Annual building performance review
Stress test learn/work environment At most organisations, you have a conversation with your boss once a year about how things…
René P.M. Stevens MSc Arch/MBA
‘Grownup’ tastemaker with a
‘Start-up’ curiosity and drive.
The whole is more than the sum of its parts! By breaking up the fields of Real Estate, Facility Management, Information Technology and Human Resources into separate “silos” they became more manageable. But they are only artificial rigid boundaries of perception. From the perspective of the users, there are no distinct boundaries between those “silos” for their experience of an integrated learn/work environment that boosts their productivity and well-being
Accommodation, the evolving story. Revolutionizing spaces and places puts us at the forefront of change. Setting in motion shaping the future of work. From disconnected to connected. From breaking apart to making whole. From just workplaces to places that work. Be aware that the workplace is also a state of mind, a place that matters. What was fragmented is restored into something greater, a new whole.
“When we can imagine it, we can create it!”
Our goal with this website is to open a new vista to highlight the learn/work environment as a strategic means to add value. This may provoke a few thoughts that help to push the boundaries of the conventional approach of the learn/work environment to the next level.
Being aware that it is a complex and multi-disciplinary ecosystem, we invite you to grasp the essential points while choosing to dive into the deeper layers as you are called to do so. Equip yourself with the theory and practical tools to initiate informed transformative change and deliver added value and provide proof of it.
“The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” (Marcel Proust)
Join us and other forward-thinkers in this rebelliously curious journey of boundary-crossing with an open mind, question everything, and feel the possibilities with your heart. Remember that “All concepts are wrong, but some are useful.”
“An Exploration Odyssey where REAL ESTATE and the REAL STATE of People meet.”
ATELIER V is an independent strategic consultancy firm in the business of space that concentrates on the energy balancing of new and existing learn/work environments. An integrated holistic approach to create an ecosystem of Bricks, Bytes and Behaviour. The learn/work environment is an interrelated management tool. It provides an evidence-based managerial lever throughout its lifecycle.
We enhance our client’s ability to discover the possibility of adaptable environments that make a meaningful and measurable difference for the organisation and its people to stay relevant and competitive.
Because we are not completely isolated from our outer environment, we should consider the effect of natural and man-made environments on our inner environment. Embracing holistic unifying relationships adds hidden and dormant qualitative aspects to the separate parts and transforms them into a larger thriving ecosystem.
Accommodation is in most organisations the second largest annual cost. How to make better use of the undermanaged 5th business resource, accommodation, to achieve your strategic goals?
How to facilitate increased relevant Engagement of stakeholders? How to execute the strategy for achieving the vision and mission in a more Effective and Efficient way? How to find relevant Evidence for your organisation to be used as feedback and feedforward data for steering and anticipating?
Is the environment supportive of the desired mission?
We know that the environment has the potential to maximise value for the organisation and improve the experience of the users by appealing to both the mind and heart. Towards a more flexible, resilient and human-centric way of accommodating organisations and people.
We are fully aware that both organisations and their learn/work environment are highly complex ecosystems that are interdependent and therefore influence each other.
Applying a business case approach, transforms the way of looking at accommodation from being an operational headache (cost centre) into a strategic opportunity (value centre), to add sustainable value for the organisation, people and society. Making a difference by realizing the interconnectedness and fostering the health and well-being of the whole.
Modern accommodation is defined as much by digital and social space as the physical workplace. From a mainly left-brain approach to a more balanced left and right brain approach. To answer the main question: “Is the accommodation adequate, loved and in control?” What do you need as proof to answer this question with yes?
The world is changing and so should we. Now more than ever is the time for a post-COVID organisation to find a healthy and safe mix between the physical, digital and social environment. Making a distinction between short-term pandemic responses, and which are permanent long-term shifts.
Stay ahead of the game by reducing occupancy costs whilst at the same time providing accommodation solutions that resonate with the organisation’s broader strategy, and objectives and optimize systems performance and human health & well-being. The constitution of the World Health Organization (1948) defines health as: “A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
The environment (physical, digital, social) is a catalyst for people’s performance and well-being and therefore has a strategic impact. (René Stevens)
Human beings are reactive and responsive living organisms that are in a dynamic relationship with the environment. The multi-faceted environment influences how you think and feel by entrainment. The human mind, emotions and body, the Inner Environment, are not separate and distinct from their Outer Environment. Change in one area will cause ripples of change elsewhere, often in unexpected ways.
The interaction and synergy between people and the physical, digital and social learn/work environment are intrinsically interconnected and form the cornerstone of Real Estate (RE), Facility Management (FM), Information Technology (IT) and Human Resources (HR). All these disciplines are complementary and (should) serve each other for the best experience and balanced well-being of the users. Integrating these disciplines strategically will release the untapped potential for enhancing performance and well-being. It brings benefits but also a responsibility and accountability to the people involved in it.
Creating harmony by addressing both sides of the equation, the outer and the inner environment. The quality of the workspace shapes the learning/work experience since everything, including humans, are made out of energy, which has no borders. The Inner and Outer Environments are, therefore, interconnected open ecosystems that resonate. It is about the rediscovered ancient vibrational science.
A more complex ecosystem embodies higher levels of coherent resonating vibrations (entrainment). Entrainment is the interaction/communication from one form of vibration to another. Entrainment is also relevant when your body, which reacts autonomically, synchronises with strong, external vibrations like rhythms, pulses or beats created by the environment.
Therefore the environment generates behaviour and behaviour drives environment design and management. We are defined by where we live and work. Shape your surroundings consciously, because your surroundings shape you.
ATELIER V take pride in helping our clients reimagine the learn/work environment, using it differently and more intelligently, in a straightforward manner to enable and facilitate the delivery of key business outcomes and the health and well-being of the users. Whether that is in the traditional physical learn/workplace or in a hybrid mix (physical and digital), balancing the traditional school and workplace with home and/or third places (public places between home and school).
Entrepreneurial opportunities are not only out there in the competitive landscape to be discovered but are also emerging through interaction with the learn/work environment. Taking collaboration and user experience to the next level.
It makes sense that the Human Resources department takes the lead in orchestrating the experience of people in places that matter and work.
Connecting people with a place to support the core function of the organisation. Realising at the same time that work is what you do and not a place. Work on-site and distantly in third places or at home is equal.
A learn/work environment strategy is, by definition, a derivative of the educational process and the organisation’s policy.
Review of workplace performance should therefore understand how evolving strategic policy goals (managerial objectives) and user performance (educational objectives of the academic departments) are facilitated.
The physical environment (Real Estate & Facility Management), is one of the critical secondary business processes. It requires integration and consistency with other processes such as IT, Human Resources, Finance and the associated systems. So that, in addition, to support the primary process, the internal information and external accountability are in order.
A holistic approach embraces equally the three dimensions of the learn/work environment: physical, digital and social. They are inextricably linked and influence each other structurally and directly. All three are interwoven for the achievement of desired outcomes.
Innovation is essential for organisations to position themselves to maintain or create in rapidly changing market conditions. From the organisation‘s objectives and latest workplace trends, ATELIER V develops and implements, bespoke evidence-based strategies and roadmaps for the use of the learn/work environment. Helping to achieve short-term goals and long-term sustainability in creating relevant market differentiation.
We help you improve your learn/work environment by sharing our knowledge and insights. We innovate by doing.
Our passion as a business consultant architect is to find the balance of reason and emotion, of mind and heart, tangible and intangible. Ever seen from the standpoint of the users of the environment, people.
Creating a learn/work environment requires both a logical (science and reason) and emotional (imagination and intuition) approach. The first can in potential also be done by a computer, the second can by definition only be done by a human being.
The rule of balancing the logical mind with the emotional heart. The left-brain logic with the right-brain desire to create environments that are both inspirational and effective but also in control and efficient in use for a better society and a more equitable future.
The balance between the polarities Effectiveness versus Efficiency and the polarities Evidence versus Engagement. These four E’s form an interdependent energy system (The ‘E‘ of real estate), all capable of being regulated in order to maintain homeostasis in the learn/work environment eco-system.
Today’s science was yesterday’s magic. Don’t trust the boundaries or the knowledge you have been given as the limit or the final truth.
Mainstream science defines energy as the ability to produce an effect. Frontier scientists came up with a new scientific paradigm that thoughts are things that affect other things that are outside yourself. We must expand the concept of energy to include thoughts as well as emotions and spirituality in the energy equation of the eco-system of Bricks, Bytes, and Behaviour. Connecting the Inner Environment (mind, body, heart, soul) with the Outer Environment (physical, digital, social). The frontier is accelerating, and we are all members who must exercise our roles in the movement.
– Places that matter and work instead of workplaces –
An integrated learn/work environment ecosystem of Bricks, Bytes and Behaviour.
Creating an adequate and meaningful learn/work environment is a complex challenge because cause and effect are interdependent and far apart in space and time. This challenge cannot be successfully addressed piece by piece, but only by seeing the whole ecosystem. The actors involved have different perspectives and interests and can only be harmonised with the engagement of the actors themselves. It requires growing new next practice solutions rather than best practice solutions from the past. The “E” of real estate is designed to do just that, by approaching the whole instead of only the parts.
It’s time for an aligned and new approach that adopts more free-thinking. A learn/work environment is more than a collection of ‘workplaces’. It is all about ‘places that work’ for you the user; inspiring environments that generate energy, where people meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge and information. A place where they experience a sense of belonging. In short: Places that Matter.
Success does however not only depend on a smart design but also on the proper use of the environment, the right attitude and the behaviour and culture of the employees and the management style of the employer.
The ‘E’ of real estate is a conceptual framework that makes manifest that the learn/work environment is a catalyst for people’s performance and therefore has a strategic impact. It is an integrated interdisciplinary approach to unleash the potential in people.
The ‘E’ of real estate podcast is a community for the discovery journey about an integrated learn/work environment ecosystem to add value since adding relevant value is the key to any success.
“If you change the environment, you change the people.”
(R. Buckminster Fuller)
The learn/work environment is like a two-edged sword. One side is about achieving an optimum between the polarities of educational Effectiveness and cost-Efficiency. How close is the performance of the learn/work environment to the requirements of education, versus how much money is available to achieve this result and when and for how long should the result be delivered?
The other side concerns the tension between the polarities Evidence of (risk) manageability (being in control) and Engagement/notion of belonging (satisfaction with the learn/work environment) of the users. What level of control is needed, what can go wrong? How can it be prevented or mitigated to ensure the desired satisfaction and involvement of users?
Polarity allows movement to take place, attraction and repulsion that sparks evolution. A learn/work environment is a value centre and enabler, not just a cost centre. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. The environment impacts the human psyche, making workplaces also a state of mind.
“A holistic approach of the physical, digital and social environment is a ‘powerhouse’, you can literally transform your organisation with an integrated learn/work environment.” (René Stevens)
Understanding the complex interrelationship in the ecosystem of the learn/work environment supports better decision-making. Not only measurement information is required but you need also values to determine what an adequate and desirable learn/work environment is for your specific national and local context. The users’ engagement and supporting their effectiveness is the primary focus and have to be balanced with the efficiency of the workplace in an evidence-based manner.
By breaking the question ‘Is the learn/work environment desirable and adding relevant value?’ up into building block chunks, it becomes more manageable. Especially when a common lay language is used that is understandable for all stakeholders. To answer it, four main sub-questions must be addressed, exploring it from a number of different perspectives.
The diversity of four distinct perspectives, Engagement, Effectiveness, Efficiency and Evidence, ensures valuable additions and cross-pollination. Each of the E-perspectives is potentially very powerful but should be all honoured in their integrated context to take the whole of available approaches into account.
Any model is a simplification of reality, and so also this model. It’s like the headlights of a car designed to light our way. The polarised E-perspectives are distinct but not entirely separate and often have conflicting interests depending on the priority levels from the different stakeholder’s standpoints. They should be harmonised and integrated with one another into a balanced state that is specific to your context. All choices are interrelated. To be sustainable one should also balance ‘now and later’ and ‘here and elsewhere’. Easy to say, it takes practice to do!
Be also aware that Engagement, Effectiveness, Efficiency and Evidence are not ends in themselves but means to an end. Pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable. Go for the good of the whole in the long term because focusing on short-term performance alone comes at a price.
The way an organisation is accommodated says a lot about it, just like clothing says something about the person who wears it. The learn/work environment is therefore much more than a functional shelter. It makes tangible what an organisation stands for. Read more>>>
Optimizing the effectiveness of the educational process is primarily based on an educational vision and the way in which it is structured in a didactic and organisational manner. Secondly, the educational process is supported by the quality of the learn/work environment in which this process takes place. Read more>>>
Adding value by using the environment can be achieved at different levels of ambition. Ranging from a purely technical and financial approach to a level where the learn/work environment is regarded as a strategic asset for the primary process. Read more>>>
Does the environment meet the demand and expectations now and in the near future? Is it adaptive to changing user needs? Both building owners and users have a responsibility for a safe, environmentally responsible and energy-efficient building. Read more>>>
Are you an end-user in the role of tenant or owner-user, below you find a selection of our services with which we can unburden you. As a strategic consultant or as an interim manager. All are rooted within your specific context. We are intrigued by the question of how to create places that work instead of workplaces.
We turn the learn/work environment into an evidence-based business asset in which Finance and Operations, the task side, play a role, and Sales & Marketing and Human Resources, the human side. Both sides are integrally involved in our advice. Tailor-made, in line with your specific issue as the client. Within the internal organisational context of culture and shared values as well as the external context of regulations and common practice. Using a common language between the demand and supply sides.
An analytical and logical left-brain approach should be balanced with an integrated intuitive right-brain approach. (René Stevens)
Analytical thinking allows us to comprehend the parts of the learn/work environment while integrated thinking enables us to understand how they work together. (René Stevens)
Understanding the intersection between people, culture, and a thriving business model. A management team that is aware of the strategic opportunities of a harmonized environment, together with the help of interdisciplinary specialists, can create a difference in unlocking and unleashing human potential. “You can’t motivate another person. “You can only create an environment in which they motivate themselves.” (Sara Hannah)
Caring for people and accountability to each other and yourself are inextricably linked. By improving employee accountability to both fellow colleagues and the organisation, we demonstrate care for each other and increase productivity. For that to happen it requires the right environment that inspires people to take ownership, maximize care and achieve more by loving what they do and with whom they do it.
As an organisation, dare to think big, but start small and expand incrementally. Without experimentation, innovation is impossible. Experiment and gradually find out which form and speed of implementation suit the organisation best. Have faith in the process. Like anything new, it takes a bit of trial and error before you get it right, but the payoff is worth it.
Environmental consultancy is about cross-pollination and integration of the Real Estate, Facility Management, Information Technology and Human Resources disciplines to unleash strategic opportunities in the learn/work environment. Change management is an important part of this.
ATELIER V is constantly developing its insights and know-how within the profession. To this end, we developed over the years our proven consultancy methods and tools. We keep questioning them to determine what is correct and true and what needs further consideration and research for improvement. They enable us to select the best strategies in use to maximize practical solutions to add value.
We are in an ongoing exploration of quantitative and qualitative methods and tools to improve insight and support decision-making about the learn/work environment. We want our clients to question everything with us so that we can come to shared conclusions that will help us all gain a better, and mutual, understanding about the nature of adding value with and by the learn/work environment.
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In essence, adding value with an adequate learn/work environment is simple but implementing simple concepts is not always easy. The ecosystem of the learn/work environment requires a multi-disciplinary approach to unleash its full strategic opportunities. A multi-disciplinary approach is therefore at the heart of what we do to create synergy. It enables us to take a holistic view when developing any opportunity. It allows us to challenge and re-frame each problem we address.
Our passion is to develop and implement strategies for the learn/work environment based on organisational objectives and environmental trends. A learn/work environment where people and organisations can ‘recharge’ themselves to create value together. A living environment that gives you energy as a person (and organisation) and that is also energy neutral in use.
We cannot do this alone and that is why we strongly believe in partnerships. We are part of a tribe of like-minded collaborating interdisciplinary specialist agencies and independent professionals. Passionate and connected from the vision of involving the users as much as possible in their learn/work environment. To guarantee a high-quality standard we actively share knowledge and invest in each other.
Do our values appeal to you and do you want to become a partner? Please contact us.