Article: Designing the workplace for the future

Technology

Designing the workplace for the future

Tomorrow's workplace requires not only an action plan build, but also the right mindset that generates the action plan. Some insights into what these are and why they are important to adopt.
Designing the workplace for the future

There is so much talk but not much action around building the workplace of the future. In search of the answer to the issue of building the workplace of future, Ester Martinez, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, People Matters, described in a discussion session that clarity, courage, and humanity are three ingredients for implementing transformation process successfully. Many companies deal with problems of not knowing where they are headed towards and thus, lack the courage to move in any direction. 

“Clarity, courage, and humanity are three ingredients for implementing transformation process successfully,” Ester Martinez, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, People Matters 

Seema Arora, Sr. Director, People Resources, Hardcastle Restaurant adds to the above by taking humanity a step forward and talking about transparency. In trying to be humane, we lie and the real crux of the matter is never known to an employee. If a person is being fired we need to tell them that since the jobs are changing, skills need to be updated or they need to look for something else. 

The root of all the problems lies in the failure to develop a mindset that will bring about clarity, courage, humanity, and transparency. Here are few pointers to get started on developing the right mindset for building the workplace of the future.  

Action Plan for the Workplace of Tomorrow

  • Avoid categorizing generations

    Think about solutions from a people and cultural perspective and then chalk out the action plan, rather than from a generational perspective
  •  Retain Cultural Diversity

    Create a binding thread through shared sense of purpose, while retaining cultural diversity 
  •  Adopt an agile mindset

    Agile leadership is essential for creating an agile mindset. It keeps culture in the centre of eccentric circles of structure and process
  •  Understand the dynamics of today & build for tomorrow

    Build your workplace as a business team, keeping in mind your future customer, i.e., as a virtual customer rather than as an HR professional 
  •  Work on the three P’s

    People, process and the dynamics of the present and the future through the proper use of tech
  •  Avoid categorizing generations

    There is just too much debate about how we should shape the work culture for Millennials vs GenX vs Traditional etc., which is utterly unnecessary. Be careful when you’re categorizing generations, because people don’t change according to generations, but are affected by the environment they grew up in. There are 80-year-olds starting businesses while some 20-year-olds just want to work. Think about solutions from a people and cultural perspective and then chalk out the action plan.  

“Create a common thread which runs through the organization and becomes a binding philosophy rather than uniformity. You can use a shared sense of purpose as the binding thread. Try retaining the cultural diversity instead of creating a new culture.”

  • Retain Cultural Diversity 

    Create a common thread which runs through the organization and becomes a binding philosophy rather than uniformity. You can use a shared sense of purpose as the binding thread. Try retaining the cultural diversity instead of creating a new culture. As said by Ankush Agarwal, National Sales Head, Zeta, “Everyone needs to wear the hat of ‘a cultural ambassador of change.’” Inclusiveness around diversity makes the employees feel cared for and in return, they aim to create happy customers. 
  • Adopt an agile mindset

    Agility comes in different formats, for example, agility for change, learning agility, etc. but the one we need to adopt is agile leadership. The concept of agile leadership puts culture in the centre of eccentric circles of structure and process. Therefore, the culture of your organization decides how agile your leadership is. You have to determine if you want to go inside out or outside in. 
  • Understand the dynamics of today & build for tomorrow 

    Start by understanding where you currently are and then chalk out where you want to go. Build your workplace as a business team keeping in mind your future customer, i.e., as a virtual customer rather than as an HR professional. What you’re building for tomorrow should be based on the leadership team that you’re building today. 
  • Work on the three P’s

    People, process and the dynamics of the present and the future through the proper use of tech, comprised of. Once you have clarity about your goals, you can select the right people, so that fewer people are fired and job roles are more clearly defined. You can have the right process in place since it will take few years for people to adapt it. And finally, you will know which technology suits you the best. But always remember, in all the three, people are the slowest to change. Create a vision and process which will support that. 

The primary objectives of the HR departments should be hyper-productivity, hyper-connectivity, and hyper-innovation which are all connected to having the right mindset. Understand that habits don’t change drastically, so the first habit to develop is patience. 

The article is based on the session Masterclass Part 1 – Designing workplace of tomorrow given by Seema Arora.

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Topics: Technology, Life @ Work

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