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16 January 2019
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Danielle Rosenwein

05 February 2018 Danielle Rosenwein

Danielle Rosenwein, HR Advisor at global software provider Planon, discusses the changing work environment in offices.

Traditional offices as depicted in older US films, such as Office Space and TV shows such as Mad Men always have cubicles where employees sit behind colourless desks, afraid of the boss, who only comes out of his private office when something goes wrong. 

But in modern US workplaces most employees prefer an open, flexible setting. People want to feel involved in decision-making and shared conversation, rather than simply taking part in the daily routine. 

Workplaces that were notorious for their lack of diversity became open to inclusion and embraced people from different cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities. This change was partly due to HR hiring quotas, but mostly because firms recognise the value of ideas that come from disparate staff bringing in their expertise and outlook. 

Rather than workers taking directions from bosses, two-way communication is encouraged. Upper management is open to employee feedback and ‘junior’ employees provide innovative insights for more experienced colleagues. 

We in the US work long hours, but feel that we have the flexibility to do the work when and where we want. It is common to never shut down completely or to turn off our electronic devices. It’s not that we don’t value a work/life balance, but we may not focus on it as much as other countries. 

Organisations embrace new technologies because they understand what employees want, and how to attract talent and be competitive in the market. 

Some firms experiment with flexible time off. Studies have proved that it can be productive in certain jobs. 

FMs have the chance to create an environment that allows collaboration, combining different cultures, religions and generations. It can be a challenge, but diversity does not restrict us – it enables us to benefit from new ideas for a better future.

Danielle Rosenwein is HR Advisor at global software provider, Planon