October 2017

The digital office, for real

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It’s strange. We now live in an era where you can work from anywhere in the world, and stay connected with your team. Yet, at the same time, office design has become ever more important.

What’s in the news?

Big tech companies are working on their new headquarters, like the astonishing new Apple Park in Cupertino, Amazon's plan for a new 50,000-employee office in the US or AirBnB's office in Dublin, as shown in our cover. Do you want more? You can’t miss the Office Snapshot galleries.

Is the next big thing in digital made of concrete?

One thing’s for sure, technology hasn't killed the office as this infographic shows. In fact, on average, processing capacity and speed double every 18 months, major organisational change happens every three years, workforce turnover every eight years, a typical workspace lasts about 10 years, and the building envelope remains for 40 or more years.

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Rate of change (source: Knoll)

In terms of the rate of change, the nature of work is changing faster than the workspace itself. Buildings outlive the technology and people they’re designed to serve. Furthermore, in the growth of the gig-economy, digital nomads have gone from niche to normal, boosting the creation of co-working spaces and the organisations that host them. The latest addition being STATION F, the massive start-up incubator in Paris backed by Facebook.

So, the office of the future is just an office?

Not only. After the growth of so-called innovation centres – full of cutting-the-edge 3D printers, VR headsets, IoT devices, smart interactive boards and informal layouts – the trend we see in all the major company HQs is the opening of social spaces, like Google Campus and AWS Pop-up Lofts. Places where people can share projects, skills and knowledge, and connect with colleagues and clients, students and other talent. So not only single labs, but a network of spaces dedicated to the local community and centred on the global goal: to show and reflect the company culture.

Network of spaces dedicated to the local community and centred on the global goal: to show and reflect the company culture.

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One last example? Meet the SOLAR, Reply’s own network of social labs. Built around the lifelong learning activities that are part of Reply’s culture, SOLAR are places where Replyers, students and customers can meet to share ideas and work. Come and visit!

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SOLAR, living rooms and spaces in Reply offices

Wow. It’s a kind of not-so-digital transformation?

Most of all it’s a business, with tons of design firms updating their offering to include complex workplace projects. Have a look at the r/evolution workplace by Knoll and the resilient workplace by SteelCase. Even existing spaces can be reused for different goals, as is the case of the “Today at Apple” programme. But it’s not just a matter of redesigning the spaces, changing traditional desks and chairs with moving tables and ergonomic balls. It’s about reshaping the employee experience, from hiring to on-boarding, and from growth to networking. Meet WeWork, the Softbank backed start-up, co-working builder now working with Mastercard to ease digital payments and willing to build out your office and run it for you.

Isn’t the workspace digital?

Of course, it is. Online tools are part of the game. They provide team communication, constant access to projects, and smart behaviour to complete the working experience. The worldwide success of Slack and Basecamp, and the presence of under-dogs such as Flock, are driving the big players to enter the field, as is the case of Microsoft Teams and Workspace by Facebook. Do you want more? Have a look at TamTamy Reply! The online office is connected, searching for constant innovation, and always reflecting a culture that needs a place to live.

Enjoy your Employee Experience!

You too! And keep reading Reply R20!

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Is a robot stealing my job?

It’s hard to say. Smart machines and robots are becoming increasingly common in the workforce, but humans won’t be side-lined any time soon. As they say, know your enemy.

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Made in future

Things aren’t made like they used to be. In a world where everything is personalised and customisable, the digital transformation is reshaping design, prototyping and production. Are you in?

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Future happens!

What is innovation? How does a new tech trend start? Can you predict the future by looking at the present? With a new year beginning, it’s the perfect time to discover the future together.

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