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Organisational futureproofing in a post COVID-19 era
This paper is concerned with how our organisational attitudes about workspace have been — and will continue to be — affected by public and organisational policies that dictate how and where we work, and most recently, those pertaining specifically to the COVID-19 pandemic. We begin by identifying the flexible workplace model as a site of important organisational dynamics concerning people’s dialectically tensional needs for physical convergence (being physically situated with others) and divergence (being individually sequestered). By considering industry research about organisations’ and individuals’ attitudes about and uses of space, we realise that organisational challenges pertaining to spatial design, collaboration and communication technologies can be overcome by a holistic strategy that combines an understanding of these elements and their relationship to one another. In addition, we can identify the tensions between building business resilience through efficiency planning, ensuring quality employee experience, and their relationship with productivity and profitability. These insights are relevant to organisational ‘futureproofing’ strategies. The defining characteristic of work in the post-COVID-19 era will be the importance of choice. Leaders’ sensitivity to how their people work best will be key to organisations’ futureproofing strategies, simultaneously creating cost-saving opportunities and increasing employee satisfaction.
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Chelsea Perino has an undergraduate degree in anthropology and linguistics from NYU. After a four-year solo trip around the world, Chelsea first discovered her love for advertising in Cape Town, South Africa. There, she spent two years running all things marketing-related for an experiential marketing start-up, before returning to New York to complete her MA in public and organisational relations. Since then, Chelsea has worked in advertising both in New York and most recently in Seoul, South Korea, leading digital strategy for Samsung Mobile, Global’s agency of record. Now based in Hong Kong, Chelsea is the Managing Director, Global Marketing & Communications at The Executive Centre, Asia’s leading premium flexible workspace provider. Chelsea is passionate about organisational culture and believes that creating a dynamic and collaborative working experience positively affects team morale, productivity, and fosters community. Through a newly developed global marketing strategy and complete re-brand, her goal is to establish The Executive Centre as the leader in workspace experience, community and corporate-culture facilitation.