Ask people, how do you define your workplace, as a piece of real estate or as a communication tool, most would respond real estate. Makes sense, doesn’t it? A workplace sits within a physical building (real estate), and the building sits on a physical parcel of land (real estate), so it would stand to reason that the workplace should be defined as a piece of real estate. But, what if you looked at workplace from a different perspective?
Day in and day out, the corporate workplace is where employees, as well as clients, prospects, talent recruits, suppliers, etc., assemble and do what more than anything else? They communicate. Look in the corner office, open workspace, conference room, lobby, hallway, cafeteria, elevator or even the rest room, from one location to another, and everywhere in between, people are writing, talking – communicating. As a communication tool, the workplace, which includes its design, furniture, equipment, décor, lighting, plants, acoustics, technology, etc., helps to shape, inform and facilitate communications between employees and others. The workplace also serves as a conduit by which a company’s brand gets communicated.
If a company is concerned about how effectively and efficiently its employees communicate with one another, as well as with most anyone else, then from the leadership on down it must take an honest and open look at it how the workplace is designed and functions. While the workplace may physically be considered a piece of real estate, its purpose and function are much higher than that, and should be defined as such.