The place we work in each day has a big impact on how we feel about work, how we relate to our colleagues and, ultimately, how productive we are.
Over the years I have worked mostly in offices and have only had a couple of roles that were public-facing across a counter. I have never worked in a manufacturing or construction environment. So my experience of workplaces is narrowly confined to the pokey, dusty office, the open plan office, the corporate soulless office, having my own office and, on odd occasions, the home office.
I have never managed to work in one of those offices with slides, pods, pool tables or astro turf.
I expect most people reading this will also have had a varied, but largely office-based experience. So what is it that makes one office so much more conducive to productivity, engagement and wellbeing than another? We set our associate editor, Clare Bettelley, the task of finding out in How workplaces can affect employee health. You will not find any examples of sick building syndrome in the great case studies she found.
It is not just offices that are changing. It is demographics and the economy that is also changing our colleagues, the employees we serve and the clients, consultants and suppliers we interact with. They work different patterns, juggle different jobs, may be older than our colleagues of ten years ago, there may be more women in the line up (and hopefully at more senior roles).
And these shifts will continue and new changes will arrive.
So, as benefits professionals, we should be trying to match our medium and longer-term benefits strategies with these shifts too. Which is why I wanted to promote the idea of you attending Employee Benefits Connect on 27 February in London.
We are going to spend the day looking forward and doing some inspirational thinking across all the benefits area (with the help of some fantastic speakers and sponsors). The day will be topped off with the great Professor Richard Scase delving into: ‘The future of the workplace’.
If you are a benefits, reward or HR manager then you can attend for free, for all or part of the day, but you do need to book the sessions you want to attend to ensure a seat.
Hope to see many of you there.