The Leader - September/October 2008 - (Page 14)
real e stat e maNaGemeNt The Future of the Workplace: What’s Next Is Here BY Dr. marIe puYBarauD T he workplace picture is a fluid one. Advocates of workplace change believe organizations are not able to keep up with the pace of change; the notion that ‘a job is for life’ is disappearing; and workplaces are increasingly complex areas. Critics argue that these claims are sensationalized, producing unnecessary scaremongering. Regardless of what view one takes, a number of factors are contributing to a changing global pattern, which includes globalization, democratization, and technical and creative innovation. And each in some way is impacting upon the workplace. n n n n pIvotal eveNts Past pivotal events which have significantly impacted the workplace and brought it into its new (albeit ever changing) landscape have been identified as follows: n The Advent of Communications Technology; this has enabled increased flexibility in the workplace as the move towards ubiquitous connectivity occurs Increased Use of Automation; there is a reliance on hand-held devices to minimize paperwork and boost the accuracy of data collection. Also, in terms of facilities management, greater focus is placed on integrating facilities and building control systems The Blackberry Device; the emergence of this device has enabled 24/7 access to people, allowing workers to choose their own work-styles Cost Reductions; their inclusion in new workplace concepts has encouraged employers to accommodate employees in creative and autonomous environments Real Time Data; while improving communication within the core busi- n n n ness and supporting networks and services, this supports strategic decision making by improving reporting and monitoring system capabilities of different types of facilities Conflict, Terrorism and the Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction; these have led to security issues and preparation for extreme events by facilities and workplaces all over the world Flexible Working; growing acceptance of this concept is evident through the increased reliance on supplemental staff to help in-house staff cope with unplanned work. It also helps control labor costs and enables short-term staffing and in turn, helps managers focus on core competencies Over-Regulation; the Sabanes-Oxley reporting tool, for example, has been adopted out of necessity in the United States. However, financial services in the United Kingdom do not have 2 0 0 8 th e le aDe r 14 septemBer / octoBer
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