The Leader Magazine

DEC 2018

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44 December 2018 the lea D er F E A T U R E A R T I C L E The consumerization of the workplace by Ryan Anderson T he workplace continues to evolve, and it seems the speed of this change is exponentially increasing, especially given the transformative effects of technology in our everyday lives. The advance of technology in the workplace is nothing new, but what we are seeing now is different. Much of what is being adopted today has the potential to offer significantly more autonomy, choice and flexibility to employees than in previous eras. This increased rate of technological change can create risks for organizations that are investing in their physical workplace, especially as new employee expectations and behaviors outpace the rate of facility change. But, it is possible for those who design and manage workspaces to adopt a new mindset to stay in lockstep with technological change to deliver a positive workplace experience. So how does this happen? The key is to maintain a human-centered approach to workplace design, and to understand the role of emerging technologies in supporting people's work. Companies that adapt to changes in technology will be those that first seek to understand their organizational culture and their people's work processes, and then focus decision-making around people's changing expectations, behaviors and needs. In other words, the process starts with people and their work, not with technology. The companies that get it right will introduce tools that anticipate and improve existing work patterns, not attempt to proscribe new technologies that require new processes simply because the technology seems future-leaning or offers a demonstration that people think is "cool." Technological advancement in the workplace should seek to support existing activities that are currently poorly supported rather than force employees to conform their activities to a new set of tools.

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