What does a workplace mean to you? Ask yourself

Reimagining the workplace

At a fundamental level, workplaces exist for very practical and functional reasons - organisations tend to need a space where they can develop products and deliver services. Beyond that, arguably, they lack any other real purpose.

Well, that was the prevailing attitude. Increasingly, more and more enterprises are beginning to appreciate the fact that the value of an office, warehouse or building goes beyond utilitarian needs. It’s actually an instrument, an asset even that has real clout.

As such, the workplace is positioning itself as an environment in which employees feel empowered, more upbeat and engaged. The atmosphere at work may never be as comfy as one’s home, but a modern day interpretation nevertheless does offer comforts associated with it.

Changing perceptions

The philosophy laying the groundwork of a modern workplace is anchored on the notion that it is no longer just about the end goal. Certainly profits and growth matters, as does brand identity, but it’s not the be all and end all of why an organisation exists.

What has changed is the idea that the quality of processes and infrastructure only mattered in so far as they were cost-effective and resourceful. What didn’t matter so much was the detrimental impact this had an employee satisfaction. If the work got done, then management was happy.

More than just a base

Spaces matter. It’s why we make our homes, well, homely. It’s why concert halls invest in superb acoustics. And it’s why stylish bars exude a sense of luxury. Sometimes, it’s astonishing to think that we’ve failed to acknowledge the importance of enhancing the work environment. We spend most of our time here, after all.

A workplace should be symbiotic - how, for example, can we adapt the space in which a person operates so that it allows us to deliver on our goals, while giving something back to our employees? That’s the key question for employers looking to update their offices.

How to get there

Reimaging the workplace is no walk in the park. You’re talking about seismic change whereby you morph from a simplistic concept of a space - one that is purely pragmatic - to one that is markedly more influential and impactful.

It has to be done in a piecemeal manner and informed by a strategy. Look at digital technologies you can adopt, how you can declutter and free your office of junk, what types of aesthetics can create a sense of wellbeing and so forth. Take your time and consult; get everyone involved. Just don’t rush it.

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