How often do you walk through your office and see empty desks? Is their stuff there? a bag? the screens on but no one to be seen?
Where are they…? In the building? Grabbing a coffee, in a meeting, picking up their printing? Or out of the office… Dropped in and left their stuff, and gone out to a meeting, on site, in a clients office, travelling, sick on holidays?
Technology has enabled workplaces to redesign how they accommodate their workforce and in many cases this has begun to evolve into concepts that have been given a range of terms; activity based working, real time working, free range working, agile working… essentially meaning that some of us no longer have our own desk that we show up to and sit at every day; that there is a range of options available to us dependent on the tasks at hand, and we choose where we want to sit based on how we need to work.
An interesting conversation with a client over coffee left me with a thought that I have been mulling over ever since. Their lease was expiring and they are looking to secure new premises and of course the question about the style of office arose. The view that the organisation had taken in developing their next office space was that
“in this market staff retention is not as important”.