June 25, 2015
There is strong and mounting evidence on how organisational culture and the workplace environment influence the quality of our work and working lives. This is according to a major new joint report by the CIPD and BIFM, In Search of Better Workplaces, which forms part of a wider initiative, The Workplace Conversation, an ongoing collaboration between the FM and HR bodies, which explores the evolution of the working environment and what the future of the workplace looks like. The report says that to make the purpose of workplaces clear a completely different approach is required, individual to an organisation, and which reflects what it is trying to achieve and how it wants to achieve it. It adds that good workplace design should be available for everyone and not the sole preserve of cash-rich private sector organisations. There is a range of starting points and organisations should take steps that are the right size for them.
The report is the result of a three month online conversation launched in February this year whereby professionals from sectors including facilities management, human resources, IT, architecture and workplace productivity joined forces to help identify major barriers in creating better workplaces, improving efficiency, driving productivity and job satisfaction and promoting best practice.
Commented Gareth Tancred, BIFM Chief Executive: “Over the years there has been a seismic shift in the way we live and work, and the workplace environment in particular has a profound effect on how employees feel about their work and working lives. We are seeing the dawn of the flexible workforce and a surge in trends such as remote working, hot-desking and the design of creative spaces and quirky features requiring businesses to think differently about how they enable work.
“The link between people and place, culture and the physical environment is crucial, yet many businesses are failing to respond and create environments that successfully support the changing nature of work. Good workplace design should not be the sole preserve of private sector organisations with large budgets, and management buy-in on the impact of the workplace in driving performance is imperative in delivering the best outputs from workforces.”
The report also reveals that many organisations are struggling to cope with the systematic changes that workplace modernisation requires; particularly large organisations with very ingrained working cultures and organisational structures.
Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, said: “The world of work is rapidly changing and people are at the very heart of this change. Getting workplace design right can have a huge impact on how connected, engaged and productive people are at work. When workplace design takes into account the nature of work being carried out, how people interact and the unique culture of an organisation, it can unlock tremendous value for both the business and individuals.
Those organisations that get it right, feel right, and the proof can be seen not in striking features for design’s sake, but in the fact that they have thriving and successful workplaces.”
The full report can be downloaded here.