The Leader Magazine

SEP 2016

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68 SEPTEMBER 2016 Greeting employees and visitors alike with an atmosphere not unlike the hospitable feeling of a fi ve-star hotel can set a warm, positive tone for the whole work day. importance to ensure that the functional elements of the workplace provide all the necessary tools to seamlessly support and balance a staff's focus work, collaboration and social needs. intangibles matter, too There is great value being placed on the look and feel of the workplace as a refl ection of the minimum expectation of the modern workforce. Although the look of the workplace is largely a factor of the nature of busi- ness, the market, the local cultural infl uences, organizational standards, and a common thread of creating a buzz, a positive feel to the workplace and encouraging employees to personalize the space, along with offering outstanding corporate hospitality services, is emerging. Organizations are also willing to share these positive experiences with customers and visitors, bringing them in to showcase where their solutions are being developed. The feel of a workplace begins from the time the space is entered where, quite often, the initial experience of how one is welcomed and is made to feel sets the tone for the day. A concerted effort is being made to provide a level of hospitality service at the workplace as is provided by fi ve-star hotel environments. The services industry, particularly banking and consulting, have been doing an exceptional job of providing exemplary guest experiences and others are following suit. The traditional reception desk with the person seated behind the counter is being replaced by a concierge type of service where the person is on his or her feet, creating a dynamic front-offi ce environment and making every individual feel as comfortable as possible. For visitors and customers, a welcome that makes them feel special can trigger a positive mindset and can go a long way in supporting the business outcomes. The workplace touch points (i.e., all the activities and work-zones that Pururaj Rathore leads the CRE team at Oracle in the South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand region, driving transformational change in the workplace design and services. With a dual master's degree in fi nance and commerce, he currently is pursuing an MCR designation from CoreNet Global. the staff are expected to experience) – including parking access, with ease of access to the parking or transportation to the offi ce; lift access, with minimal average waiting times and time to reach the work zone; distance to the reprograph- ics/beverage points from various work zones; availability of meeting resources and proximity; ease of connectivity to the various work zones; access to the lockers and end-of-trip facilities – need to be assessed and studied in order to provide the most seamless transitions from one space to the other and facilitate maximum ease of use. Many organisations have come to the realisation that without unduly increasing costs, it is possible to make momentous changes in the workplace design and services simply by coming from a place of "yes" and yielding exceptional overall value to the business. and, of course, the details The well-being factor is becoming the hallmark of a "workplace of choice" along with a contemporary design and exemplary hospitality suite of services. A workplace design that takes into consideration the ergonomic needs and mental health, and that encourages healthy work habits, is also becoming a norm. The cost of providing services such as meditation, yoga, consultation, etc., and workspaces that allow employees to choose settings that suits their personal needs, such as height-adjustable desks, lumbar-support chairs, monitor arms, natural light, quality indoor air, etc., far outweighs the initial costs in the long-term. The creation of a holistic workplace environment goes a long way in supporting staff engagement and an increased level of productivity, and sends a message to employees that they are valued and cared for. An engaging workplace may also create an environment that fosters and encourages organizational citizenship behaviours, which can further contribute to the success of the organization. The CRE function has the intricate task to fi nd the fi ne balance between the workplace technology tools, as we enter the era of the "Internet of Things," and the human touch in order to shape the workplace of the future and to create a point of differentiation for their organization. While the technological advancements will continue to help create a lean, agile and seamlessly connected global workplace, the service elements will be the key to keeping the social threads together. There are billions of instant messages and email exchanges happening everyday globally, but the intrinsic need to connect with people in person remains vital. The modern workplace has the potential to be that space where people come together not just to work but also to connect with each other, to innovate, to feel part of something that they can be proud of, to feel happy, and to be engaged not just professionally but socially, too. Simply by "coming from a place of 'yes'," organizations can effectively and effi ciently create value to the business through renewed workplace design and services.

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