The power of place. How can your workplace become a lever of competitive advantage?

Lee Phillips | The power of place | ISG 27 February 2020 / By Lee Phillips

The workplace has long been just somewhere to house your people, processes and systems to get the task done. However, as technology changes the way we live, it is also changing how we work, and has driven a perceptible shift in our expectations for what the workplace is, and what it represents to different groups of people.

With today’s competitive landscape as much about attracting talent as it is about growing market share, it’s increasingly important to consider how the workplace can best serve the skilled people who deliver the goods. Accelerating technological advancements are bringing new roles and requirements across industries. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are looking over their shoulders at other industries, to see what can be learned from different sectors. In this changing world, the workplace has never had such a key role to play.

“Positioning a workspace to lure in new talent should be as much a priority for business leaders as lease terms and running costs.”

Lee Phillips, Managing Director, UK Fit Out

Different generations and specialisms look for and respond differently to what the workplace has to offer. However, what is becoming a consistent thread – and is increasingly important for the younger generations – is the need for organisations to create a sense of belonging, by communicating their brand and purpose through their spaces.

Given that two of the greatest challenges facing businesses today are skills shortages and operational inefficiencies, positioning a workspace to lure in new talent and making existing employees as productive as possible, should be as much a priority for business leaders as lease terms and running costs. For far too long, the role that the physical environment can play in this conundrum has been underestimated. Whereas it used to be the CFO who ultimately signed off on all property decisions, nowadays the voice of the HRD can carry almost equal weight.

Placemaking and location are also an essential consideration for developers that want to ensure their assets meet current requirements, while being resilient to the changing demands of the future workforce. After all, who knows where we will be in another 10 years? The assets we are producing today not only have to appeal to our changing lifestyles and current aspirations, but also be flexible enough to be adaptable to those further down the line. Not an easy thing to achieve.

“A main contractor should have the ability not just to build a new office, but to create a place that’s capable of attracting the world’s best workers to new cities.”

Kevin McElroy, Project Director, UK Construction

A main contractor should have the ability not just to build a new office, but to create a place that incorporates local culture, entertainment, retail and community – wherever it happens to be. It is this approach that can prove crucial in attracting the world’s best workers to new cities.

Only once we truly understand the power of place in addressing business challenges, will those that design, build and fit out the highest-quality workspaces find that it becomes a genuine lever of competitive advantage.


Author: Lee Phillips

Managing Director, UK Fit Out


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Phillips Lee | ISG
By Lee Phillips
Managing Director, UK Fit Out
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