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Workplace as an experience

April 4, 2022. Written by Elise Tarvainen @ Elise Tarvainen

I have recently been captivated by the idea of workplace as an experience, familiarly known as WX. Workplace is any place the employee carries out tasks for ones employer. The advanced technology has led to a new type of workplace, a virtual one, that allows people to work fully remotely. The era of remote and hybrid work with virtual workspaces challenge us to re-think the concept of workplace and how the experiences are born in this new normal.

The human-centered office design concept considers workplace first and foremost as a holistic experience, where the physical, social and technology aspects at workplace fuse into one. Workplace experience design focuses on elasticity and personalized solutions that recognize the personal needs and visibility of each employee, also the ones that are working remotely. By providing the employees with quality workplace experiences we enhance their ability to perform at their best. Enabling everyone feel that the workplace is made for them results in not only retention, but also the productivity and efficiency of the work. Investing in WX is driving business success by creating sustainable value.

WX can be compared to any ever-evolving ecosystem, where all its parts are interweaved and in constant interaction with each other to improve the performance of the eco-system as a whole. Should we seek for better business outcomes, in workplace experience design there are three key components to focus on:

#1 People first.

Workplace experience is all about people. With this human-centric approach we are allowed and urged to focus on the employees and their specific needs, desires and emotions. At the heart of the positive workplace experience there is caring organizational culture supported with policies, social structures, and open interaction between people in all levels of organization. To enhance WX, the elements of empathy, creativity, and flexibility are on the spot.

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#2 Space matters.

Office and space design offers the platform for developing workplace experience. The human-centric space design considers what benefits the employees, their mood and ability to work in changing teams. Creating conditions for collaboration is important, but the needs for undisturbed work are to be recognized and catered as well. With designed-for-purpose spaces that are aesthetically pleasing, we can tempt our employees to work and prosper in the company premises. There is no other way to find the needs and desires of employees than inviting and engaging them to the design process from the very beginning.

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#3 Technology connects.

Workplace experience is shaped by constantly evolving technology. Especially at a time when work is done anywhere, the importance of technology is emphasized. There is an increasing need for devices and software that are effective and easy to use from anywhere. Hybrid work and being apart from colleagues demands tools that enhance collaboration and overall communication within the organization. It's evident that the most productive workplaces possess an efficient and positive environment where employees have the tools they need.

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Writing this blog made me think the importance of the workplace experience, and how deeply it integrates to business evolution. The power of WX in our organizations is yet either unknown or underrated. We have a lot to learn on how to fuse technology and space with human behavior and organizational culture to support people to reach their fullest potential.

About the author

Elise pic 2021 without background

Elise has robust experience of working in multi-cultural teams and international markets. These assignments and projects have been a unique possibility to create innovative, world-class learning and innovation environments by fusing the best practices from Finland into local context and needs.

As a COO of ISKU’s international operations, Elise enjoys and gets inspired by working with a team of high-caliber professionals to foster company's growth.