This is the first main sub-question to answer ‘Is the learn/work environment adding value?’ Do people feel better when they leave the learn/work environment than when they arrived? Is there a social environment (culture) based on trust where people have the courage to speak up and to self direct? Does it promote positivity, and reduce stress?
Does the learn/work environment support and stimulate people’s natural curiosity, creativity, motivation and eagerness to learn? Is there a balance between the subjective personal preferences and learn/work style of people and the objective physical and digital environment dictated by the organizational configuration and management style?
Health and well-being determines our emotions, or “energy in motion.” That energy in an organization, positive or negative, feeds feelings, which in turn determine thinking and determines behaviour and performance. Be aware that structural behavioral change requires much more than just facilitating desired behaviour.
Design of the learn/work environment is – or should be – inextricably linked to both an organization’s identity and its culture and the health and well-being of the users. Is the company culture such that employees still feel connected in a hybrid model of working, where they split their time between an office and a remote location? The environment is an important element of job satisfaction and therefore compensation.
The way an organization 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 also reflects the vision of the institution’s education. There is a sense of pride when you belong somewhere, and the learn/work environment is an important part of that.
It makes tangible what an organization stands for and the overall employee experience. A place where people feel connected to a sense of purpose, solidarity and community that extends well beyond the job contract. A change of the learn/work environment will lead to a specific outcome in the behaviour of people. A learn/work environment for “free range” people or for “battery” people?
Image or aesthetic lifespan is one of the three fundamental qualities of a building, in addition to functional lifespan (fit for purpose) and technical lifespan (solidity and durability). Making this ‘soft’ and subjective quality measurable is a challenge but not impossible. It focuses on people-centric design, concerning psychological, social, cultural and aesthetic performance of the learn/work environment.
Manage and improve customer satisfaction. To what extent does the physical (Bricks) and digital (Bytes) learn/work environment support people’s activities, well-being and health? However, it is also closely linked to satisfaction with the social (Behaviour) learn/work environment and the work itself. Behaviour is about trust, autonomy and flexibility that determines motivation and satisfaction.
Employee satisfaction with the learn/work environment (the interplay of Real Estate, Facilities and ICT), is the extent to which the combination mix meets their wishes and needs. It nudges employees to bring their creativity to work. The work performance of employees and the learning behavior of students largely reflects the characteristics of the environment in which they are to work/study. Seamless user experience of the learn/work environment is about an incredible high level of satisfaction, frictionless easy to use and a Wow-factor.
A growing body of research demonstrates that it is not the objective environmental conditions, but the subjective interpretation of it, that affects the well-being and performance of people. That is why the way people experience their environment also influences their potential, effectiveness and efficiency.
- EXPERIENCE: How satisfied should the users be? How close matches the outcome for people’s engagement? Are we able (and willing) to deliver the employee’s needs?
A marriage of Architecture and Neuroscience can deepen the understanding of how the learn/work environment affects human health, well-being, consciousness and performance.
“Show me your learn/work environment and I’ll tell you who you are.” (René Stevens)
A symbiosis between architecture and its occupants creates (more) value. The physical learn/work environment promotes interaction. Architecture can bring people together, and unite them as one force. It protects, supports interaction and engagement and expresses unity and identity.
Support is indispensable for the implementation of a good learn/work environment strategy. Involve the right groups of stakeholders at the various stages of your accommodation roadmap. Inform and involve the broad group of stakeholders as frequently as possible. Communicate in a visual, compact, clear and simple manner.
The Integral health & well-being of people is, besides personal traits and situational factors, determined by the balance and harmonization of energy. Your physiology and personality, is equal to how you think, how you act, and how you feel. Multiple DOING and/or THINKING creates a FEELING that is stored as an automatic program in the Spirit/Soul. Your personality, state of BEING is created, you carry out the thought/action on the automatic pilot. (Unconsciously skilled). The end product of an experience is an e-motion (Energy in motion).
- Force of energy – Engagement of Spirit (Being).
- Quality of energy – Engagement of Heart (Feeling).
- Focus of energy – Engagement of Mind (Thinking).
- Quantity of energy – Engagement of Body (Doing).
Desired behaviour for organization can be achieved by responding to intrinsic needs of the users of the learn/work environment.
The Outer environment of BRICKS (Real Estate/Facilities) and BYTES (Information Communication Technology) creates impulses on the Inner (personal) environment of people. This creates a response in their BEHAVIOUR (Human Resources/Culture/Identity).
From research we know that employee engagement and customer experience are interlinked. The more engaged employees are, the better customer experience will be provided to clients and end-users.
By breaking the question ‘Is the learn/work environment adding value?’ up into chunks it becomes more manageable. To answer it, four main sub-questions must be addressed. But be 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.