Guest Post: Allyson Strowbridge – The Future of Work and the Human Experience

In our inaugural guest post, we feature Allyson Strowbridge, Owner & Principal of ctrl+shift+space, a workplace design consultancy.

We are featuring a link to her complete post On The Future of Work and the Human Experience with highlights below.

Like YES!, Allyson believes in creating PLACE not just space, a distinction focused on HX – the Human Experience rather than the less personal UX – User Experience.

Based on our current transition to flexible workplace options in a post-COVID world, Allyson points to:

“Instead of placing attention on renovation budgets or move timelines, people will be the first consideration when it comes to selecting locations and designing offices with HX in mind.”

Our kindred approach with Allyson is that workPLACE is going to become a more important destination point, enabling our best work, even while we may continue to spend some time in work-from-home mode in the next few years.

Allyson describes that this sense of destination rests on three pillars: People, Purpose, and Planet.

 People- “Give employees options for where, when, and how they do their work – which for a large number can be from anywhere, at anytime, in numerous ways – and they will perform to the best of their ability because it’s on their terms, under their control. This builds trust and loyalty on all sides, which in turn leads to the employees being an organization’s biggest fans and most avid proponents.”

Truly, giving choice is what will drive their best work.

Purpose- Why people come to the workplace and deliver their best work relates to the purpose of being onsite. Allyson suggests four principle reasons:

  1. Knowledge Sharing and Action
  2. Trust, Team Building and Socializing (hooray for an actual on-site coffee or lunch!)
  3. Learning and Development
  4. Collaboration and Innovation

Planning workplace around ABW (Activity-Based Work) rather than promoting face time is a more authentic approach to building trust and loyalty in a competition for talent.

Planet- “If travel to the office is limited on a permanent basis, with employees visiting solely for the distinct reasons outlined above several times a month instead of per week, not only will they save time and headaches without the frequent commute, but they’ll save money on gas and in turn do their part to keep the ozone layer intact and increase the quality of the air that humans, animals and plants need to breathe.”

We can contribute to our own wellness and that of our families, communities, and the planet through the creation of workplaces that inspire great work and create a purpose for being onsite.

Allyson’s closing thoughts are to manage the return to the workplace with moderation. At some point, we’ll truly need to transition back to our offices where the collective energy will drive the innovation and performance we want to see manifest.

What’s clear is that there will be no one-size-fits-all (there never was, actually).

Optimizing design to include focus, collaboration and socialization space, in the right proportion, will reveal an office becoming “a destination of choice” where people and businesses will thrive.


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