14 November 2018 | Martin Read
Following publication of its report entitled The Puzzle of Productivity, representatives of Fourfront Group, United Workplace and Worktech Academy hosted a Workplace Week London event last night to discuss the proposition that quality of leadership is the principal factor in boosting productivity.
Research for The Puzzle of Productivity report (published last week) was conducted by a partnership between Fourfront Group, United Workplace and Worktech Academy, and undertaken with participants from organisations in the UK, USA, Australia, South America and UAE as well as via Worktech global network.
It is intended as the precursor to an annual forum on workplace performance.
Assembled guests discussed the need to educate tenants as to what is now possible in the real estate marketplace, bringing an element of consumer power to bear on landlords so that they can play off potential landlords against their buildings' well-being credentials. Here, it was agreed, was where leadership was required - the leadership necessary to tailor an organisation's well-being demands to the market's available offerings.
Jeremy Myerson, director WorkTech Academy, spoke about the impact of disruptors in the real estate market, in particular, the WeWork phenomenon.
"It's all about convenience and service. The co-working movement is like the canary in the cage; it's telling us that traditional workplace design has not been working."
Co-working firms themselves, continued Myerson, either have a "great vibe" that clients buy into, or they themselves go out of business. "It's all part of the consumerisation of business," he said.
"The survey is telling us that there needs to be a much more holistic approach to workplace. There are so many things coming into the workplace - new forms of technology and space management - that demand a much more joined-up strategy. How you do that is difficult, but there are definite trends that demand new type of leadership and wellness policies that have not previously been understood or implemented. And I think that's going to change very quickly."
Workplace leadership not the same as hierarchical leadership, added Myerson. "The answer to the productivity and performance problem is not more old-style macho leadership. We need leadership which is a new generation of leadership that can join up all the dots."