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Changing Workspaces and How They Affect You

With the 9-5 work day on its way out, a new, flexible leadership strategy is more important than ever.

Have you ever had to do an urgent work task from home or on the go? Ever caught yourself or a colleague completing a personal task at work?

According to Business Insider Australia, most Australians check their work emails outside of work hours. So how does the line blurring between work and play affect the workplace of the future?

In this digital age (explored further in our Digital Workspace white paper we are increasingly able to work from anywhere, at any time. As a result of this technological shift, a rise in the strategy called ‘hot-desking’ has risen. In fact, according to a recent survey, two-thirds of corporations plan to implement this new model by 2020. Hot desking is a flexible arrangement where employees rent a non-permanent desk when needed, sometimes having to share with others.

This strategy negates the need for the company to rent permanent office space which, according to Science Direct, is typically the second-biggest cost for organisations. With the increased flexibility hot desking affords, it sounds like this new method of working is the most effective way to adapt to the workplace of the future right?

Think again.

There are certainly situations where this flexible method of working succeeds (independent employees with largely self-contained work processes who might need to travel frequently, for example) but with businesses, one size does not fit all.

So what does this have to do with leadership strategy?

Recent research by Science Direct shows that, among other negative effects, suggests hot desking results in a decreased perception of support from supervisors and a weaker team connection. Other research showed that this new method of working could lead to employee disconnect, indifference and inattention to co-workers and decreased organisational commitment.

As highlighted in our Digital Workspace white paper, employee disengagement leads to decreased productivity levels and according to Paul Keegan, a writer for Inc., employee disengagement is “costing the nation $450-550 billion per year in lost productivity”. Most (if not all) of this disengagement stems from less-than-effective work environments.

The best way to successfully navigate the changing work environment and encourage employee engagement is to establish relationships with your employees, listen to them, give them the chance to get better at what they do and give them a clear connection to your company’s core purpose so that they believe in what they’re doing and feel connected to their work.

Keep in mind that making the move to hot desks just to save money, may actually cost you more as a result of decreased organisational effectiveness and productivity.

To find out more or to get help for your business, contact TMS Consulting on 07 3003 1473 or email solutions@TMSconsulting.com.au.

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About the author

Isabella Lanceleaux