So, what comes to mind when you hear the words “reinvented office space”? Is it Ping-Pong tables and graffiti on the walls? These – awesome as they may be – are actually only the tip of the iceberg. They’re signs of a deeper transformation in our ways of working.
Read more about creating a collaborative learning culture in this White Paper
The days of hierarchical, pyramid-style and vertical management are far behind us. Today, people are all hyper-connected and employees work in project-based configurations rather than fixed teams, so standardized chains of identical offices are best left behind in the 90’s. Make way for flex offices (no fixed desks), “bubbles” for when you need to think in silence or chat with another person, meeting rooms, spaces to relax in, and of course, remote working. The age of the open plan office is over!
Today, you can work from home, the airport, a café, at a partner’s offices or in a co-working space. Paradoxically, new office spaces have never been so distant from each other, and yet, so connected.
The notion of time has also changed. Employees are increasingly free to organize their schedule as per their needs, constraints and wants. Results are what matter. So, the work day can be extended in time, which makes it all the more important to centralize information and make it accessible to all, everywhere, and all the time.
With the redistribution of workers in time and space, the “office” needs to reinvent its purposes. It becomes a collective space centered on company values, and offers teams the opportunity to come together, whether that’s around a meeting room table or a pool table! Each physical meeting is an opportunity to build relationships, brainstorm or engage in teambuilding, and celebrate company culture.
Managers know that the question of workplace wellbeing is at the heart of the talent war. This is what allows a company to remain competitive, in order to select, attract and retain the best candidates. The organization of internal events and spaces to play games in can reduce the day-to-day stress of working remotely and the pressure to deliver.
Société Générale’s success story
By transferring 5000 employees to a new site outside of Paris in 2017, Sociéte Générale tackled this issue head on. The office space and ways of working, inspired by start-up spaces (see photo), were entirely redesigned at the new technology park. This includes “bubbles” in which two or three people can meet up, spaces to relax in, remote working and flexible hours.
The bank has put together tools to allow employees to be more agile and have access to the same working environment, no matter where they are. Because such a drastic change can be difficult to adjust to, Société Générale strengthened its communication with employees by using the Speachme platform as a change management tool. Today, they look back on this transformation as an undeniable success!