The latest Global Workplace Trends report from Sodexo focuses on the ‘workplace experience’ and how it affects levels of engagement, wellbeing and corporate performance.
It’s an undemanding study that sets out seven trends covering familiar themes in a familiar way, even though the authors claim it offers ‘fresh insights’. As well as the idea of ‘experience’, it touches on ideas about the intersections of digital and physical space and the implications for people and organisations as well as the workplace professions. It uses the standard vocabulary, various buzzwords and the usual presuppositions to look at the impact of Millennials, AI, the sharing economy and so on. The visuals are the usual parade of smiling, diverse – but no unattractive, disabled and old – hipsters sharing screens and being creative in sun-dappled interiors. Sauce it with some virtue signals and it’s job done.
I’m being harsh because there’s nothing actually incorrect about the report, but it is largely a tick box exercise in stuff we’ve seen before. Just once, it would be nice to see one of these reports ask some genuinely difficult questions, challenge the genre’s own clichés and put the reader on the spot. Maybe that would be tricky commercially but how refreshing would it be to come across a report that suggests something new about the future workplace or at least acknowledges its inevitable messiness and compromises?
Having got that off my chest, this year’s Sodexo report focuses on ‘seven interconnected topics with an overarching unifying theme: the need for collective intelligence across all workplace domains’. The featured 2018 Sodexo Workplace Trends are:
By Mark Eltringham
Company management may shift their view toward remote workers as time progresses. The necessity of working from home during the pandemic could start being considered a choice—rather than something that has to be done this way.
Understand the long-term changes that COVID‑19 may impose on work and how to prepare – McKinsey Report
Many company leaders are focused on real estate costs and employee preferences as they prepare for a post-Covid future. But these considerations are short-sighted. Midsize companies in particular have a unique opportunity to rethink their pathways to growth in a changed world.