Businesses need to radically re-envisage their workplaces to optimise team productivity and maximise the value of their physical working environments, a new report from Interserve concludes.
The international support service and construction group has set out a series of critical steps for knowledge-based businesses to revolutionise the workplace – and thereby aid employee performance – following a two-year study into the science behind effective working environments undertaken in partnership with Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA).
The report: ‘Optimising performance: defining, designing, maintaining and evolving workplace experiences’ advises companies to shape workplace design and management strategies around employee productivity. It calls on companies to recognise the workplace as integral to delivering a business’ commercial strategy, urging them to treat employees as ‘workplace consumers’ – creating ‘frictionless’ experiences and environments that help them perform to their best ability.
Interserve and AWA argue that traditional silos, from IT and HR to facilities, need to be broken down to integrate the management of the workplace as part of a ‘one-team’ approach. Doing so, Interserve argues, will ensure companies can deliver a streamlined workplace experience which supports employee productivity.
Interserve then calls for investment by businesses in technology to boost engagement in the workplace, using social tools to foster cohesion. The introduction of new systems to measure workplace performance – for example real-time monitoring of assets such as meeting rooms, social spaces, and desk areas – is also essential, the report says, to allow for continued evolution of the working environment to tailor it to building users.
The study is the culmination of a two-year research collaboration by Interserve with Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), Workplace experiences – the science series. The final report synthesises the partners’ findings to date to set out Interserve’s agenda for the future of the working environment.
Jeff Flanagan, managing director – commercial at Interserve, said:
“We need to see board-level backing for an integrated approach which puts employee productivity first – unifying management of the workplace under a single team tasked with shaping a more intelligent, commercial approach. Doing so will ensure that businesses maximise the investment that they make in their physical place of work, focusing on the value it brings, not simply its cost.”
We need to see board-level backing for an integrated approach which puts employee productivity first.
Andrew Mawson, founder of Advanced Workplace Associates, added:
“What’s clear from our research is that we have to stop thinking about the workplace as a necessary ‘commodity’ cost which needs to be constantly driven down. We have to think about the workplace experience as a value-adding resource designed to help people work at peak levels and reflect organisational personality. This means having real estate and facilities management leaders driving the requirements for experience-related service contracts with their procurement colleagues providing a service (and not the other way round).
“The old idea that FM and the workplace were ‘non-core’ is demonstrably not true anymore. Designed and managed correctly the workplace provides the environment in which creativity and performance must flourish. The science tells us what we need to do to achieve those conditions and that is encapsulated in this leading research.”
The old idea that FM and the workplace were ‘non-core’ is demonstrably not true anymore.
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