Today’s leaders must be well-equipped to guide their people through the shifting landscape of how work gets done
While Activity Based Working (ABW) is fast becoming the global norm, there is still widespread misunderstanding about what the approach means for organisations and people. Views from both sides of the fence often misinterpret ABW as simply a means of reducing real estate costs or taking away people’s desks. Even those who champion the shift to an Activity Based Working model commonly ignore or dismiss the fact that how ABW is implemented is just as important as what design solution is provided.
Neuroscientific research reveals that change can be incredibly scary to the human brain. Despite the fact schools and universities are inherently founded on an Activity Based Working model, it usually doesn’t take long for some employees to be conditioned to view space as pockets of individual ownership and symbols of status. A shift towards an open, ABW model can cause employees to feel frustrated and resentful that their ‘slice of property’ has been forcefully removed. To combat resistance and ensure employees are engaged, educated and empowered, visionary leadership is crucial in managing how the change is communicated and implemented.
As Tony Robbins once said, “Change is inevitable, progress is optional”. In today’s evolving corporate landscape, positive change and progress is only enabled by leaders who make the effort to help employees understand how a new workplace (and strategy) supports individuals, teams and the company as a whole to do great work and achieve their goals. Effective change leadership must overtake outdated change management tools in engaging and educating staff before, during and after the transition.
More broadly, changes in where and how people work requires leaders to forgo obsolete bureaucracy, company policies and rigid organisational charts. The next generation of workstyles will encourage leaders to take a flexible, trust-based and multi-disciplinary approach to how work is done. By partnering closely with IT & HR, leaders can implement effective strategies and tools for empowering employees to work in any location or time-zone.
Visionary organisational leaders of today are attuned to the future of work trends and discussions and commit to a user-centric approach, viewing change as an opportunity for progress and the workplace as an engaging, evolving service platform.
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