Flexible futures: Munich’s path to a new blend of workspace

Seventy years on from the Bavarian Burolandschaft, WORKTECH Munich is set to explore a new blend of agile workspace that brings people, place and technology into a unified whole

In the mid-20th century Germany welcomed the pioneering Burolandschaft concept, which saw the first open plan work environments and organic seating arrangements. This shift was the first in Germany towards a socially democratic workplace that encouraged communication and collaboration.

Fast forward 70 years and Munich is ready to talk about the German workplace 4.0. The inaugural WORKTECH Munich conference, which marks WORKTECH’s fifth consecutive appearance in Germany, is being held at the Microsoft Technology Centre in Munich on 27 June.

Experts from the global real estate industry will debate the implementation of smart and agile-based work environments as Germany strives to adopt a new era of workplace solutions.

One of the most prominent developments in the German workplace is the rise of flexible working, which is supported by a new report produced by Condeco, The Modern Workplace Report 2018. Simon Cohen of Condeco will discuss global disparities and cultural differences into approaches to flexible working across the world.

A flexible environment is not simply good workplace design or the implementation of efficient technology. As Munich speaker Philip Ross of Unwork points out, the workplace has to strike the right balance between people, place and technology. The event will showcase some of the most innovative and agile workspaces in the world from architect BVN’s world-first B:Hive project to Combine Consulting’s examples of Adidas, BMW and IKEA.

‘It is easier to turn a human into a robot, than a robot into a human’ – James Woodhuysen, London Southbank University

Matthew Marson of WSP will urge people to see the modern workplace as a living organism, intelligently evolving as organisations feed it with clever design and advanced analytics. He explains that this combination results in measurable outcomes that adds value to the business. Case studies of PriceWaterhouseCooper and JLL will support this concept and demonstrate that workspaces that maximise engagement and optimise output will deliver real returns for organisations.

The event will conclude with provocateur James Woodhuysen of London South Bank University, who will stress the importance of human technology. When many of us silo technology into the bracket of ‘IT’, Woodhuysen argues its role in the workplace is so much more than that.