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Creative Workplace with bicycle to show APAC is on the verge of workplace transformation

Are we on the verge of a workplace transformation?

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If increasing engagement, retention and motivation levels of your staff is your key concern, you might want to follow the lead of your fellow Asia Pacific leaders and consider making some changes to your workplace design and culture.

According to the Workplace Strategy—Why One Size Does Not Fit All report by CBRE, organisations in APAC are increasingly looking toward innovative workplace environments in a bid to boost productivity and accommodate to a more diverse workforce.

These include strategies such as hot desking and collaborative working environments.

The report highlighted companies in the region have already driven down costs and densities to maximum potential and reduced space usage, and are tied to comparatively short leases compared to firms outside of Asia Pacific.

But saving costs is not the only reason why companies are altering workplace structures and strategies.

“In the long term the focus of workplace strategy will be less about real estate and the physical workplace and more about corporate real estate professionals collaborating with human resources, technology, operations and other corporate support functions to create a synergistic environment that enhances the employee experience,” the report stated.

The report emphasised on the importance of accommodating to the region’s youthful demographic profile to enhance such employee experience.

Young, globally connected employees desire more flexible working arrangements and have shifting expectations in regard to how, where and when work happens.

“Asia Pacific’s combination of youth, mobility and adoption of new technology presents a significant opportunity,” Peter Andrew, director, workplace strategies Asia, CBRE, said.

“We are on the verge of a transformation in the nature of work and workplace in Asia Pacific. Carefully considered and well executed workplace strategy is another tool in the leadership kitbag to create and maintain competitive advantage.”

The report included that 80% of staff in CBRE’s Singapore’s office said their ability to collaborate has improved, while 92% of staff said their ability to work as small teams has improved.

Andrew warned, however, that leaders in Asia Pacific have a misconception that workplace strategy is purely about the physical office space.

“This often leads some companies to focus purely on the design, layout and operation of their office whilst ignoring behavior and culture.”

The study added there remains a significant lack of understanding around workplace strategy in Asia Pacific, partly because of the lack of expertise within corporations and suppliers compared with the vast size of the region.

However, the region was also found to be quite open to implementing such changes once they have been approved, given the strong command and control culture that exists in a number of markets.

“Companies are now increasingly shifting their focus to solutions that align with broader business objectives and strategies to drive a wider agenda of increased employee engagement, retention and motivation of talent, business productivity and broader cultural change,” the report stated.

 Image: Shutterstock

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