What is work?
Work as a concept has changed. It is no longer about the physical space. Nor is it about the choice of platform, as a varied of tools are used for connectivity. So how do you create an organisational culture without physical or platform reference points?
A company at this point has three components: an organisational memory, a shared reference language and a set of communication channels (both tools and platforms). Defining the company parameters will involve access to what data and what portion of a particular stream of revenues goes to what competencies are being shown.
So in a competency-based company, dialogue is the new unit of work. How do space planners and employers enable that kind of work to occur?
Employers, space planners and building owners will look to technology to perfect a hybrid model. This needs to include the communication channels that the company uses. Most of us are tired of hopping from platform to platform (Teams to Zoom to WebEx to Slack to…..). I should not have to coordinate a person with a platform. It is already hard enough to keep track of which family member uses what app to communicate.
The use of space
The trick in creating these dialogues is to make space management more seamless and accessible. Property management teams need to deliver greater flexibility and improve the in-building experience for their tenants, with an operational focus for facilities management on cost controls and workflow processes.
Making space manageable enables employees to schedule communication exchanges with the ability to reserve space, to interact and to engage in these dialogues. Property and facility managers will want to create a hygiene friendly touchless experience in this space, applying touchless technology to doors, lockers, desks, meeting rooms and access to employee resources such as changing rooms and communal spaces.
Tech enabling space
More advanced and empowered technology can enhance not only occupancy planning but also the overall work experience. We all gain in hybrid working models with reduced costs, improved employee performance, staff retention and the environmental benefits of reduced travel. Employees get shorter commuting times and scheduled collaboration time.
Traditional models will no longer accommodate the workplace and workers of the future. The new standard of hybrid work promotes efficiency and connectivity, and technology is a big part of that.
Age is more than a number
We can see that different age groups have different ways of working and collaborating. Besides gathering data on usage, if that data can be cross tabulated against age group and working role and style, then we can create work environments that allow the individual to create at their level of working comfort.
Data as the fuel for dialogue – how can AI help?
We need to recognise that data is the fuel for these dialogues that are creating organisational and personal value. People want to work with each other when they can create value, and data supports that activity. Value is what attracts employees to a work environment, value are magnetic and brings people together for collaboration and creation.
Can AI help us here? What about better understanding HOW we use spaces to help us make better decisions where (and when) to meet? In digitising existing manual physical processes, this allows for gathering usage data and using artificial intelligence to optimize data and space and to ensure connectivity. For example, GoSpace’s platform is designed to help occupancy planners oversee the hybrid workplace. In a recent collaboration between property management firm JLL and GoSpace, using GoSpace’s AI engine, JLL collects data to manage space consistently based on usage patterns, while ensuring connectivity and driving collaboration.
Building and maintaining working premises used to be about a complex Design/Build project (core & shell, interiors and relocation). Now both property managers and facilities management need to think about data use, human dialogue and value creation for employee engagement as part of the metrics of space management.