It’s no longer groundbreaking to say that the way we work has been irrevocably changed – the COVID-19 pandemic certainly saw to that.

But what do those changes look like, at their very best? 

What are the market leaders doing to ensure increased staff retention and satisfaction while still enabling productivity and effectiveness across their organisations?

With more than 40% of Australians now working from home since the onset of the pandemic, supercharging flexible work practices has created one of the biggest workplace experiments of the century. 

The workplaces of old

The modern workplace has come a long way since its inception. 

From crammed factory conditions in the early 20th century, we evolved into offices in the 60s that were transformed by the introduction of partitions in the 70’s. 

The 80s and 90s ushered in the activity based working age, powered by the new capabilities afforded by technology advancements. 

Most recently, the agile work environment became the new standard, with workstations interspersed between vending machines, ping pong tables and bean bags for the ultimate employee experience.

Necessity – the mother of invention 

Of course, when COVID-19 unceremoniously forced upon the world the need to yet again evolve how workplaces function, the shift to a distributed and highly virtualized work environment was a difficult one for many. 

Some organisations however, have jumped at the chance to fundamentally change how their workplaces operate.

Take Mirvac who recently launched their Adaptive Workplace’ pilot at its HQ in 200 George Street, Sydney.

Campbell Hanan, Head of Mirvac’s Integrated Investment Portfolio, said of the new space, “We know that flexible and hybrid work is the new norm for the vast majority of Australian workplaces, yet office spaces haven’t yet adapted to effectively suit this style of working. The office does not play the same role it did pre-COVID; it’s now somewhere to collaborate, innovate, learn and socialise – things that are difficult to do from home.”

So what is an Adaptive Workplace?

The adaptive workplace is optimised to bring together the best of the two worlds we now find ourselves living in when it comes to work – the real one and the virtual one. 

As social animals, there is immeasurable value in face-to-face, human interaction, which is incredibly difficult to achieve in virtual settings. 

The ideal workplace is optimised to cater for those interpersonal relationships to easily flourish, while being highly integrated with technology to cater for the employees that prefer to work remotely 60–80% of the time

The adaptive workplace is a wifi first, hybrid enabled place that primarily exists to serve as a place to connect, collaborate and celebrate culture.

What comes after adaptive?

At Acuity we believe in constantly pushing the boundaries of excellence, but given the newness of adaptive workplaces, it’s difficult to predict what will come next. 

If the curveball the pandemic threw at us is anything to go by, it’s safe to assume the future will surprise us all!

One thing is certain – hybrid models aren’t going anywhere and the best workplaces are the ones that take this in their stride.