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New Approaches to the Future of Work

New Approaches to the Future of Work
11 August 2022

Businesses are adapting their workplace strategy for hybrid working, paying more attention to staff wellbeing and investing in workplaces that will help them to attract and retain the best talent.

This is all alongside a backdrop of increasing concerns about cost-effectiveness and sustainability.

And hybrid strategies might not necessarily mean a downsizing of real estate. In 2020, 69 per cent of CEOs told KPMG that they were planning to downsize their office footprint. In the summer of 2021, that figure had fallen to just 17 per cent.

Planon recently brought together a panel of experts from Frost & Sullivan, KPMG, Schneider Electric and Philips to discuss new approaches to the future of work, as well as provide analysis on some of the lasting effects we expect to see from the perspective of real estate and FM.


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“Apart from addressing short-term needs, we don’t have to rush because there’s going to be further evolution in this area. Although the pandemic has forced businesses to explore questions around hybrid work strategies, it’s also brought unexpected answers. I think we might actually return to old habits a little bit quicker than perhaps some people thought at the start of the pandemic.”

–John Raspin

Partner, Frost & Sullivan


Brett Spindler, Senior Director of Building Enterprise Solutions at Schneider Electric, believes that when digitalisation is incorrectly applied, an imbalance between business drivers, operations teams and the needs of people inside the buildings can appear.

He said, “We know that technology is playing a vital role in the workplace but now is the time to differentiate between essential pieces of technology and things that will turn out to have been little more than a trend or fad in years to come. It’s going to be interesting to see what will add value in the long term.”

“As more technologies become available, like IoT, it’s important that we first think about what we want to achieve with these technologies. Take artificial intelligence, for example. AI is an amazing tool if it’s used in the right environment. But if it is used in the wrong place, to do the wrong thing, it will not give you the results you need. The same is true of IoT.”



Picture: a photograph of Brett Spindler. Image Credit: Schneider Electric


Convincing C-Suite Leaders to Invest in Workplace Technology


Instead of seeing the post-pandemic return to the office as a binary, yes or no question, Henriette Weiß, Global Head of Workplace Solutions at Philips Real Estate, believes that managers need to ask their employees what they want from their office environment.

Henriette’s key recommendation for getting people back to work post-pandemic is communication. She said: Try to think of the big picture going forward and get all your different personnel involved - HR, IT, real estate and facility management teams.”

"When it comes to convincing C-Suite leaders that investment in workplace technology brings value Henriette explained her approach: “This is all about data. When we have investment discussions with our leadership team, they are always fact-based and data-driven. For example, when we went to a flexible working model 10 years ago, we started asking our employees to rate their productivity and satisfaction levels. Then, we also looked at how technology could be used to provide additional support in this area.

“Of course, technology also helps with occupancy management, collaboration and safety. We are always gathering data from internal surveys and with this data, it is much easier to convince our leaders of the need for further investment.”



Picture: a photograph of Henriette Weiß


Is There Really A Rush to Implement New Working Strategies?


John Raspin, Partner at Frost & Sullivan and Director of its Energy and Environmental practices, when asked about hybrid work strategies said: “I think what’s less clearly on the agenda at the moment is discovering what hybrid strategies actually look like from one company to another. There’s a lot of complexity behind successful hybrid work strategies, so there’s no off-the-shelf template that a company can implement straight away. Businesses need to ask questions about employee engagement, collaboration, space utilisation, and many other areas of work.



Picture: a photograph of John Raspin. Image Credit: Frost & Sullivan


“Apart from addressing short-term needs, we don’t have to rush because there’s going to be further evolution in this area. Although the pandemic has forced businesses to explore questions around hybrid work strategies, it’s also brought unexpected answers. I think we might actually return to old habits a little bit quicker than perhaps some people thought at the start of the pandemic.”

To read the full research, click here.

Picture: A photograph of three people in a business meeting, seated two of which are using mobility aids. One person is also holding an iPad. Image Credit: Disability Inclusion Stock Photography by Disability:IN under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 11 August 2022


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