The convivial future: Steve Gale envisions your next office at the 2020 Workplace Network
‘Workforce of the Future’ was the theme on May 7-8th, when M Moser’s Steve Gale joined speakers from some of the world’s most influential companies at the latest 2020 Workplace Network conference in New York. Attended predominantly by human resource executives, Gale’s presentation proposed an intriguing answer to the question: “How do we get our people to share information to foster creativity and innovation?”
Dubbed ‘the convivial workplace’, the concept revealed by Gale may radically change how offices are designed and expectations about how people work.
Convivial offices are designed to encourage people to move about, mix and make social contacts outside their own team or department. The result is a network of ‘asymmetric’ social and professional connections from which unexpected, and even game-changing, innovations may arise.
“The idea is to combine work and socialisation across the whole office, and not just in a cafeteria destination where you leave after a short time,” said Gale, senior workplace strategist with M Moser in London.
To achieve this, the convivial office would be a much ‘looser’ workplace than we’re used to, with few spaces even looking like dedicated work areas. Instead, imagine an office where there is little, if any, assigned seating, and which looks like a combination of workspace, lounge and cafeteria.
But the culture has to be there to allow the architecture to work. “People need to have clear permission to foster social relationships as part of their day job. If you want to attract and keep the best people and help them share their wisdom, this is an element of the workplace that needs consideration,” said Gale.
Click here to read Huffington Post’s article on the convivial office.