American Public Media’s Marketplace economics correspondent Chris Farrell says one way to do that is to put workers in the same physical space which allows for increased creativity and cheaper, more flexible workplace layouts.
More importantly, Chris has captured the essence of an enormous anthropological shift in just a few simple observations that any listener can relate to. Knowledge workers can now choose how when and where they work because technology enables mobility and accountability. Meanwhile, companies are aggressively slashing office space obligations 30% to 50%, and are reinventing their remaining space to support innovation as a competitive advantage.
What is not new, is that face-to-face human interaction leads to unexpected discovery (serendipity) and valuable innovation. Finding the right mix of space, that allows workers to collaborate, cogitate and connect when they need to, means offering more than one design typology, not just rows of open plan picnic tables.
Cities may not fall, but we can certainly avoid millions of unnecessary commutes, achieve better work-life integration, and allow the best ideas to flourish when we all move away from our Mad Men ways and into the new world of work.