Workplace Trends: Research Spring Summit
Thursday 21 March 2019, 09:15 – 17:30
The British Library, London NW1 2DB
Two sessions were from invited guest speakers: our keynote and our infamous after-lunch debate. Ten further sessions are the cream of our call for abstracts which were blind peer reviewed by our two moderators, Nigel Oseland (Workplace Unlimited) and Mark Eltringham (Workplace Insight / WorkandPlace).
Delegates come away from our conferences brimming with ideas and inspiration. Presentations are pitch-free and especially with this event, you won’t hear so many information-packed sessions in one place anywhere else.
Videos and pdf handouts of sessions are now available, click the button above for more information.
Keynote: An Evidence-Based Approach to Workplace Management
Rob Briner, Professor of Organizational Psychology, Queen Mary, University of London & Scientific Director, Center for Evidence-Based Management
Rob Briner is Professor of Organizational Psychology at Queen Mary, University of London and also Scientific Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Management. His research has focused on several topics including well-being, emotions, stress, ethnicity, the psychological contract, absence from work, motivation, work-nonwork and everyday work behaviour.
Beyond academic research Rob helps practitioners and organizations make better use of evidence, including research evidence, in decision-making as well as encouraging academics to make research more accessible.
The role of Virtual Reality and psychological tests in workplace design research
Ruth Hynes, Atkins and Michael Proulx, University of Bath
Work plays an influential role on our lives, and the quality of working environments can have considerable impact on our health and wellbeing. Atkins’ recently collaborated with the Departments of Psychology at University of Bath and Bath Spa University on new ways in which we can study psychological responses to workplace design.
Using virtual reality environments and Visual Spatial Perspective Taking (VSPT) tasks to assess cognitive responses and spatial awareness, these studies have provided further insight into the complex relationships between different spatial attributes and different methods that can be used in design research.
As the future of the workplace continues to be driven by flexibility and openness, our presentation will discuss the use of Virtual Reality and psychological tests in design research, the opportunities for applying these methods to design optioneering tools, and the challenges facing design communities when using new technological methods.
Ruth Hynes is a Design Researcher working with Atkins Architecture & Masterplanning practice. Ruth’s role is divided between supporting research initiatives and working with design teams, with a focus on evidence based design and user experience in buildings. After gaining her Architectural qualifications in 2012 Ruth has worked on a number of stakeholder engagement and research projects. Ruth is passionate about evidence based design and the role of data in creating more user-centric buildings, working on the development of Atkins’ award winning Human-Centred Design toolkit, with a particular focus on a briefing tool which provides a data driven and digital approach to tailored user engagement.
Michael J. Proulx is Reader in Psychology and Director of the Crossmodal Cognition Lab at the University of Bath. He is also Co-Director of the REVEAL Research Centre (REal & Virtual Environments Augmentation Labs) and part of the Centre for Digital Entertainment in the Department of Computer Science. He received his BSc in Psychology from Arizona State University and his MA and PhD in Psychological and Brain Sciences from Johns Hopkins University. Michael was a postdoctoral research fellow in Duesseldorf, Germany, and a Lecturer in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London before moving to Bath. He is a Fellow of the Society for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science of the American Psychological Association and Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation
A Biophilic Case Study: How to measure well-being and productivity in the workplace
Julia Ayuso, CBRE
In response to the challenges of how to measure the improvement of productivity and well-being through biophilic architecture design, we developed a tool that measures the predicted features that improve productivity and well-being, based on a scientific method, which has been tested by a pilot experiment:
The pilot experiment, a small-scale version done in preparation for a major study, has been conducted to test this tool that evaluates the influence of variables such as greenery and daylight on improving workplace performance, and looks at biophilic design knowledge in greater depth.
Julia Ayuso is an Architect and Project Manager who is in charge of International Real Estate Consultancy CBRE LAB in Madrid.
Before coming to CBRE, she gained extensive professional and research experience. She completed a pre-doctoral stay at Keio University, Japan, and at the same time she worked at the Japanese architecture firm Nikken Sekkei in Tokyo. She also has previous international professional experience working as a freelance and at such firms as the internationally renowned Campo Baeza Architecture studio in Madrid.
She is currently researching the relationship between architecture, productivity, and well-being, focusing on the ability to measure the impact of architectural features on people. The results of her research are applied to design and consultancy work to create buildings that focus on well-being. Therefore, enabling an increase in productivity, well-being, and creativity, saving on costs and being socially responsible to companies, which has proven and quantifiable economic benefits.
People, Performance, Place – Measuring the success of workplace transformation using perceptive, observational and cognitive data.
– A 1-year post-occupancy evaluation of AECOM’s London headquarters.
Robin Bott, AON, Nicola Gillen, AECOM
Workplace transformation can be a powerful vehicle to initiate culture change, inspire innovation and improve productivity. What businesses really want to know is – is it worth it, and does it have a lasting impact on the bottom line. AECOM took the opportunity to transform its London real estate into a thriving Greater London campus community and leveraged the change as a study environment for measuring the impact of spatial and cultural transformation on performance, collaboration, wellbeing and hard metrics.
A 1-year post-occupancy evaluation was carried out in a live working environment as an exercise of research in practice – the key focus was to investigate whether ROI for an extensive change project could be demonstrated in the context of a fast-paced, client-facing organisation. Partnering with professional services firm AON’s talent assessment team, together they created a bespoke method of assessing performance, building off existing world-leading psychometric tests and including leading-edge wellbeing surveys. Financial, HR and Real Estate data was obtained and triangulated to complement the holistic measurement approach to assessing the success of workplace change. The findings revealed powerful insights and made a strong case for investment in holistic workplace transformation to improve how people perform, collaborate and feel in their work environment.
Nicola Gillen, AECOM, is an architect with a business degree. This provides her with a complimentary perspective on the physical and business environments, through understanding the complex and often contradictory interests of the owner, users, designers and managers of buildings. Nicola leads Workplace Strategy at AECOM Globally and drives thought leadership around the future of work, regularly publishing and speaking at conferences.
Robin Bott is a chartered occupational psychologist with over 10 years in the assessment field. He has delivered hundreds of assessments as well as having written thousands of psychometric questions. This has given him a deep understanding of the psychology of people in the workplace.
Indoor Environmental Qualities and the effects on human performance and productivity
Ian Baker, EMCOR
Within the workplace, how much is too much CO2? Do you know whether the energy used to lower indoor CO2 (creating more of it to pump into the atmosphere!) is beneficial? Or, are you like most organisations, not even measuring it?
And, what about the effects of temperature and humidity?
Leading facilities management company EMCOR UK, joined a consortium research project named Whole Life Performance Plus (WLP+) with seven other industry leaders. The aim of this two year study was to establish the role the Workplace has in closing the productivity gap, by focussing on how Internal Environmental Qualities (IEQ) affects cognitive function and productivity of office workers in the first long term, real world study.
Will the results be as you expect?
Ian Baker is Head of Workplace for EMCOR UK a leading facilities management company. Heading up the client facing workplace consultancy. He’s an advocate of how workplaces can contribute to an organisations productivity, employee engagement, health and wellbeing. A strategic thinker and agent for change, Ian combines data with his knowledge and skills as a workplace leader to promote evidence based designs that improve workplace performance.
Location Independent // #MyLifeAsADigitalNomad
Deborah Simmons, Camino Insight Ltd
Location Independent is an in-depth qualitative study into the growing movement of Digital Nomads, and how the demand for greater working flexibility is forcing the workplace to redefine itself. It follows a community of Nomads living and working in a different city each month for a year (March 2017-18), in Europe and Latin America. Through a combination of approaches, Location Independent considers the remote working status quo, and looks at how culture, personality, goals, job role, industry sector and employment status all feed into the individual’s ability to adapt to a nomadic lifestyle. The study includes an in-depth review of 14 co-working spaces, generating fresh insight around workplace needs; both met and unmet.
Deborah Simmons is the Founder and Director of Camino Insight Ltd; a future-focused consumer insight consultancy which has particular expertise in researching younger audiences, innovation, digital and media.
Through her experience as an agency-side researcher – and previously as a marketer for leading magazine brands – Deborah has developed an intrinsic understanding of the influences that shape the way different generations interpret their worlds and shape their futures. Deborah engages audiences, generates insights and aids clients in putting research outputs into action, helping brands to develop, grow and stay relevant.
Deborah has spent much of the last two years living and working as a Digital Nomad in Europe, Latin America, the US and South Africa. During her initial year of travel, she conducted a year-long ethnographical study into the Digital Nomad movement.
After lunch debate: “The workplace profession is now just pandering to fads and fancies, and the ‘workplace’ is now done: we’ve run out of meaningful things to say”.
For the motion: Rob Harris, Ramidus Consulting
Against the motion: Katrina Kostic Samen, KKS Strategy
“I spent some time with Frank Duffy recently, releasing a stream of memories of working with him, first as an employee at DEGW during the 1980s, and then as a client while directing developer Stanhope’s research programme during the 1990s. Along with his long-term business partner, John Worthington, and thinkers including Franklin Becker, Gerald Davis, Michael Joroff and Jack Tanis, to name a few, Frank helped sketch out the grand scheme of what we now call ‘workplace’. Much of the work of their successors has involved filling in the matrix of detail within the grand scheme.
But further reflection has caused me to ask whether, in filling in the finer details, we have recently somehow lost our way? Are we, the ‘workplace profession’, instead of standing on giants’ shoulders, now just pandering to fads and fancies. Or, even more radical, might it be that ‘workplace’ is now done, and that we’ve run out of meaningful things to say?”
Rob will speak for the motion that we have lost our way in workplace design and management. Katrina will make the case against!
Rob Harris is principal of Ramidus Consulting Limited. He has over 30 years experience within the property sector, specialising in research and workplace strategy.
Rob’s research experience has involved projects throughout the property process, from design, to development, to investment, to occupation. His particular interest is in market demand research where he has completed numerous innovative projects. He works closely with investors, developers and policy makers, advising on market trends, occupier needs, investment opportunities, building specification and benchmarking.
Rob publishes and talks widely on real estate, specialising in occupier issues, demand research and the role of real estate in change management.
Katrina Kostic Samen: For those who know Katrina, her total commitment and absolute passion in focusing on the best interests of the occupier, their business and solving problems will be familiar.
Her experience over three decades of commercial development and workplace design enables Katrina to provide expertise across all aspects of architecture and interior design projects. She challenges boundaries and perceptions, connects ‘inside-out’ design philosophies, and combines strategy and design to maximise real estate potential for both occupiers and developers.
As the current British Council for Offices (BCO) President, Katrina chaired the 2018 BCO Annual Conference in Berlin, “Building Communities for Occupiers”, which was a ground-breaking shift for the industry.
Katrina’s belief in pushing boundaries, striving for excellence, and expanding the professional body for commercial offices is represented in her fundamental principle: Be Creative, Add Value, Have Fun!
Here and Now: Using our experience-sampling app to measure knowledge workers’ productivity
Iva Kleinová and Matúš Konečný, HB Reavis
Measuring productivity of knowledge workers, who may not have measurable work outputs, is difficult. Perceived productivity seems to be a viable proxy for understanding environmental effects on productivity. We developed and tested an experience-sampling application to measure the productivity of our employees in Bratislava, Slovakia and London.
We measured how productivity relates to space and type of activity as our company moved from traditional closed offices to activity-based spaces. The most frequently performed activity – individual work – was most productive during home office, while even informal spaces outperformed current hot desks. We discuss the use of the results and methods for our workspace consulting and value-based discussions with workspace tenants, and consider further research.
Iva Kleinová currently leads a team of researchers in the international workspace provider company HB Reavis headquartered in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Iva’s career had encompassed working as a Business Analyst for McKinsey & Company in Prague, Czech Republic, an independent consultant for the New York City Fire Department, a consultant for the Mayor of Newark, NJ. She has also interned at the United Nations Development Program.
Matúš Konečný is a researcher currently focusing on measuring workplace performance and utilizing employee indoor positioning data to drive organizational change.
With background in psychology and cognitive science, Matus has been developing quantitative methods and analytical tools for HB Reavis workplace advisory services and smart building solutions. A dedicated humanist, apprentice of rationality and a sci-fi fan.
Crafting Work – Crafting Workplace
Suvi Nenonen and Ursula Hyrkkänen, Tampere University of Technology
Work crafting is defined as self-initiated change behaviour that employees use with the aim to align their jobs with their preferences, motives and passions. It is proactive work behaviour aiming to improve person’s job fit over work motivation. The places and spaces is one element for employees’ work crafting.
The presentation is based on the data gathered in the project New Ways of Work Crafting, which has investigated how the working time and workspace management practices are crafted by employees in Finnish SME-companies.
The goal of the presentation is to offer information and insight on how people are working in a mobile and multi-locational manner and especially how they craft – within the regulatory limits – their working time, work habits and the various workspaces they use. The results presented are based on both qualitative and quantitative data.
The relationship between environment, employee wellbeing, and productivity:
Michael Roskams, KTP Associate/PhD Student, Sheffield Hallam University & Mitie Energy
Michael will discuss his PhD research, the aim of which is to explore the relationship between the physical workplace environment, employee wellbeing, and productivity. The PhD is being completed in partnership with Mitie, a leading facilities management provider who are pioneering the use of wireless “Internet-of-Things” enabled sensors to monitor indoor environmental parameters (CO2, temperature, humidity, light intensity, and sound pressure level) in real time.
First, Michael will present the Environmental Demands-Resources (ED-R) Model, an extension of an existing framework from organisational psychology which is also applicable for understanding the effects of the workplace environment on the job performance of knowledge workers. In the ED-R model, the workplace environment is seen as a composite of ‘demands’ (which cause strain) and ‘resources’ (which improves motivation).
Subsequently, he will discuss the series of research projects he is conducting across the course of his PhD. These studies will explore the extent to which the real-time workplace environmental data captured using wireless sensors, as well as other forms of buildings analytics data, can be used to predict employee wellbeing and productivity. The research also takes into account individual difference characteristics (e.g. task type, personality), to explore whether this improves predictions.
Michael Roskams is currently completing a PhD at Sheffield Hallam University, as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) being conducted in partnership with Mitie Energy. The aim of his research project is to explore the impact of the workplace environment on employee wellbeing and productivity.
Conference Moderators and Abstract Review Team
Mark Eltringham, Workplace Insight and
Nigel Oseland, Workplace Unlimited
Mark Eltringham has worked in the office design and facilities management sector for 25 years. He is the publisher of www.workplaceinsight.net, an online publication that explores the relationships between commercial interior design, workplace management, technology, property, human resources, the wider business world and society. The publications is now the UK’s most widely read title in its field.
He is also the European Director for Work&Place, the world’s leading journal looking at the many facets of the workplace, which is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese editions.
Nigel Oseland is a workplace strategist, change manager, environmental psychologist, researcher, international speaker and published author. He draws on his psychology background and his own research to advise occupiers on how to redefine their workstyles and rethink their workplace to create working environments that enhance individual and organisational performance and deliver maximum value. Nigel founded the Workplace Change Organisation and is the programme advisor for the Workplace Trends conferences.