Putting the People First Podcast

Welcome to our 9th podcast “Putting the People First”.

In this podcast a group of experts from the recent Workplace Trends conference discuss why companies should do more to look after the health and wellbeing of their employees, and the approach they should take.

Nicola Gillen of AECOM highlights how people are moving from a work life balance to a work life blend. Many people are coming to expect the option of ‘flexible working’, and preferring to work for companies who trust their employees to work when they are at their best, and where they perform at their best. She believes work is increasingly about “time, place, technology and flexibility” and that employees are increasingly considering this as their right, not a choice.

Nicola summarises this as “people are now expecting more than just a wage”. She believes that employees are starting to want more than just a ‘day job’ and expect to work in a place which interests them, where they can learn from others and receive mentoring, as well as being social. Whilst discussing the future of wellbeing and productivity in the workspace, Nicola explains how ‘organisations will have to start selling themselves to people, rather than the other way around.’

Director of knowledge and insight at Herman Miller, Mark Catchlove, joins the podcast bringing his ideas of how furniture can bring ‘comfort benefits’ and support ‘security, personal health, physical and mental health’. Mark believes in designing space around people, rather than fitting people around the space, as environments need to motivate the people within them. However in order to do this we need consider that “to design products you first have to understand people”.

Further on in the podcast Mark is joined by our Concept Developer, Paige Hodsman, and Nigel Oseland from Workplace Unlimited. Paige discusses psychoacoustics and how sound affects us physiologically (the subject of her new CPD ‘Psychoacoustics in the workplace). Nigel expands upon the theme of putting people first, and how culture, placement and technology all needs to be considered when creating a work environment, be it in the office or when working from home He strongly believes in the idea of ‘autonomy’ which is the concept of ‘giving people a choice’. Nigel focuses on this idea as people should be able to pick a place to work which best suits them, a place which is fit for purpose, and allows people to be free to collaborate and concentrate.