New workplace models key to meeting future demands of Australia's increasingly mobile workforce

New JLL whitepaper says the physical workplace can no longer be seen as static. A workplace that caters for and supports changing ways of working will play essential role in attracting and retaining employees

October 27, 2016

As the workplace continues to be shaped by an increasingly mobile workforce and advances in technology, the ability for companies to provide flexibility and a variety of workplace models will play a key role in attracting and retaining highly skilled workers. 

This is explored in a new JLL whitepaper titled ‘The future of work and the workplace’, as are the associated benefits of new workplace models such as pro-working, on-demand space and office club models. The impact that mobility and technology will have on workplace design are also explored. 

JLL’s Director of Corporate Solutions , Rajiv Nagrath said, “The old adage of ‘set and forget’ where organisations have to ‘make the most’ of their existing workplace is redundant. What employees want from the workplace has radically changed and the physical workplace can no longer be thought of as being static. Space needs to be managed, curated and constantly fine-tuned. Real-time data can be drawn from intelligent buildings which can be used to modify the space to keep it relevant to the behavioural profile of the occupants.

“However, the experience that employees have in their space is of equal importance. Programmes to compliment the physical space that will support employees being efficient and effective should be developed. Additionally, trialling and implementing programs around health management, stress management, time management and technology should be considered. Organisations often cite human capital as their penultimate resource, and a well-designed and managed work environment is one the ways they can deliver on their objectives around this,” he said.

JLL’s Director of Workplace Strategy , Dinesh Acharya said the rise of mobile working had opened up a new range of workplace opportunities for companies. These include ‘hub & spoke’; which could see a centralised CBD office supported by various smaller satellite offices, the ‘office club’; which is non-exclusive office space co-habited by smaller companies; and ‘pro-working’, which sees companies offer under-utilised office space to a vetted network of professionals or partners outside of their employee base.

“Flexible working has empowered individuals to work in a location-independent manner both inside and outside the office, and this in turn challenges the typology of the office building. Work can and does happen anywhere and there are a number of workplace models that are capable of yielding great benefits for organisations and their employees. Each has varying levels of impact around employee experience, flexibility, sustainability, cost, and security considerations. Mobility and technology are evolving at such a rapid rate that new workplace models are moving from the periphery into core corporate real estate strategy. In fact, the term ‘workplace’ itself now encompasses space both within and outside of an organisation’s leased or owned premises,” Mr Acharya said.

Mr Nagrath concluded that the future of the workplace will continue to see a shift towards increased choice and flexibility for individuals. “The focus will continue to evolve from being predominantly focused on physical sustainability to include employee happiness, wellness and engagement. Technology will provide a plethora of data and analysis on how individuals are not only utilising their space, but personalising their space to achieve their wellness objectives.”