A guest blog by Melissa Marsden Director & Founder – COMUNIiTI

“Building a community eats workplace design for breakfast.”

It’s the placemaking equivalent to Peter Drucker’s famous “culture eats strategy for breakfast” management theory.

While Peter didn’t mean that strategy is unimportant, he did want to convey that having the right company culture in place is a surer route to success.

Following Peter’s lead, I’d like to suggest that building a community should always be the goal of any staff accommodation project — it’s the surer route to achieving a company’s performance goals and purpose.

Sure, desks and decor will always be important, but they shouldn’t be the lead focus, nor the ultimate markers of success when placemaking.

At COMUNiTI, here’s how we shift the focus:

A Place-Making Mindset:

The impact of community-focused placemaking

The most successful workplace projects I’ve been involved in are those that are steadfast on the big picture — what do our employees need from their workplace to give us a competitive advantage? The answer to this question always leads back to a sense of community.

When we foster vibrant communities inside workplaces we design business solutions that go beyond shared space; we build a powerful shared identity. We create places where people feel:

  • connected to the company and each other
  • a shared sense of purpose and set of beliefs
  • that they fit in and are welcome, regardless of their role, because there are no silos
  • enabled and motivated to perform, create, innovate and improve

And, when we are clear on the type of community we want to create, the space and design choices become clear and the communication about what we’re changing in the workplace and why becomes more inclusive and compelling.

If you’d like to learn more about placemaking and community building inside organisations, please join me for my panel conversation at this year’s Thriving Workplace event on June 20-21.

Mel x

Melissa Marsden is a leading expert in workplace dynamics strategy.

With over 20 years experience working at the intersection of science, technology, design & optimisation, Mel redefines work environments to support effective, efficient and engaged teams who are the heart of every high performance business.

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