HOK Director of WorkPlace Gordon Wright spoke with The Future of Work podcast host Jacob Morgan about trends including a focus on the employee experience, prioritizing choice and enhancing agility to create space that attracts employees.
Excerpted from The Future of Work podcast:
Current research says that this generation of workers may have as many as 30-40 jobs. With that in mind, the design of workplaces must be different than at a time when people came and stayed for decades in one job. Those in the contingent workforce tend to move frequently between jobs. They are more nimble within the organization and this impacts the design requirements.
Wright gave examples of the differences between now and years ago in regards to the workspace. One thing he mentioned was that space used to be very personal. It used to be that, depending on your rank in the company, you would have a private office or a cubicle that was all yours. You could make your surroundings yours by putting personal items such as pictures or diplomas. Now we have communal spaces–so there is no longer the option to personalize in the same way. But it allows people to collaborate more and choose what type of workspace they want for the day, instead of being stuck in one room.
Open plan environments have challenges and are sometimes only suitable for certain employees. We have now gone beyond just open plans–we have coworking spaces, other amenities and multiple options. HOK has learned that the best workspaces are those in which there is choice.
“Choice is the number one indicator in how satisfied a person is in their job,” Wright says. “Many organizations have realized that to get people in the office–for people to want to be there–they have to provide an experience that’s engaging.”