- Mar 31 2016
Given the success of the coworking movement, it seems only natural that the collaborative concept extended into the more personal parts of our lives. That is exactly what is happening this year. Today, more and more companies are working with developers, technologists, investors, retailers and the like, to create veritable urban or suburban villages that combine many aspects of life.
In the past, companies such as Facebook and Zappos have made headlines for their work “campuses” – stretching across acres of land – where employees can work, exercise, socialize and dine out. In the coming years, we’ll see this idea expand even further towards “work-life integration” as employee residences begin to pop up.
The urban adaptation of these work/live communities will be “vertical villages” that combine apartments, gardens, wellness amenities and offices – a trend that has already begun to appear in the freelancing world. For example, US-based coworking company, wework, recently launched a test version of welive, the residential equivalent of its coworking business, in New York City. The integrated co-living environment promotes the same idea of creative-minded individuals interacting, innovating and engaging together – but on an around-the-clock basis.
So what are the benefits of working where you sleep – and vice versa? Companies are banking on the idea that it will foster after-work networking and social interaction among colleagues; streamline the lives of employees by eliminating traffic and commuting; and even encourage healthier living by providing access to fitness centers, healthy dining options and purposefully-designed green spaces.
As our professional lives meld together with our social and personal environments in this new world, it will become increasingly more important to design the right work environments. Managers and leaders tasked with humanizing the workplace can follow key design principals outlined in this year’s report.
For starters, companies can reinject playtime into the lives of their employees. After all, we learn some of the most basic skills at an early age through play – from learning to connect, socialize, communicate, to understanding risk and reward, trust and failure. Whether play involves a company-wide challenge or simply means installing a foosball table in the break room, interacting with colleagues humanizes the workplace and nurtures imagination.
Companies seeking a calmer or more individual approach to break time can also provide mindfulness or yoga sessions. In the busy, noisy workplace, finding a sense of inner quiet can help employees to concentrate and communicate more clearly.
As the modern workplace continues to evolve, focusing on the people that make up an organization – whether through encouraging employees to unwind, putting recognition programs into place or establishing a holistic approach to work-life integration – will help companies inspire new thinking and ultimately improve productivity and performance.
Explore these ideas and other emerging trends in Sodexo’s full 2016 Workplace Trends Report
Sodexo’s latest 2016 Workplace Trends Report takes an in-depth look at nine major trends that will impact our workplace today and in the years to come. Here is a peek at two trends that redefine the workplace and provide guidelines to ensure the human factor isn’t lost in the process.
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