There can’t be many issues that take up more of the time and energy of entrepreneurs than how to manage their knowledge and creative processes. While the manufacturing sector may have committed itself to automating its systems some time ago, the situation with office based work is less clear. Ground-breaking ideas such as ‘Office 4.0’ crop up faddishly in the media, then vanish as they are subject to closer inspection or stick around long enough to become misunderstood. None of this helps anybody.
Yet the underlying challenge is perfectly easy to understand. The competitiveness of organisations depends on harnessing the ideas and potential of employees. It springs from the minds of people and only then can it be channelled by digital processes. Ultimately, competitive advantage stems from the application of creativity, communication, speed and efficiency.
So, people and their knowledge and ideas are the most precious commodities at the company’s disposal. The historic shift from manual to knowledge work and the transformation of the workplace it created is one of the most important challenges facing people and organisations today.
The core challenge is how to retain and attract the best people, to allow people of different generations to work together, to combine analogue and digital sources of knowledge and to create collaborative, learning environments that unleash creative potential. The aim here is to create ergonomically ideal workspace, to encourage people to work while sitting or standing, and to introduce space concepts that have a positive impact on wellbeing and collaboration.
These kinds of workplace have traditionally been associated with the creative industries, but they are now mainstream across all sectors. In the war for talent, one of the most important weapons at our disposal is not just brand, but an attractive workplace.