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The comeback of the personal workplace

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We’re living in a decade of personalization. Service providers, product manufacturers and websites are becoming increasingly personalized. They know your name and preferences and make appropriate suggestions. For a long time, digitization had a totally different effect on the workplace: by making work less location-based, it became less personal. No more family photo or funny mug on your own desk at the office.

That phase is now consigned to the past. "Thanks to new technologies, it is possible to make the workplace personal and ‘your own’ again. It's a place that colleagues know where to find you and where you can get them when you need them'', says Harold Coenders, director Occupier Services at Colliers.

Such a personal work location is achievable if the following starting points are applied:

  1. Different types of workplace
    It has to be a spot that they know in advance will be available and where they will also be available for their colleagues. Sensoring provides solutions that make this possible.
  2. Offer only relevant choices
    For example: a workplace that recognizes your telephone when you place it on a table and automatically accesses your preferences. Or an app that, based on your datebook, sends you to the right workplace in the department where you can get the knowledge you need for your tasks on a given day.
  3. Adjustable working environment
    The most literal form of personalization is a workplace that adjusts, or is adjustable to your preferences. There are already a range of companies that make workplace that can be fully personalized – with lighting, temperature and chair and desk height all adjustable.
  4. Changing identity
    The last component consists of equipping the workplace for a changing identity. This can be done by enabling project spaces, work zones and conference spaces to quickly change their appearance through the use of screens and special lighting. With the right brand colors, logos and commercial messages, you visitors immediately find themselves in professional company.

The meaning of a personal workplace will have to be taken even more literally in this phase in which 'social distancing' is a requirement. "If we go back to the office later this year, we still have to keep our distance. The importance of a good personal workplace is greater than ever'', according to Coenders.

The comeback of the personal workplace

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Harold Coenders

Partner | Director Occupier Services


Harold Coenders is Director of Occupier Services Netherlands.  Harold is thought leader on hybrid working and the impact on the corporate culture, the workplace and the real estate. He is an expert in developing strategic real estate solutions and innovative hybrid workconcepts  linked to the productivity of the workforce and in organisational cultural change programs.

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