Learn > Connect > Do : Do we still need offices?

delegatesLast night Dan Pilling and I welcomed a great group of people to the first birthday of Learn > Connect > Do where we were talking about workplace + space and whether we do indeed still need offices.

 

Dan started the event with a Pecha Kucha about how the workplace has evolved as technology and work has changed.  We no longer need all the desk space and personal office space we used to have in the 70’s.  Instead that’s mostly been replaced by bland, row upon row, of simple-to-design-and-install identikit desks where people spend too much time sitting => which we now know is causing all sorts of health problems including impacting our sleep => and poor sleep affects our work performance.  Oh, and the hours we spend sitting commuting to these offices…

With work now becoming more mobile because of tech, some workplaces are choosing to design work more closely to how we live – with areas where people can congregate around kitchen-table-type workspaces, or sit on comfy chairs with a good coffee for a meeting.  No longer do you need to go to a coffee shop to get that background buzz and delicious smell.  Less regimented, definitely less bland – and yet something which feels a long way off for most people.  Think of the numerous call centres up and down the land.  They won’t be lounging on a chaise lounge when they take your call!

So where did we get to with all this yesterday?  A theme emerged about wanting greater collaboration with the intention to break habits and silos, in turn enabling those serendipitous conversations which can be so surprisingly fruitful and inspiring.  Something which connects back to Margaret Heffernan’s opening keynote at the CIPD Annual Conference this year (Fika work breaks got a mention last night too).

So here’s my version of where the conversation went, including some of the side roads we took a trip down.

Take a look.  What does this mean for you?  What’s the difference your organisation wants to make? ….Beyond the numbers.  And what is it about your workplace + space that’s getting in the way of that happening?  And crucially, how engaged are your leadership team in this stuff?  Maybe that’s where you need to start?

Oh, and by the way, we decided that as a nation we just need to stop commuting and see what happens!  Up for it?  we’ll start on Monday 🙂

Add your thoughts in the comments to see what a serendipitous conversation could lead to!

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NEXT LEARN > CONNECT > DO : 9th March, 3-6pm, Observatory Beefeater, Leicester.

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