Zoltan Vadkerti is a work-life expert, blogger and co-founder of the WorkLife HUB.
Maybe it was the sunny spring weather in London. Or the token of opportunities for new partnerships and networking. Whatever the cause was, we had an overarching gut feeling that 2018 is the year of new beginnings and time for actions.
The 'what’s next' approach
Almost everyone we talked to at the expo and conference, of which we attended for the 2nd consecutive time, from the HR Director of NASA, to the design and creative directors of Perkins+Will, was reporting about the evolution of work and how organisations are preparing to address it. Even the key-note speakers and roundtable coordinators - many of them tasked with creating workplaces that engage and connect with the diverse workforce of today’s companies - looked as much excited to talk about the future evolution of working and workplace trends as they were to share about the outcomes they have already measured.
This process is never over.
We are talking about companies like Airbnb, Microsoft, LEGO or CISCO, who gained considerable benefits in figuring out how to master agile workplaces, leadership programmes, collaboration tools, company culture and employee experience related developments in order to attract and retain top talent or decrease staff turnover.
What excite us is that these organisations are not even close to being done. Many of the global corporations plan to apply similar approaches to other lines of businesses and locations. They plan to further integrate new ways of working principles into their daily operations. They are investigating new design trends, employee wellbeing initiatives or future areas of priorities in diversity and inclusion management. As Cisco’s Head of Total Reward put it: “This process is never over”.
LEGO shakes up the imagination of its employees …
For instance, LEGO has recently finished transforming one of its 5 global hubs into an innovative space which follows new ways of working office principles. The transformation of the “Shunghub” office into a redesigned beautiful space not just speaks about the ambitions of LEGO to expand its presence in China, but to attract more talent to the company.
Shaking up a box of present is such a usual for a kid, right? So, when they shake one up and hear the unmistakable sound of a LEGO toy, they smile and dream of building a great thing. With its new office design LEGO takes this concept to a new level as it aims to bridge employees’ emotional and brand connection at the workplace through design and the physical space.
Only 20% of today’s job involve physical activity down from 50% in 1960. The question is therefore: why do even go to work today? Aaron Harvey, Creative Director at Airbnb, in his thought-provoking presentation, on the function of novelty in the workspace, gave us some hints about what would be the answer of Airbnb to this very question.
In summary: “Brands should and can be experienced in an office environment. Today’s workplaces should leverage space to make the individual experience more meaningful. Thus, offices should reflect the values and mission of companies, and tell every employee why they work there, and not where they work.”
There was so much valuable and pragmatic content that we wished we could have been present at more than one or two discussions at the same time, which brings us to our final point; bringing you value, dear reader, who managed to scan through the entire post.
Key conference takeaways:
- Organisations tend to put more focus on self-awareness and how they could best react and bridge their expectations with the actual market reality. This seems to be a painful, but necessary process and evolution every organisation should endure in their pursuit to becoming employer of choice.
- Many of the speakers recommended, in their speech, books for the audience to check out. This short list is our highlight for you: The Chief HR Officer: Defining the New Role of Human Resource Leader; Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling.
We are typing this blog shortly after the 2nd edition of the Work 2.0 conference closed its doors in London, and would like express that we’ve found the entire conference experience super inspirational - such a privilege for us support the organisers with our work. If you are interested in exploring how we can help you supporting your event or conference with content creation and promotion, reach out to us.