As nations and organizations construct future working approaches, there is an emerging assumption that the use of the “new ways of working” that accelerated in the first two years of the pandemic will continue. The forward planning assumes that workplaces changes in terms of increased flexibility in time and place of work will be good for performance.  However, increasing evidence suggests that changes may lead to reduced productivity and some forms of performance, as well as declining trust and commitment. Now is the time to investigate ways to optimize workplaces for employees and employers, performance, and productivity.

open plan office with people working

By new ways of working, we mean changes to more “open” places of work, remote and geographically distributed working, flexible timing and continuity of work, and in both cases (place and time) increased use of what might traditionally have been non-work and/or personal times and spaces for work.

The Future Workplace project involves a team of 8 researchers, working with large firms to establish the impact of the design of the workplace (when, where and how work is undertaken) on individual and team engagement in discretionary performance, focusing on the “above and beyond” activities that allow groups and teams to get more done, more effectively and efficiently, while building organizational trust and commitment.

Objectives include:

  1. Establishing a clear measurement framework for workplace: the individual employee’s time, space, and place of work
  2. Investigating the impact of the workplace on work-based social exchange, including with supervisors (LMX) and group/team exchange
  3. Investigating the impact of different types of exchange on employees’ organizational citizenship;
  4. The impact of work type/design and organizational trust/commitment on discretionary effort.