Employees are designing the workplace of the future

Why do we have to go to work? This is a direct inquiry, not a rhetorical one. Do we travel to be in the company of others and collaborate? Do we go because it is a designated space where we can concentrate on our work in a special way? Are we going because we think it is important to be “seen”? Do we go because it is what we have always done, or because it is what we are supposed to do? It is critical to SAP that we not only find answers to these concerns, but also that our workers play a part in doing so — and in creating the hybrid workplace of the future.

This summer we brand-new hybrid work test program our Palo Alto location. We have been experimenting with alternative floor designs and configurations, varied work schedules, the most productive uses of space, and the perfect structure and composition of meetings for months. We have also been delivering manager and leadership training, as well as enablement and other services that tailored to the needs of this new reality. So, what have we discovered so far? In addition, how can you put some of the lessons to work in your company?

Employee feedback both before and after the pilot program’s early stages revealed that there was a demand for a high-utilization, high-energy workspace. We just needed to figure out how to make it so that people could use it whenever they wanted, not just when they needed it. So, what variables would motivate people to come to work? According to our findings, there are four major factors:

Peer-to-peer learning — our employees are enthusiastic about expanding their networks, and many of them cited peer-to-peer learning as a way to progress their careers and learn how SAP develops and innovates its products.

While the majority of our onboarding, training, and learning opportunities are still virtual, we are now looking into hybrid possibilities that would allow employees to meet in person if they so desired.

According to our research, many people seek in-person engagement if COVID allows it. Although video calls are convenient, nothing beats the ability to sit across the table and collaborate, learn, and develop together. Employees in the mixed work pilot program have emphasized collaboration as a primary motivator. Our staff whiteboard and share screens to solve complicated problems together in a number of ways, The key is to make sure they are in a room with high-quality video and audio technology so that both physically present and distant team members may equally engaged.