A — September 27 - October 10, 2013 — Fall Preview — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


A rchitecture

By David J. Fournier, The Aztec Corporation What really drives change in the workplace?


usinesses today are increasingly trying to keep up with change

that they understand the past, present and future of technol- ogy, the workforce, and the workplace in their very basic elements. “Trends”, to which change is often referred, are really just current solutions developed to address change in vari- ous aspects of the workplace: technology, work/life balance, environmental concerns, and the like. Some are successful, and become part of the main- stream for some time while others fizzle out and become known as “fads”. What businesses should

consider when investigating all available information is the basics of what causes the need for change in the first place to help them determine in their own minds whether it will be a trend or a fad. Portability of office equip- ment, for instance, has prob- ably been the most influen- tial factor in redefining and reshaping today’s workplace needs. Hardwired comput- ers and monitors, multi-line phone sets, and cabled access to printers no longer dictate where we work, how we work, or when we work. In a sense,

the wired environment is a chain that ties us to one par- ticular workspace: the desk. Laptop computers, which have been in the workforce for some time now, made possible the ability for telecommuting or offsite communications from a client’s office to occur in a simple manner. The number of people working from home has increased immensely over the last decade, affording those who do so to define and create their own workplace at home or elsewhere. Add the smartphone, tablet, wireless printing, and video

conferencing capability to that, and you have the ability to do almost anything from anywhere! Phone calls, video conferencing, and communi- cating and collaborating with others have never been so easy…or so difficult to keep up with! To be successful in most in- dustries, the future workplace will be required to provide employees with a variety of workspaces, allowing people to work as they see fit. Gone is the need to have only a fixed desk and chair per employee. Portable equipment allows people to work anywhere they want, whether it be in a corporate cafeteria, at a con- ference table, on a couch, on the floor, at a collaborative work center, and so on. The types of collaboration and the type of work being performed will dictate the need, as will continued change in the tech- nological world. What employers also need to realize is that while em- ployees of past decades have had to adapt their work style to technological change over their years of employment, the new generation of workforce grew up with a work style due to having access to electronics from an early age onward. They therefore will perform much more successfully given a work environment that is familiar and adaptable to their past experience. The workplace of the future cannot continue to be the workplace of the past. And finally, employers should note that the workforce is about to become very complex, comprised of a multi-genera- tional workforce that will span larger age differences than ever before. Older employees are expected to work beyond traditional retirement age alongside two other genera- tions with differing thoughts on the workplace. Granted, their skillsets and method of working will differ substan- tially, but when given flex- ibility in how they conduct their job functions together, success can certainly be reached. David Fournier is one of the original founders of The Aztec Corporation. As a principal of The Az- tec Corporation, David is responsible for the man- agement of all aspects of the design process. n

in the work- place, if not be forward- thinking in t h e i r a p - p r o a c h t o creating an o f f i c e e n - v i r onmen t suitable for

David Fournier

their business to succeed and their employees to be happy. Knowing and understanding the constant changes in the office environment requires




From clients to employees, your environment has an effect on everyone. It’s often the first…and last impression they see. Can your image afford to let those opportunities pass without making the most of them? “Total Architecture” is our mantra at Aztec. Let it make a difference for you.

Base Building Architecture I Interior Architectural Design I Facility Master Planning Complete Project Management I Relocation Execution Management On-Going Facilities Management I Construction Execution Management


Woodbridge Place, 517 Route One South, Iselin, NJ 08830

Call 732.636.8989 or visit www.aztec-architects.com

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