Five Steps for Making Your Workplace a Success
Dr Marie Puybaraud, Director of Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Innovation, shares the five principles key to the successful re-engineering of the office of the future.
1 Encourage a collaborative culture
In today's workplace setting, establishing a culture of collaboration means giving employees, customers, suppliers and partners the tools and the flexibility they need to achieve business objectives, make good decisions, resolve issues and share knowledge effectively and efficiently.
While the benefits of collaboration may seem obvious, it takes strong leadership to develop a workplace culture that encourages innovation and productivity.
Leaders must facilitate and foster a constraint-free environment, rather than micro-manage. And they must help others within the organisation overcome one of the greatest barriers to collaboration: Knowledge hoarding. Knowledge is put to its most productive use when shared through collaboration.
2 Evolve and adapt the workplace
To support the connectivity and mobility that collaboration requires, workplaces must embrace innovation as never before. In today's forward-thinking work environments, more time is spent in team spaces with collaborative technologies. There is increased use of video conferencing, more use of dedicated collaboration rooms and far less time spend at desks, in cubicles or in old-style meeting rooms.
3 Embrace advances in technology
While collaborative workspaces encourage interaction among team members within a facility, technology allows them to exchange ideas and knowledge across the city or across the globe. In fact, successful collaboration hinges on having access to the right technologies at the right time to support effective communication.
Tools such as smart phones, tablets, interactive white boards, the cloud, WebEx, Skype and other teleconferencing technologies enable improved and alternate ways of collaborative working.
Social media plays a critical role in collaboration, too. Studies show social media has the potential to increase the productivity of workers by 20 to 25 percent.
4 Make use of available data
Today, just 49 percent of available office space around the world is being used. And as mobile and collaborative work patterns evolve, there may be even less of a need to maintain existing real estate portfolios. Why pay to heat, light and maintain buildings that aren't fully occupied?
Advancements in workspace technology now make it possible to detect heat and movement to determine if a space is being occupied.
Real-time data gathered by these occupancy sensors can then be used to help identify spare capacity. Data collected from sophisticated building management systems is also being used to help facility teams make fast, accurate decisions on energy strategy.
When combined, these advancements in workspace and building technologies help organisations make meaningful predictions about future space and energy use.
5 Promote agility
Today's business environment demands agility. Compressed planning horizons mean a quick response is key to competitiveness. And as businesses adapt, change shape and take on new directions and markets, real estate must be able to keep pace.
Adopting an attitude of agility also has a direct impact on productivity. When leaders support a flexible, mobile, collaborative work environment, workers are inspired to work harder and smarter.
Phil Gregory, Senior Regional Executive: Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions, Middle East & Africa said: “Over the past few decades, we have seen a major shift in business and how we work.
“Together with a new generation of employee that is entering the workforce, with different work styles and expectations as well as technology that is advancing rapidly, it is crucial for companies in South Africa ensure their organisations are flexible and adaptable. The question is no longer 'if' a transformation will take place, but rather 'how'.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.