The future of work was always going to involve more digital components. But the pandemic accelerated the move towards the ability to work remote, and consequently, the widespread adoption of hybrid work cultures by many companies.
Aura Office Environments — a Canadian design-build company headquartered in Vancouver — provides clients with in-house design and project delivery, offering greater flexibility, transparency, and faster delivery times than companies that outsource.
CEO of Aura, Dan Boram, tells Daily Hive that ergonomics, flow, comfort, wellness, lighting, and biophilia among other things have been key considerations of Aura’s office design. “A space is designed thinking about the experience of the user as opposed to making a design statement because that is quite often very impractical. We find the balance between the two.”
Considering how offices would be used after the pandemic inspired Boram to create Pivvot with the help of a team of business analysts, HR professionals, and space designers. As an AI platform using machine learning, it helps predict the future of how people will work based on an in-depth assessment and leadership alignment — centred around the idea of the office mirroring the function of a “campfire.”
Boram says he uses the term “campfire” with clients to help them understand what the office becomes. “The space brings people together to problem-solve, innovate, [and] collaborate when they are in the office and hold the culture of an organization together.”
Pivvot, he explains, was developed to help organizations get leadership and stakeholder alignment around what they will provide as flexibility to staff for the long term. This involves accessing each person on the team in each office location and bringing them into the process as a part of the change management.
“The assessment puts them into a workstyle persona predicting (with 70% accuracy) what their work style will be in three years,” Boram states, which essentially predicts how employees will work into the future. Describing the campfire approach further, he says most (not all) office spaces “will not have rows of people doing office work any longer.”
Instead, he predicts the office will be a space that brings teams together to work together and grow the company in a cultural way. “The space is no longer a place for people to come and do focus work all day,” he shares.
“The office still needs to be very flexible to allow changes. It’s very important for companies to have that office flexibility because we don’t know what is around the corner next.”
Data and strategy play a massive role in the future of workplaces, according to Boram. “By collecting now and assessing your team every eight to 12 months, we can have a much better prediction [of] what the future holds when it comes to what is needed for office space in order to support the business’s objectives. That data is used to create the workplace strategy.”
In terms of developing workplace strategies, Boram says companies can consider four key elements: stakeholder alignment, management alignment, looking at specific roles to see what is best for talent acquisition and retention, and the business — “giving your client the best experience.”
Having a people-centric workplace brings about benefits, says Boram. “It’s either people or robots doing your work. If you have people doing your work, they are [the] single greatest asset of your business. If you do the right thing in developing a space in which people thrive, then you can’t go wrong. This will also give you a step up on your competition to attract and retain talent.”
Already, Aura and Pivvot have witnessed trends with regards to what people want to see in their workplace, from a clean, safe environment with an emphasis on air quality to the ease of using technology and connecting with a hybrid or remote workforce. The biggest aspect, which has been missing since the pandemic? “Developing a space that encourages spontaneous collaboration.”
Offering advice to prospective businesses looking to launch or enhance their workplace, Boram says, “Find out what problem you are trying to solve, involve your people, [and] create a strategy based on data.” He adds, “Look for data before the pandemic as well as during and then, of course, continue to measure.”
For more information and to book a consultation to discover how Pivvot could help your business, visit auraoffice.ca.