Open office spaces emerge as key to leadership-employee bonding

Organizational redesign is a big challenge for the future, says Uli Gwinner, president (Asia-Pacific) at Steelcase, a global workplace solution provider


Nearly 65% of India’s population is under 35, and it’s believed that a better work environment will improve productivity at workplace. Photo: Priyanka Parashar
Nearly 65% of India’s population is under 35, and it’s believed that a better work environment will improve productivity at workplace. Photo: Priyanka Parashar

New Delhi: Companies in India and elsewhere are breaking down the hierarchy in workspace, and top executives are leaving behind their corner rooms to sit with employees to engage and improve efficiency of co-workers, Uli Gwinner, president (Asia-Pacific) at Steelcase, a global workplace solution provider said.

Gwinner, who was recently in India, said in an interview that demand for better working environment puts the pressure on companies to provide a conducive set-up for employees to engage better at their workplace.

“The symbols in the behaviour which you observe in the companies are changing and leaders are sitting together with the employees. There is more transparency, fluidity, more opportunity to move around; things are more floating now,” Gwinner said.

“There is clear trend that offices do not have executive offices/ cabins anymore,” said Gwinner adding that while hierarchies somewhere persist in the structure of companies, it is “not reflected in the workspace”.

He said, organizational redesign is a big challenge for the future and companies are now talking more about teams and their performance without attributing physical space in a workplace. “Physical space is not designing the departments anymore. The changing dynamics of work is moving towards design of offices, which avoids division into departments, not allowing hierarchies to exist in spaces,” he said, whose company is working with several IT/ITes firms in India to redesign the workspace.

In India, where human capital is the key resource for the country, well-engaged employees are the main drivers of growth in organizations. “I think in 10 years, one-third of the global white collar working population will be in India,” said Gwinner.

Nearly 65% of India’s population is under 35, and it’s believed that a better work environment will improve productivity at workplace.

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