The Boardroom of the Future
Chances are it's probably not.
You may be familiar with some of the most ground-breaking workplaces in Australia like the ones Futurespace has designed for Microsoft, JLL, REA Group, Google, MYOB, EA Games, Wotif.com, Pexa and many more. These workplaces are all designed with people and their experience of a workplace at its centre. The clients we work with know that we live in a fast paced, challenging world with constant change and disruption affecting people, and their work, like never before.
As Australians spend longer and longer hours at work (our typical working week is well above the OECD average) many organisations have realised that the workplace can play an important role in attracting and retaining staff, in improving people’s health and wellbeing, and supporting people in bringing their ‘whole self’ to work so that they are more fulfilled in all areas of their lives.
There is a huge list of initiatives that many businesses provide for their people including:
- easy access to WIFI throughout the workplace,
- choice of open and closed spaces to suit various styles of meetings,
- fun, creative spaces that include arcade games and table tennis, for example,
- collaborative spaces, that are flexible and can be easily rearranged,
- concierge services such as drycleaning, bag storage and local recommendations,
- secure project areas and co-creation spaces for workshops and immersion sessions,
- access to the organisation’s knowledge, strategy and the corporate community,
- different levels of hospitality and catering,
- IT and production support, and
- lockers, showersbike storage and other ‘end of trip’ amenities.
Many of the above are givens when it comes to designing a workplace that benefits an organisations’ people.
But what about the boardroom and the way a business meets and works with its clients? Whilst workplace design – for staff – has been revolutionary in the last 20 years in Australia, client spaces have lagged far behind when it comes to innovation. There is now a huge disconnect between the level of amenity available to staff, and the level of amenity available to clients. Most boardrooms and client spaces today have a single purpose, are very formal with limited amenity, variety or choice. Technology too is often an ‘add on’, is rarely current or seamless and can often be more frustrating than helpful.
When creativity and innovation are the currency in a disrupted business world, the time is ripe for change.
PwC is the first organisation in Australia to recognise that working differently with clients is the way of the future. The recent projects Futurespace designed for them at Barangaroo in Sydney and at Riverside Quay in Melbourne embrace a business milieu that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (also known as VUCA). Through these cutting-edge projects PwC has taken control of the rapidly changing world we find ourselves in.
Their new Client Collaboration floors in both Melbourne and Sydney are an innovative way of working with clients that will cement PwC’s position as leaders in the professional services sector well into the future.
You can read more about the Sydney project here.
Is your boardroom ready for the 21st century?
by Angela Ferguson