common language of neuro diversity, social diversity, and generational diversity. Multi-generational, diverse workforces inherently coalesce around a common brand that has been shaped by a synergistic workplace, common goals, dynamic schedules and organic personal interactions. As companies transform beyond Covid-19, that brand and associated company culture will become even important.
Brand adjustments resulting from the pandemic will manifest themselves in many ways, with safety being among the highest priorities for employees and clients as they repopulate their offices. The requirements for flexibility that were imposed on companies have resulted in more permanent changes, from the reinvention and reinvestigation of workplace strategies to equipping and empowering individuals to efficiently work in different environments, from homes, offices and a variety of hybrids in between. The creativity demonstrated using technology will undoubtedly continue, if not accelerate, as a result of the limitations companies were forced to work within during Covid-19.
WE DESIGN FOR SOCIALIZATION | Because through experience we build the brand of organizations ad create the attractor for the best and brightest talent. Teams create ideas, strengthen common bonds, advance company culture, embody brands, initiate social interaction, and are at the core of why we need to (re)create the Human Workplace. Some of the most memorable, meaningful and enjoyable moments take place at the office.
This in-person human interaction is the ultimate consideration in workplace design, which has been refined over the years to integrate flexible workspaces, technology, wellness, places to meet, think and explore, and opportunities for individual choice, convenience and empowerment.
THE OFFICE WILL REMAIN THE QUINTESSENTIAL HUMAN WORKPLACE
While connectivity and infrastructure have facilitated keeping teams, projects and tasks together, the virtual world cannot replicate the value inherent in physical collaboration, communication and teaming. Humans are humans and will continue to need to “bond with the people they work with, connect to the central mission of their company, and feel that their work has meaning”.
WILLIAM HODGES HENDRIX | 08-26-2020 | DEVELOPED FOR BEYOND WORKPLACE 2020, LITTLE ARCHITECTS