Why Workplace Transformation?

| September 25, 2017

by Erica Mullen

The kind of work we do today is radically different than the work we did even 20 years ago. Corporate office design has to adapt and change to meet evolving workplace strategies and drive corporate growth. A workplace transformation is the rethinking of flexible work spaces to accommodate different kinds of work, workers, and technology.

There are a number of drivers influencing how we work today.

Complex work requires different spaces

Over the past 20 years, much of our structured and process-oriented work has been automated or outsourced. Our work today is unstructured, complex, and creative, requiring more intense periods of focus and collaboration.

Flexible workspaces can help attract and retain, engage employees and foster innovation. Photo: © Steelcase Inc.

Workforce demographics are changing

As experienced and skilled Baby Boomers head to retirement, organizations must appeal to younger cohorts of workers (Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z). By 2030, it is predicted that 75% of the workforce will be Millennials (also known as Gen Y). Millennials tend to seek work/life balance, seamless technology, and inspiring workspaces. Companies may also need to seek talent from a broader geographic area, creating a virtual and distributed workforce.
Technology continues to shape how we work

Today’s powerful mobile devices, ubiquitous internet access, and cloud-based applications make working anywhere, anytime, possible. Companies must employ strategies such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) to meet the expectations of a younger and more tech-savvy workforce.

Workplace transformation aims to create flexible workspaces that meet modern needs. / photo: © Steelcase Inc.

What does it look like?

So what does a workplace transformation look like? It starts by bringing together leadership, human resources, IT, and facilities to align their goals. Each of these departments view the workplace through a different lens, so when you’re able to sync these visions and goals, real innovation can happen.

Sample goals might include:

  • Attracting and retaining talent.
  • Engaging employees.
  • Creating a culture of innovation.
  • Optimizing real estate.
  • Building brand and culture.
  • Supporting creative thinking.

Workplace transformation strategies might include:

  • Offering choice and control with an ecosystem of spaces that balance privacy and collaboration throughout the floorplan.
  • Supporting mobile workers with unassigned touchdown areas and HD videoconferencing to connect local and remote teams.
  • Fostering creativity and collaboration with dedicated spaces and easy-to-use technology.
  • Enhancing employee wellbeing with opportunities to change posture (sit/stand/lounge) throughout the day.
  • Creating spaces for employees to socialize and gather.
  • Designing inspiring spaces to represent your brand and encourage creative thinking.
  • Communicating organizational news through digital signage in common areas, helping everyone feel connected.

The bottom line . . .

The level of your transformation can be dramatic or subtle, depending on your existing workplace culture. A more traditional organization might take smaller steps than one with a more progressive ideology. Regardless of the scale, any steps a company makes towards transforming their workplace to meet today’s evolving needs will create real bottom-line results.

Erica Mullen



Erica Mullen is digital content manager at Red Thread

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Category: All, Contributor, Corporate, Interiors

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