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Why is your workspace not more productive?
"It's because workspaces today are still more or less based on the model set up after the Industrial Revolution," says David McGinty, Senior Manager of Real Estate and Facilities at AMS, who's received accolades for major real estate and construction projects he’s helped develop in Australia, Ireland, Canada, and the Netherlands. "And they have not significantly changed since then."
Now, the problem with traditional environments is that they only allow for limited collaboration, and therefore productivity. In business terms, this represents an increasingly significant opportunity cost to the organization. Given the options on the table today – based on technology and physical workspace, as well as on collaborative thinking – David supports an approach he calls "LifeWorks."
While the work/life balance is somewhat of a myth, says David, he is a passionate believer in "people becoming more engaged through stretch assignments." Stretch assignments are all about projects leading to job satisfaction, and turns the work/life balance theory on its head. "As people spend more than half of their waking time at work, life effectively becomes work – and we want to encourage our employees to make the most out of it," he says. [Editor’s note: SSON has a gem up its sleeve if you're interested in understanding what motivates people, as Dan Pink describes it.]
The biggest challenge at AMS has been overcoming employees’ sense of entitlement to "personal space," but six months’ worth or orientation talks has led to a shift in culture. David lists some of the organizations that have inspired him through their workspace strategies, and offers a few tips on how to make even temporary spaces more personal.
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