Posts Tagged ‘built environment’

The changing workplace

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Changing-WorkplacesmIn the next part of our series of posts looking at how the world is changing around us we look at how the work environment is changing around us. With the evolution of mobile technologies and the ever increasing bandwidth that is available to us (in terms of both location and capacity) we are afforded truly different options in how we work.

The Hybrid Organisation studies showed that on average we spend only 45% of our time at our desks – that’s an incredible statistic, not only does it provide a hint at areas that we may make some major savings, but it is also incredibly telling about the way in which we now carry out our professional lives.

We’re moving to a world where the term “work” no longer defines a location, but is centred purely in the activity itself.

Working in this way offers not just greater flexibility for us in how we blend our personal and professional lives, but also provides a great opportunity for us to spend more time outside with our customers, peers and even strangers – all of which combine to make us more successful and more innovative and better still, more effective both at home and in work. The days of the binary work life balance are gone, some people seems to think this means working 24/7 but to me it’s about empowering individuals to choose where and when they want to get things done – equipping your people to be productive wherever they chose (or have to be) is the first big step down the path of success.

In our Dutch office, we reduced office space by 30% effectively pushing our people out into the big wide world – the results – 50% increase in sales and a much happier workforce.

How dull would I be (or rather as my wife reminds me, how much more dull would I be) if all I did was spent my time within the Microsoft bubble? I’m a far richer, more innovative and productive individual if I get out a bit more and spend time with people like you and your teams – even with people who care less about technology, it’s all constructive input and food for thought that goes to make me far more useful and valuable to my employer.

But companies need to change in order to truly get the most from this opportunity, especially in a knowledge based economy, we need to move to a more outcomes based measurement, far too often, we measure people on process not on what they achieve – this alone forms one of the major barriers between those that will taste success and those that don’t.

Introducing the Hybrid Organisation

Thursday, April 29th, 2010


A few months back, I was approached by a colleague that had been thinking about the collision of a number of key events: the turbulent economic environment, political uncertainty, changing workplace dynamics and the consumerisation of IT – individually, these topics have all been visited here at the Envisioners and yet the bleedin’ obvious had, until now, escaped us – what happens when you bring all of these events together at once?

We know that each one of these topics is enough on it’s own to start a conversation around how the business world needs to change (in both public and private sector) and yet here we are, presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity (I hope) where the convergence of compelling events in each of these areas create the mother of all incentives to become more agile and effective in the way we live work and play.

The Hybrid Organisation work comprises of three studies by distinguished thought leaders in their field; Prof Michael Hulme on the impact of current social change, Philip Ross on the opportunity provided by changes in the “built environment” and finally Ken Wood from MSR and myself on both the current and future potential offered by technology.

Alone, each one of these studies mark an incredible insight into each specific area, yet combined they create an incredibly compelling view of how organisations, leaders and individuals need to change in order to take advantage of the opportunities being offered and more importantly, how to stay relevant and competitive in our changing world.

To help organisations and individuals understand how to make these changes happen, we’ve created a final summary report which outlines the key themes from each of the papers and outlines 20 things every organisation should do on it’s journey to becoming hybrid.

I know all the cynics out there will be rolling your eyes and saying, “we’ve heard all this before” and that it doesn’t matter – well two things spring to my mind:

  1. The unprecedented convergence of the recession, the election, workplace demographics and IT consumerisation is something that _cannot_ be ignored.
  2. Read the reports and judge for yourself – Look at the 20 point plan and ask yourself (honestly) where you and your organisation stand…