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Working with the times

Working with the times

Originally posted by chris hunt @ smh.com.au

Australia's coolest and most digitally enabled workplaces are no longer the domain of tech giants and audacious start-ups. The public sector is embracing the concepts too and this isn’t optional – it’s a necessity.

Organisations today define themselves less by their physical footprint and more by what they can achieve through a connected workplace.

A connected workplace brings together design, technology, systems and policies to create spaces where people can work with ease. The aim is to attract, inspire and retain talented employees, resulting in the type of office usually envied for its “coolness” – think Telstra, WeWork and Google.

It’s not all about football tables, bars and free food, of course. The idea is that flexible, adaptable and enjoyable workspaces will improve staff comfort, engagement and productivity. They’re designed for the digital worker.

As Baby Boomers retire, a greater number of older Australians are leaving the workforce. Within a decade, as much as three quarters of the workforce will be made up of millennials – a generation that expects a seamlessly connected workplace.

There’s a direct correlation between technology and job satisfaction. If their tech expectations are not met in the corporate world, the worker of the future will simply move on.

This means the war for talent, traditionally a challenge for the profit-focused private sector, will be an issue for the public sector too.

Customer expectations are also changing. People are no longer prepared to carry out their business with the government over the counter – they expect easily accessible online services, secure communications and faster responses.

The vision of the Federal Government’s Digital Transformation Agenda is to make it simple and fast for departments to get things done, deploy resources with agility and better measure performance.

It’s the ideal time for the public sector to accommodate the rise of the digital worker and digital consumer by adopting connected workplaces. The government departments that have started doing so are already seeing the benefits.

Chris Hunt is managing director, integrated facilities management – Australasia, at JLL.

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