Often, we think of modern workspace as a technology-driven practice, and it’s easy to do so. Working from anywhere with just a laptop and a phone wouldn’t be possible without those devices. It has enabled great flexibility without sacrificing an ounce of productivity. Studies have shown that employees have maintained and even increased their productivity, while companies are now seeing higher employee retention, a wider talent pool and decreased operating costs and environmental footprint.
With remote and hybrid work having become an everyday scenario for a great many of us, we have to take a step back and remember that all this technology exists because of an actual need for it. The state of remote work is what it is now because of a global push to maintain productivity outside of the traditional workspace.
Which brings us to this stark reminder: The modern workspace is not about technology; it is better seen as an ideology. The concept came about as an answer to the changing dynamics of the workplace – how offices are used, when and where staff work, how tools are utilized. And what has become clear is that the old rules do not apply anymore. If effectively embraced, a modern workspace philosophy guides us in planning resources effectively in response to environmental and cultural developments within the work environment, whether those changes include a paradigm shift in how employees work or how clients prefer to be served.
It’s something we are not only working on with our customers but Compugen itself. For example, we welcomed 2022 with a move from our old office to a new working environment at Launch Coworking in Winnipeg. Does this signify an effort to downsize? Not in the least. This year, our Winnipeg staff headcount grew to its highest level yet, but with a largely mobile workforce, our work rarely mandates that we be physically present at the office. In the last two years, in fact, there was very minimal foot traffic at our old Winnipeg location. We made the same decision in Victoria, BC, and moved out of prime real estate in downtown Victoria to a workspace with a couple of desks and a printer. The bottom line? We’re still just as efficient in serving our clients in the area.
Maintaining an office space that mostly sits idle just didn’t make sense for us. We at Compugen talk all the time about right-sizing in our datacentre and cloud practice, where we consider unutilized resources as wasted resources. The same goes for efficient use of office space.
Adopting modern workspace as a corporate philosophy is an exercise in agility – identifying trends and steering your organization in the direction that the industry is heading. Agility is a crucial business value that is often talked about but rarely practiced because it’s a lot more challenging than it sounds.
It takes more than just acquiring the latest technology. The real work is in determining what your staff need and what they’re likely to respond to, how they choose to work and with what tools, and how you can support them as a business for collective success. Your Google search might say so-and-so is the best collaboration platform out on the market, but if it doesn’t answer a tangible employee need, you’ll hit a brick wall when it comes to technology adoption within your workforce.
Building a modern workspace means creating an environment that empowers your team to achieve. It’s time to look at it from that perspective and frame your decision-making around answering the needs of your staff.