The big question: are we ready for experience real estate?

The latest episode in Steelcase’s Work Better podcast series discusses the new experiences that have the potential to transform our perception of the workplace – if companies are prepared to change

Office professionals need to stop viewing work as a place or a process – and start thinking in terms of ‘experience real estate’ that draws its inspiration from the hospitality and entertainment sectors.

That was a key message from WORKTECH Academy director Jeremy Myerson, when interviewed in the latest episode of Steelcase’s popular, long-running Work Better podcast series. The episode, entitled ‘Designing The New Workplace Experience’, can be accessed here.

In discussion with Chris Congdon and Rebecca Charbauski, Myerson explained: ‘The first thing the companies have got to think about is the idea of experience real estate. People in corporate organisations never saw themselves as part of the hospitality or the entertainment business. And in the past, work was a place, or it was a process.

‘I think a lot of designers were obsessed with the process. What does this team do? What do they need? Let’s break down their job tasks. Who do they need to be adjacent to? They’re good questions, but it misses out an entire dimension of human behaviour, which is how you perceive things and how you feel about things. And people have revised their idea of what makes people productive.’

Insight to action

Jeremy Myerson is the co-author of Unworking: The Reinvention of the Modern Office, and key concepts from the book were discussed in the Steelcase podcast. Previous editions of the Work Better podcast series have featured Caroline Casey, founder of The Valuable 500, talking about ‘audacious inclusion’; Laszlo Bock, former head of Google People Operations, author and co-founder of Humu, discussing ‘how to go from insight to action’; and Robin Dunbar, the leading scientist on relationships, who shared ‘how your brain makes friends’.

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