Digitalisation and globalisation are changing the way we communicate and work in a fundamental way. In this digital age artificial intelligence is already taking over simple, routine work, leading to more efficient processes. The digital revolution will leave behind businesses that simply ignore innovative concepts such as New Work, creative & design thinking, and agile working – on that experts from the worlds of business and research are agreed. New approaches such as co-working, crowd-working and desk-sharing will soon have an even greater effect on our work culture.
Success through creative collaboration
Those who want to remain competitive should therefore focus more on human qualities such as creativity, emotional intelligence and flexible thinking. All these are characteristics that cannot be replaced by computers and robots. They are what enable people to work in collaboration with each other. However, this kind of creative collaboration requires a different kind of work environment to traditional office structures. Because one of the key aspects of approaches such as New Work is the attempt to dismantle hierarchical structures in order to create greater diversity. That is not always easy to accomplish: employees and the management both need to be open to this transformation. However, a growing number of major corporations are taking the first step and are looking to generate added value through collaboration.
This approach is often associated with an improvement in communication within the company. Interdisciplinary exchange should be encouraged as a way of inspiring employees to take part in creative collaboration and to achieve innovative outputs. A number of renewal concepts for offices, however, are still focused purely on functionality, ensuring that fixtures, furniture and technology fulfil their purpose. Instead of that, what would be truly useful is an environment that provides optimal conditions for a broad range of activities and ways of working.
Multifunctional spaces promote innovation
Open-office landscapes with multifunctional spaces and intelligently designed office worlds can achieve this. And that’s why demand is growing for open premises that encourage networking and collaboration. In ideal circumstances, a multi-space solution corresponds with the principle of activity-based working. This means that suitable areas are available for all activities in the company. Employees are therefore free to choose a room for creativity, dialogue, telephone calls, exercise or relaxation. Activity-based working is a central tool for carrying out the spatial change of classic ways of working through to New Work.
The upcoming ORGATEC trade fair will show how co-working and other collaborative office concepts are currently changing the work environment. ((Link to website)) Instead of the traditional ensemble consisting of a desk, office chair and mobile pedestal, many manufacturers will be presenting modular, multifunctional furniture systems that adapt to changing requirements in open space offices. In addition to these new and enhanced products, under the title “culture@work”, the trade fair offers visitors a diverse event and conference programme with meetings, special exhibitions and presentations on the topic of future work.
Which environments and organisational forms foster innovation? And what role does employer branding play in medium-sized companies? The weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT’s “Work & Style” conference addresses questions such as these, and is aimed at planners, architects and HR experts from medium-sized companies and large corporations. With fresh inspiration, best-practice examples, workshops and dialogues, the ORGATEC New Work Sessions, organised by Xing in cooperation with the German association for the office and working environment (IBA / Industrieverband Büro und Arbeitswelt e.V.) and Koelnmesse, aim to contribute to the currently ongoing debate. And at the PLANT 10.1 special event, visitors can experience the cultural influence of work concepts such as New Work for themselves.
Forward-looking solutions for the modern workplace as presented at ORGATEC are also a focus at ambista. The network for the global interiors business provides regular updates and insights, such as the following upcoming topics: acoustic solutions for quieter offices, co-working spaces as a model for success and optimal furniture for start-ups.