Workplace Strategy and Technology Summit Highlights

What does the workplace of the future look like?

Well, that’s what some of Australasia’s leading property and technology champions came together in Auckland on the 28th of July to talk about.

We attended the summit as a co-sponsor with our partners Haworth, and the theme of the day was Supporting Hybrid Workplaces. We’ve put together some highlights of the conversations and learnings we took away from the summit.

The biggest challenge facing organisations is how to bring people back to the office.

It’s clear that there’s no real definitive answer or pathway to bringing people back to the office full time. We’re competing with the comforts of home, no commute, and a better work life blend.

Some organisations are adopting a freestyle approach and letting their people choose when they spend time in the office, others are undertaking a more structured and formal approach.

Summit panel speaker, Kristina Martin, Workplace Experience Manager at BNZ, talked about the importance of utilising good technology and creating equitable experiences for everyone, whether they’re physically in the room or connecting via screens.

“We need to see people’s facial expressions; technology needs to enable the human experience and connect people.”

There’s no playbook to guide businesses through this next phase… yet. There are some things you can consider introducing that will support how you’re working right now.

  • Technology plays an integral part in how people experience time in the office, time remotely and how the two are blended. Being able to see, hear and experience each other in a meaningful way increases the human connection and engagement.

Think about adding extra AV screens into meeting rooms so you have one dedicated to the content of the meeting and another for the remote attendees. This brings virtual teams into the meeting room instead of reducing them to a thumbnail in the corner of a screen.

  • Focus equal attention on who is coming into the office and who remains working from home – investigate what kind of experiences staff are having that are making them want to either work at home or come to the office
  • Gather data – whether that’s utilising technology in the form of space sensors or a physical walk around your workspace several times a day – take a good look at what parts of the workspace are being used, by who and for what
  • Consider undertaking a culture survey of your workplace, a vibe check if you will – how is everyone feeling across all pillars of their workplace, mental, physical, and emotional health

Navigating the Covid years has likely had an accumulative impact on many people’s stress levels, it’s a long time under tension and there’s a chance we’re all a little bit fried! High functioning, but fried. We can use this time of hybrid working to nurture the adrenal systems of Aotearoa New Zealand’s workforce back to healthier levels.   

Using data, technology, pulse checking in with your people and leaning on workplace experts and advisors for knowledge will help to address some of the questions we’re collectively asking. 

If your business needs help with data collection, surveying your staff or general workplace advice – we’re here to help.

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