Why Work Space Matters

Why Work Space Matters

Digital technologies are profoundly recalibrating the way we need to work. To enable co-creation and collaboration, and harness the productive energy these approaches generate, organizations need to reimagine the interplay between workspace, performance and culture, according to new report.

Products, services and brand experiences are no longer standalone entities but increasingly complex configurations enabled by new collaborative ecosystems and extended teams, supported by digital platforms. Where can this work get done?

To better understand the interplay between workspace and work, Cognizant conducted a study of 500 business decision makers to find out how leaders see workspace evolving and what they are doing to supercharge the space around them. These are the key finding:


• Workspace is integral to meeting business goals. Investing in an efficient and effective workspace is not just a nice-to-have, according to half of our respondents, who said these expenditures are nearly as important as investing in the latest technology. This reflects a new understanding of the changes in work, and the importance of creating a space for new workflows to happen.

• Surprise! Corporate footprints are expected to grow, not shrink. Despite respondents’ belief that nearly 30% of back-office tasks will disappear over the next five years due to automation, there will be no corresponding downsizing of corporate real estate. In other words, work isn’t disappearing; it’s shifting. Corporate footprints are expected to grow an average of 13%, according to respondents. So while software might be eating the back office, work is shifting from the back office to the front, where value is created for customers.

• Productivity, agility and innovation drive workspace design. Already, about 40% of respondents have reconfigured their workspaces, in some cases dramatically, to improve workflow and flexibility. The payoff, as ranked by our respondents, is found in increased productivity, organizational agility and higher rates of employee creativity and innovation.

• Different workspace characteristics are needed for human vs. machine work. Tech industry leaders are using clever spatial design to encourage creativity, collaboration and experimentation among their human workers, while automating tasks that are better performed by machines.

• Companies are prepared to change places. Over one-third (38%) of respondents say their organizations are prepared to shift their geographic location, which underscores the dynamics surrounding innovation. In addition to a desire for better access to customers, partners and suppliers, organizations are also eager to benefit from the talent clusters being established in specific locations around the world. Despite global connectivity to data and communications, proximity is key for certain kinds of valuable knowledge transfer.

• A new space blueprint can spur the modern enterprise. If you want to change how people work, start with the place of work. We recommend a more fluid, outwardly focused organizational design that recognizes both where it needs to be and what its people need to get there. The actual work of transforming an enterprise and retuning its culture takes years, not months. Employees need to see the enhanced culture taking shape and its working methods evolve.

Read the full report Space Matters: Shaping the Workplace to Get the Right Work Done.