What are the main elements that provide the productivity and efficiency to the office environment?
PI: First of all, the success of a contemporary office environment is certainly rooted in its ability to mirror and foster the specific corporate culture and identity. Without that competence, including a carefully conducted change management process, all other decisions, tools and processes might fall short or even fail. Beyond that we need to balance today quite often the need of a very agile environment providing the chance to adapt to an ever-changing workflow and a strong identity on the other hand, communicating the values of the employer and showing appreciation to the individual employee. Again, there is no easy recipe to apply. But that at the end makes the projects so beautiful.
After all productivity and efficiency are not only a consequence of cost, area management, desk-sharing rates, etc. The simple truth is: If I feel comfortable and appreciated at my work I will be the most productive.
What kind of changes do you anticipate for work places in the coming period? How will these changes affect the culture of coworking?
PI: The miniaturization of our daily working tools with the consequence of being very often not dependent on a traditional desk setting changed for the past decade completely the way we work. This digitalization process will still be a powerful driver in terms of smart surfaces, conferencing and collaborating tools. As we are humans with this virtualization comes an equivalent need of social contact and a tactile experience. So we see that co-working environments will be a concept that has a rising demand as it creates a potentially fascinating answer combing the nomadic with a strong sense of place.
The challenge will be that the temptations of a very space efficient floorplan combined with some lame stereotype ‘communication furniture’ discredits the benefits of these concepts. We see a lot of coworking and open space workplaces with workspaces which resemble more industrial livestock farming with some cute colorful niches and an iconic, Instagram-ready lobby. That’s how you kill a good idea.