What is the future of modern working in the 21st-century? What are the implications of COVID 19 and new technologies impacting the workspace?
The roundtable has discussed these topics to break down the cultural impact on organisations and the practical outcomes of this new modern setup?
The speakers are Moderator Chloe Tilley, Avril Chester RIBA, Adrianna Graham Tyson Foods, Alexander Coleman Ontario Public Service, Ian Rutherford Cisco, Roberto Maranca Schneider Electric, Paul Coby, Johnson Matthey.
The transformation of the workspace
Ian Rutherford argues that people no longer wish to work in traditional office spaces by stating a move before the outbreak of Covid 19 in 2019 that there had been a shift from 75% of the workforce wanting to work from the office.
There has been a dramatic culture change, with now over 20% of workers wanting to work from home.
Paul Colby further compounded this change due to traditional office environments no longer being necessary for some instances depending on company culture and setting.
For example, ice cream people or customer service requires working face-to-face cannot be done remotely unless organisations move from a traditional market store to a purely online platform.
What must also be understood is how the traditional workplace was created and developed before & after the Agricultural & Industrial Revolutions.
Over the past 60 years, the UK economy has moved from an industrial manufacturing economy to a service-sector economy.
The brain economy and the service sector have grown, with only over 11% of the UK economy from manufacturing.
New technology has transformed the workspace.
We have a lot to be grateful for. People like the co-founders of Google, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs, a co-founder of Apple, have inadvertently changed how companies and people communicate and work in the 21st-century.
The creation of smartphones, social media and the rise of the Internet in the 1990s as an information platform has changed how companies can work in an agile environment.
Because of the rise of new methods to run a business and work effectively in a workspace, Alexander Coleman argued that there is a generational divide.
A divide in culture and a divide in generational thinking is an opportunity, according to Arianne Graham; new technology online provides opportunities that enable a workforce that empowers people from around the globe.
An online style of working also cuts down the risks, cuts Administration and office costs, and makes communication only at the click of a mouse over Zoom or Google team meetings.
However, communication must be developed on whether or not the new communication style of social media and team meetings is the correct model for your organisation or the culture that a company wishes to develop.
Micro-aggression and creating a better work environment
Alexander Coleman brings a unique perspective when it comes to the transformation of the workspace.
Mr Alexander argues that black and ethnic minorities from different cultures may find the return to the traditional workspace un-tolerable.
This is due to the micro-aggressions that can cause workspaces where the company’s culture does not understand different cultures and people, such as the disabled and those with hidden disabilities.
One of the sad aspects of certain office cultures is the politicking and the micro-aggressions and passive-aggressive nature that can occur in offices.
Due to different people, not just because of any cultural or ethnic differences but because of an environment where people are brought together, they would never meet or interact in any other social setting.
Office culture must be a force for good and creativity, not of hatred or passive aggression, which kills productivity and makes the workspace an intolerable place to work.