Each week I’m going to provide a round up of what I consider to be important and interesting articles on the future of work (not authored by me). These will include a variety of sources and topics ranging from workplace practices to robots and automation to leadership and everything in between. There’s a lot of information out there so I’m hoping that these weekly round ups will help make life a bit easier for you by giving you just the good stuff. Let’s get into it!


HR Can’t Change Company Culture by Itself

In this article by Rebecca Newton the important topic of company culture is discussed. The problem, Newton suggests, is that most companies put the important task of creating company culture solely into the laps of the HR department when it really needs to be a company wide process started by the leaders.

Newton goes on to give four ways in which HR employees can help executives take on the process of culture change. HR leaders should aid in the research part of the process and help the company see what their current culture looks like in order to figure out what needs to be done to get the company to the future culture they want to have.

The HR department can also move the process forward by helping leadership to see that culture change can be a good thing, as change can oftentimes be seen as a negative thing.  After that they need to make sure the executives have the tools and skills needed to carry out the culture change. And finally, it is important for HR to clearly let the executives know that when it comes time to implement the culture change it is fully up to the executives to take ownership of the process. In order for a culture change to be successful HR cannot do it by themselves. They can aid and assist when necessary, especially during the research part of the process, but after that it should be a company wide process led by the executives.

Workplace Design can Help Workers Feel Happier

According to a white paper researched by Hawthorne and presented Orgatee, office design has more of an effect on employees then employee perks like pay raises and ping pong tables in the office. A big part of this is due to the move from Baby Boomers to Millennials in the workforce. Whereas the Baby Boomers considered the office as the place where they went to work and then relied on their personal life to be fulfilled by their home life with friends and family, the Millennials do not have as much separation between work and personal life.

As the Hawthorne report states, Millennials have “the need for belonging, connection and contributing to a greater good (and a sense of meaning in work)”. The research found that office design helps employees feel valued and it helps them to have better focus.

So what are some aspects that go into good office design? According to the white paper some important aspects are that the office space must be easy to understand, for example, the purpose and functionality of furniture should be clear and spaces in the office should be set up for either socializing or working. There are some things that are just about fun, but they don’t promote a good working atmosphere. With these things it is important to incorporate them in a way that won’t disturb the rest of the office or distract from getting work done. In this article, Marcus Fairs goes through more of the study and the research that brought Orgatee to the conclusion that office design has a huge impact on employees.

10 Workplace Trends You’ll See in 2017

In this article Dan Schawbel predicts the top 10 workplace trends that we will see in 2017. He bases these predictions on information he receives from online surveys, secondary research sources, and things he picks up on from talking with HR execs and other workers.

The top ten trends that he foresees include: companies more focused on employee experience, a rise in freelancers working alongside full time traditional employees, more of an emphasis on teams vs. individuals and more frequent performance reviews and feedback.

The Future of Work? Nissan Unveils ‘World’s First’ Electric Mobile Office in a Van–and It’s Amazing

Nissan has created the e-NV200 WORKSPACe, a van that comes equipped with a fold out desk, touch screen computer, wireless internet, smartphone controlled LED lights, wireless phone charging, Bluetooth audio system, mini fridge and even a coffee machine.

This van would allow people who normally work from home to work from any location within driving distance. It is also an electric vehicle, so it would save workers money normally spent on gas as well. It can be charged from 0% to 80% in thirty minutes. There will most likely be other car companies who follow suit as the number of people who are working from home increases.

My new book, The Employee Experience Advantage (Wiley, March 2017) analyzes over 250 global organizations to understand how to create a place where people genuinely want to show up to work. Subscribe to the newsletter here.