For the longest time into the 21st century, the way our offices were designed hadn’t evolved in fundamental ways since the industrial revolution.
With the global remote work experiment brought on by the pandemic, we have been given an opportunity to reimagine work without the need for continuous co-location, and with a new focus on flexibility and agility.
Catering for flexibility raises the need for a new vision of the office. Similarly to how communication tools such as email, instant messaging, and shared drives, are leveraged for their own unique attributes, the office must be considered in the same light.
The Omnichannel (TM) organization
The Omnichannel organization embraces that idea, and looks beyond a “one size fits all” approach for organizations. Structure, management, and leadership, are dependent on the contingencies of the situation for each particular organization. The office of the future can only be designed, by taking a step back and thinking about the unique role and purpose of the office.
To help you do that, we have broken down the purpose of the office into 9 distinct categories with Jose Santos, Affiliated Professor of Practice in Global Management at INSEAD. The categories are meant to reflect the specific ways in which we use the office as a channel or tool, in the same way that we would think of email or Slack.
For each of these purposes (Creating work products, Committing, Communicating, Compartmentalizing, Coaching, Commons, Collaborating, Community & Culture, and Collective Memory), you should evaluate the likelihood of the office being displaced by technology, to predict whether this purpose can now be accomplished using a different channel or tool.
We work with leaders to help them rethink their work models and the role and purpose of the office within their employee value proposition. Reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in our products and services.