Published Wednesday, June 5th, 2013, by Mike Sullivan.
Here’s some ammunition for your next marketing campaign. According to a report from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), shared communities drive productivity.
This is intuitive to stakeholders in the alternative workspace world, but plenty of education still needs to be done in the C-suite. The time is right, though, as CEOs are actively seeking to make radical shifts in workplace strategies. The business center industry can help drive the evolution.
“Productivity drivers naturally flow from shared values, and can create both revenue and achieve savings,” says Bernice Boucher, a member of the global workplace strategy board with responsibility for the Americas at JLL. “Technology has allowed us to navigate traditional space and time-zone boundaries, but shared culture shapes how that technology and freedom are leveraged.”
According to JLL, building a sense of community motivates employees and pays dividends in workforce retention, employee productivity and innovation. Creating a collaborative community of like-minded workers who want to interact together to solve corporate challenges is effective. This is part of the reason why the coworking concept has taken off, but you can glean from coworking to spur more productivity to tenants in your business center.
The JLL report reveals that shared communities drive revenue generation as they increase the speed of decision-making, spark innovation and drive process improvements through better relationships. According to Fred Reichheld, author of The Ultimate Question 2.0, and creator of the Net Promoter methodology, “You can’t be the best place to buy if you’re not the best place to work.”
Culture and sense of community can be shared worldwide, but the path to shared values will be executed in different ways depending on geography and function. Community will be built in different ways around the globe. Capturing cultural nuances helps build broader communities, according to JLL.
Karen Stephenson, professor at Harvard’s graduate school of design and originator of the Quantum Theory of Trust, also stresses the importance of building a trusted community, “Trust is the utility through which (organizational) knowledge flows.”
And in an article about the Quantum Theory of Trust, professor Art Kleiner of New York University concurs, “Because networks of trust release so much cognitive capability, they can (and often do) have far more influence over the fortunes and failures of companies from day to day and year to year than the official hierarchy.”
JLL concludes by saying this trust must be reciprocal between the organization and its employees. So how can your business center help drive the benefits of a shared office community? Some of those benefits are built into your model already, but it may be time to begin offering larger lounge areas where employees can collaborate in a more relaxed setting. Indeed, it may be time to do what more and more business centers have decided to do: incorporate coworking principles into your business center.