Needs Assessment: Evolving with Technology

June 26, 2018

Dustin Alamo, Vice President, Strategic Services

Technology. It’s at the heart of every question we ask at the onset of a needs assessment: How does your company, your municipality, your operation want to address today’s opportunities and anticipate future innovations related to your space?

Technology has evolved our work culture in so many ways. No longer are we pushing paper from one office to the next, but rather, instantaneously sharing information with our colleagues and clients all day, every day. Storing files is becoming more and more obsolete as we look to the omniscient “cloud” for solutions to our modern-day workflow. Our technologies are even breaking down the standard 8-5 work day, blurring the lines between home and work, and challenging generations to adapt and flourish. Collaboration, with the aid of advancing technology, is becoming the operative word these days, and companies are taking it seriously to increase productivity, boost employee retention, and attract new talent. So how does this impact your space?

It may sound surprising, but space drives behavior. An important goal of planning a new space is to accelerate sharing ideas, making decisions, and creating new responses to business challenges. Does this mean the days of everyone having their own private office is over? Absolutely. But that’s so 1990’s, anyway!

Employees, in both public and private sector offices, increasingly have the choice to decide where they want to work, as technology now offers the ability to work from virtually anywhere (excuse the pun). Technology has altered the way workplaces operate: you now ask, “should we include isolation rooms for intense concentration, phone rooms for private conversations and calls, team spaces for collaboration, cubicles/benches for general work space, and/or lounges for creating that dynamic culture which rivals Silicon Valley companies?”

In some cases, creating a mix of these spaces allows businesses to tear down the rigidity of a specific office geography to increase communication and the cross-fertilization of ideas. In others, it’s an opportunity to lower the bottom line and dramatically reduce the average space per worker.

One could speak and write about this subject for days, but, hey, marketing experts say I only have 300-400 words before you start checking emails, Facebook, or just plain lose interest.

But the choices are upon you: How will you respond to technology and what’s your vision of how your operations and related spaces will evolve?