"The workplace of the future should be a Mecca for boosting people"
Just a few years ago, the workplace was where you had your desk, your computer and your documents, and where you went every day to complete your tasks. The workplace of the future needs to meet new needs. Coor’s experts define the way forward.
As technology and humans evolve – accelerated by the Covid pandemic – the workplace has been cast in a new light, with working remotely becoming more of a rule than an exception.
“The pandemic has opened up the possibility of working from home for many people, but it has also made us more disconnected from one another,” Joachim Meyer Andersen, Group Experience Manager at Coor explains.
“It has also become clear that we all have a fundamental drive towards meeting our colleagues in social and creative contexts.
Joachim believes that the workplaces of the future will meet new needs. They will give people a boost, meet their need for social and creative interaction, and help employees to experience a healthier working day. To achieve this, employers need to identify staff needs and design the workplaces of the future around them.
“In order to attract employees to the office now and in future, it will be essential to create a workplace based around the employees and their daily challenges. You need to create an experience that makes their working day easier and more enjoyable,” Joachim explains.
To do this, you need to really understand your employees.
“This is essential. You can’t create a great experience if you don’t know who you’re creating it for,” he continues.
Determining your employees’ needs takes a lot of work, and a generic process won’t be enough. According to Joachim, you will need to interview your employees, use a range of data sources such as sensors, carry out surveys and generate statistics based on the people working in your office.
“In short, it is about complementing your gut feeling with concrete facts, but employers need to work hard and continuously to achieve this,” he explains.
For Coor, with 300 employees at the company’s office in Kista, Stockholm, the work on the company’s own workplace of the future is already in full swing. To better understand the drivers and needs of its employees, Coor has collected solid data and divided it into needs segments, known as “personas”, corresponding to groups of people in different professional roles and departments, but who all have similar needs.
“Everyone is different, so in a large organization it is impossible to identify exactly what each individual needs. But extensive preparation allowed us to eventually pinpoint five different needs segments – ranging from the “manager on a tight schedule” to the “life - work balance seeker” – that accurately represent our employees. This makes it easier to select the services and designs our employees want and need,” Joachim explains.
Joachim believes that more companies should follow suit, both in order to remain attractive as employers, but also to increase employee wellbeing.
“We are seeing a shift where employers are needing to come closer to their employees and get to know them better. In future, it will be necessary to offer experiences and services that make life easier and healthier for the employees, and that enable them to work productively and innovatively. The workplace of the future should be a Mecca for boosting people,” he concludes.
Joachim’s top tips for employers wanting to create the workplace of the future
- Deepen your understanding of your employees and how they differ from each other
- Create solutions that meet their needs
- Create an attractive workplace based on your understanding of your employees and what your company wants to communicate to the world
- Lift your gaze – don’t just focus on the architecture and furnishings, the whole experience is what’s important