By Courtney Lukitsch, Founder and CEO, Gotham Public Relations Inc
Much of our PR workday is invested in promoting the future. Which among the newest technology inventions, products and ideas will shape the economy to come, and their impact on society? In many respects, PR professionals are adept at not only being in the moment, but also prognosticating about the future.
The best among us are skilled at pattern recognition and become experts at deciphering design thinking and global developments, as they occur in real time—while simultaneously keeping our eye on astute projections for the coming decade, as they relate to specific demographics.
When we look at the physical workplace and how work is performed today, we see a trend that hark back to the earliest days of media, as evidenced by the popularity of the open-plan, group workspace—which fosters ongoing dialog, sharing of ideas and immediate decision making activities.
With the concept of ‘hacking’ now in the vernacular, we witness a professional trend first cited by Shawn Gehle of Gensler in a 2014 Tedx Talk where he elaborated on 10 billion square feet of existing office space.
More commonly, we continue to see how new media companies and technology upstarts work to create vibrant, young atmospheres, run by millennials, such as that profiled most recently in The New York Times at .Mic.
There will always exist a desire to create something ‘new’ and differentiated from the established order, particularly in media, technology and financially focused market cities such as New York, San Francisco and London.
As Forbes notes, the workplace of the future is still the office. Although many digital nomads work remotely, the majority of our society works in an actual office. The number of people working outside this environment as of 2014 was only 3 million, according to the US Census Bureau State of Telework. This underscores the need for connection and the vitality and solutions orientation that the workplace environment conveys.
What we see in terms of Gotham PR architectural designs for the future workplace, are mobility oriented headquarters that meet both the need for autonomy and the collective, while offering live-work scenarios not before seen. They will certainly impact the way people work and communicate in a new way as evidenced by The Collective in London, designed by PLP / Architecture.
Experts in workplace design and the evolution of these environments is A+I, a twenty year old leader based in New York. With advanced thinking on the topic, they have become the go-to experts in creating unique solutions for media companies ranging from Tumblr to HBO.
Fast Company adds that the most dynamic offices are designed to encourage chance meetings, conversations in person and spur fresh ideas that might not exist when people communicate solely by digital means. The concept that human potential, intellectual and emotional factors determine successful work environments and innovative teams—is at the very forefront of the PR workplace of the future.
As leading entrepreneurs, PR professionals are constantly seeking the new, which also underscores the need for affordable, scalable work spaces. As recently evidenced in a new 2016 Center for an Urban Future report, the number of female founded businesses, including all forms of media and tech companies, is double that of male enterprises; up 33% from 5 years ago.
With PR firms and teams largely run by women in New York, this study brings to bear the significance of a changing workplace, economy and planning for the future. Bulldog Reporter states that collaboration is key.
PR work environments are much better equipped to handle challenges that come with open and huddled environments thanks to technology, design thinking and new work styles where collaborative devices and decision-making allow for immediate responses and action, despite time zones or locales.
With Millennials comprising the largest segment of the future workforce, we will witness radical workflow transformation within the PR industry and beyond.