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Smart Workplace Sessions #7: The Business Case for Flexible Working

Sep 7, 2021 10:33:12 AM

Kate Lister of Global Workplace Analytics, was the guest speaker in the seventh session of a series of workplace talks, where industry experts discuss the benefits that flexible work and smarter solutions can provide to employers, employees, the environment and society in general. Formulating the business case of providing more choice and flexibility to employees of where, when and how they perform their work - is one of the first steps in creating a sustainable, strategic change. Kate makes a compelling, data-based case - now available as a recording for recap and review.

"Looking at the back of someone's head, watching them work long hours, get in early and leave late, has never been a very good metric of productivity or performance", explains Kate Lister on why organizations should take a critical look at their work cultures.

What then, are the benefits of flexible working? Advocates and futurists have been promoting remote work for over four decades, making slow progress, but learning and improving the idea along the way. The tipping point for change came in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic, which gave the movement unforeseen momentum. Suddenly, we were all taking part in a forced, "global remote working experiment". Not exactly planned and controlled, but a trial nonetheless, with mixed results. Some loved the possibility to work from home, others find it extremely challenging.

Now, as companies and organizations are planning their next phase of what their future of work will look like, they must decide for themselves how they will arrange work in the future – this time based on a strategic choice and a business case supporting all stakeholders. Most organizations will likely end up with a workplace strategy somewhere in the middle, neither “all remote” nor “all in the office” – at something we can call “flexible working”. Working at the office, from home, near home and anywhere in between.

The webinar was structured into three themes of discussion topics, interspersed with polls and presentations hosted by Maija Patjas, Head of International Relations, Optimaze, Rapal. The three themes were:

  1. Employee benefits of flexible working (what’s in it for me)
  2. Employer benefits of flexible working (what’s in it for us)
  3. Environmental & Societal benefits (what’s in it for everyone) 


Kate Lister is a recognized thought leader on trends that are changing the who, what, when, where, and how of work. She is president of Global Workplace Analytics, a research-based consulting firm dedicated to preparing employers for the future of work, that has been helping communities and organizations optimize the employer, employee, and environmental outcomes of flexible and distributed workplace strategies for more than fifteen years.

Her firm’s proprietary tools include a database of over 6,000 research papers, case studies, and other documents that connect workplace change to outcomes and a variety of calculators for quantifying the impact of workplace change. One calculator was described in a report to Congress as “comprehensive and based on solid research.”

Kate has written or co-authored five business books including, the U.S. chapter of “Telework in the 21st Century” (Edward Elgar, 2019), a multi-country peer-reviewed study on remote work. Her perspectives on how COVID-19 will change the way people Work have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and dozens of other respected news outlets. In July of 2020, Kate was one of only three witnesses invited to testify before a U.S. Senate committee on the expansion of telework in government post-COVID-19.

Webinar capture 1

The interview was again hosted by Pontus Kihlman, Head of Business Development, Optimaze, Rapal. To learn more about the entire webinar series and review recordings of past webinars, click here. 

Workplace sharing economy in the next webinar, September 15

In the next webinar, on September 15th, 2021, we'll bring you up-to-speed of how leading organizations procure and manage furniture in a more sustainable way. We'll talk a bit about proptech, smart office solutions, employee apps, workplace analytics, data, sensors and IoT - and the role that plays in creating optimized and outstanding workplaces with shared spaces and resources. And most importantly, how FaaS enables a better workplace experience inside, and outside, the office - to create happier workplaces, even when working from home. SIGN UP HERE.

Click here to register for webinar!!

Optimaze Worksense Smart Office Live Demos 

Is hybrid working or a safer reopen of the office on your agenda? Check out our our free product demo sessions, with Maija Patjas, Head of International Relations at Optimaze. Maija demonstrates how to use the Optimaze Worksense smart office solution to manage capacities, indoor air and more. 

Optimaze at a glance

Who we are, what we do: We offer software and data services for professionals to develop, optimize and manage the built environment. We empower real estate professionals lead the hybrid workplace and to make complex fact-based decisions, by using real-time data, workplace analytics and SaaS-based software - to optimize costs, space needs, employee experience and environmental impact.

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