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New requirements for workspaces - Picture: Regus

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More and more companies are facing major changes in the way they operate their workspaces, but are not doing enough to prepare themselves for it. These are the results of a study that also shows that the majority of new jobs are created on the basis of trust and networks.

The study, carried out by JBA Consulting on behalf of the Regus executive office chain, was based on interviews with more than 1000 managers. The vast majority of them (83%) reported that the organization of their workspace is facing radical changes. In a similar study four years ago, this figure stood at only 65%. But only 60% of managers are adapting their businesses to cope with these developments.

Highly successful companies were responding to workplace shifts with radical and effective measures. More and more mangers see their employees not as traditional workers, but as cooperative partners. This development opens up new possibilities to adjust their workplace strategies, and to distinguish themselves from their competitors. These new workplace models can be divided into two groups – trust-based and socially networked workplace models.

Trust brings money - networks promote creativity

Under the trust-based model, full time employees are given autonomy to work when and where they want. About 66.5% of managers are convinced that increasing trust has a positive impact on the organization, while only about one in five expect it to have a negative impact. According to the study, trust-based jobs are expected to increase 27.5% over the next three years.

Under the socially networked model, employees are actively encouraged to forge contacts outside their traditional work environment, and work together with them. This environment fosters innovation, creativity, and competitive development. About 40% of respondents have changed their workspace models to enable better collaboration. 80% of executives believe that investing in socially networked workstations would have a positive impact, while only one in ten fears that it would have negative effects. Over the next three years there is expected to be an increase of 27.6% in socially networked workstations.

Old workmodels outdated

"With the current economic turmoil, many companies have completely thrown their workplace rules overboard," said Mark Dixon, CEO of Regus, "In ten year, the present way of working will look as outdated as a horse compared to the car."

John Blackwell, CEO of JBA, added: "Currently companies are facing greater risks and uncertainty. With trust-based and socially networked and integrated work models, employees are allowed the greatest possible flexibility. So they can recruit and retain the best employees, develop innovative technologies and optimize dramatically - particularly their organizational costs, which can be lowered in many cases by up to 40%."

The analysis showed that companies, which changed their organisation of workspaces to adopt the new developments, achieved higher profits.

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