There is a popularized concept of using the lean approach when designing software. In this process you bring customers in, to test and iterate as you go along. Incremental changes are done instead of dumping all your eggs into one expensive basket. Basically, you make several small changes instead of just designing one thing and showing it to people.
In the same way, our physical spaces don't have to be fixed, structured spaces, like cubicles. Now that cubicles are no longer in fashion, many organizations are spending money making new open work spaces.
Companies should make small changes, test ideas, and collect feedback on what employees care about. If not, in the future, they will do that process all over again.
A great example of designing spaces like software is Airbnb. I was fortunate to visit their offices in San Francisco, and saw what a phenomenal job they do at this. They test out ideas, make changes to office designs and layouts, and they really look at what employees value and care about. When something doesn't work, the necessary changes are made.
That is an important way to think about the physical office layout that you have – the workplace is continuing to change, and as it changes, new concepts for productivity are being implemented. Maybe the office fad will go out of style. What is going to happen then? Instead of designing something, then giving it to employees, bring employees into the process. This is a good way for organizations to approach their physical space.
When you give the power to employees to design the space that they want to see, you also give them the tools they want to use to work. Your organization has the opportunity to act as the enabler, the supporter for the employees. Employees will want to be in an environment they help create.
Are your organizations going through design changes? How are they approaching their physical spaces? Leave a comment below!
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The Future in Five is a regular video series where best-selling author, speaker, and futurist Jacob Morgan shares his ideas, insights, and commentary around the future of work in five minutes or less!
Jacob Morgan is a keynote speaker, best-selling author (his most recent book is “The Future of Work”), and futurist. He explores how the world of work is changing and what employees, managers, and organizations need to do to adapt. You can also subscribe to Jacob’s newsletter to get weekly content on the future of work To work with Jacob or have him speak at your event visit TheFutureOrganization.com
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