Recent WOW Article Reveals Ten Surprising Tips for Flexible Work Environments (Hint: You might be wise to drink this Kool-Aid)
The online pub, WOW, is always a good source for insightful articles about working, including razor sharp observations and tips. The writers really take risks and I like the way they challenge old school concepts and ways of thinking.
But one article really made me sit up and take notice. Philip Vanhoutte, highly respected Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Europe and Africa for Plantronics, in a recent WOW article, put down a set of tips designed to move managers towards a “smarter office”. Missing was any mention of performance metrics, goals and incentives. Present was discussion about happiness, trust and enjoyment. And there appears to be much to back this up.
Vanhoutte cites a recent study conducted by Chochrane Research which found that “self-scheduling work time improved a variety of items, including improved sleep, reduced exhaustion, lowered blood pressure, improved mental health and much more.” These findings, among other equally compelling arguments, convinced Vanhoutte to move towards adopting a more flexible work policy for Plantronics.
For boomers, it’s hard to envision a workforce not compensated on raw numbers; how many sales, how many customers served, how many widgets put together, and so on. But some of these ideas from Plantronics, arguably the household name in headsets, ring true. How large of a role does attitude, atmosphere and physical layout really play in developing healthy, contributing workers?
According to Vanhoutte, a large one. There are ten tips included in the WOW article, and almost all revolve around establishing the optimum organizational and physical scenario to optimize the happiness of your employees. And he doesn’t mean sitting around singing “Kumbaya”. This is serious stuff, and it’s not just out of thin air. At least three studies are quoted, so people are taking new measurements of new attributes and environments that may lead to a higher level of success, for the organization and its people. And, many of them conjure up images of co-working spaces, not traditional business centers. So for center owners and operators, it’s worth your attention.
Some of the tips include giving your employees a stronger voice in determining office layout, making your top priority the happiness of your employees (in this case, our clients) pay attention to space acoustics, using truly enabling technology, and build trust with the workforce. There are others as well. Are we creating a happiness “bubble”? Or is this the new win-win for a new generation?
Regardless, business center owners and operators such as Seven Met Suites at Brickell, are wise not to ignore these trends. You can be sure co-working space operators aren’t! There may be much more to gain by taking notes and getting ready to serve it.