In my role as Director of the Insight Group for Herman Miller’s EMEA region, I get to read a plethora of research about work from a wide range of interested parties, both in house and external. Whilst I enjoy reading and absorbing the material, there is much that leaves me wanting more.
The content and conclusions can vary widely and is very much dependent on the organisation that commissioned the research. Recently, I read 2 reports 1 after another, one which said that we were all returning to our desks, the other said we were all leaving our desks and were going to work at home. Answers on a postcard please.
I find myself reading the output and immediately I want to debate it with interested parties. I have found Twitter a useful resource for this, but it will never replace, for me anyway, face to face encoutners.
We need to understand more about the implications of the findings. What does it mean for real estate? How does the HR team need to react? What are the implications for workplace design? We know that it will vary from company to company, which is why I always promote end users to work with, or employ in-house, experienced workplace consultants and designers.
My final observation is that those of us whose day to day lives are engaged with creating great workplaces, must accept that what our organisations do is the exception rather than rule. In the seminars I deliver for Herman Miller, I continually remind people that the reason they are there is because they at least have an interest in the subject being discussed. It is like preaching to the converted, but every preacher needs to see a few nods of agreement as well as have his views challenged and sometimes changed. So I will carry on delivering the seminars, where I will raise as many questions as I give answers. Let the debate begin.