In the article, Swapna looks at how our physical and virtual work environments will be shaped by intense competition for talent, automation and retraining, and new trends in academia. Here’s an excerpt:
Learn From Academia
Academic institutions can offer the business world ideas for incorporating learning environments into future workspaces. As someone whose firm designs these spaces, I’ve noticed there is a major gap between how we use space to fuel learning as opposed to how we use it to perform work today, but organizations that recognize the inconsistency between the student and employee experience can act to close that gap as we move into the coming years.
Here are just three aspects of modern learning environments that workplaces may want to consider:
• Power Of Choice: Today’s thriving learning spaces offer students space, tools and resources, and then let them create. In successful learning environments, space does not dictate activity, but rather empowers students to connect, research, prototype, unwind, build and learn as necessary. In business, these spaces are frequently referred to as innovation hangars or garages (akin to Silicon Valley startups with movable furniture and hackable spaces).
• Platforms For Collaboration: Successful education spaces are generally designed to promote diversity and inclusivity and knockdown interdisciplinary silos. Workplaces should also be focused on this to accelerate innovation and discovery. You can implement design solutions such as creating intentional and impromptu meeting areas; ensuring the appropriate ratio of focus, collaboration and connection areas; and offering ample support amenities for physical and digital collaborations, screen projections and writable surfaces. In addition to amenities for internal use, such spaces should also include considerations to encourage partnerships and collaborations with external agencies.
• Focusing On Experience: Across society, experience is currency when it comes to recruiting and retaining students, customers or employees. Knowing this, the business world should study how leading academic institutions create spaces that are attuned to student wellness and passions. Look at how institutions incorporate creative and multidimensional spaces in buildings.
In learning from the academic sector, the intent is not to replicate student spaces, but to recognize the reliance on technology, flexibility and adaptability, personal freedom and idea-sharing as organizations build their own customized solutions.