The future of work: meet our latest Expert in Residence

The future of work: meet our latest Expert in Residence

Mash’s Expert in Residence programme is designed to inject fresh thinking into both client and expert challenges. It works like an idea exchange: we offer studio brainstorms and 1-2-1 sessions on an expert’s own projects, in exchange for their creativity and perspective on our work, so we can collaboratively conquer complex growth challenges.

This summer, Carissa Kilgour, an expert on the future of the workplace and Workplace Director at Landsec, joined us in the studio for two weeks of collaboration. Here, she shares some of her key insights, and her thoughts on the experience of being a Mash Expert in Residence.

As a specialist focusing on the future of work and workplace, I used my time as the latest Mash Expert in Residence to share my perspective on what is driving changes in behaviour for workers and consumers.

New priorities in the workplace

The themes influencing the future of work and workplace are broad and interconnected, ranging from collaboration to automation to health and wellbeing to consumer technology. Through my time in the Studio, I found that many of the questions Mash clients are trying to solve through their own businesses, products and customer experiences resonate with the expectations of today’s office workers – for example:

  • Simple, easy-to-use experiences and interfaces: simplicity of navigation is critical to the customer and employee journey – especially if you’re trying to change a behaviour. We put as much energy into planning internal journeys as external ones.
  • A holistic approach to health and wellbeing: just as wider consumer interest in wellbeing is rising, in the workplace we’re looking at addressing everything from the desks we sit in, to the quality and sustainability of food in common areas, all the way through to access to natural elements incorporated inside and outside of a building.
  • Emotional and financial wellbeing are also moving up the curve of corporate and consumer importance, opening up the parameters of responsibility companies feel toward their people. The impact this has on businesses and products alike is far reaching.

Balancing collaboration & concentration

To respond to these influences, we need to work in ways that tap into the right mindset and information at the right time. At the heart of the future ways of working is how Mash works today: the Studio mindset is all about open and visible collaboration. One way this comes to life for Mash is by hosting Experts in Residence, where open collaboration enables the team to push the boundaries of their thinking.

Collaborative environments allow teams come together to share problems and work together to develop solutions, tapping into insight and skills where they are needed. But while collaboration is important to expanding ideas and pushing boundaries, concentration underpins the ability to turn ideas into actionable strategies and plans. In a world of work with increasingly difficult problems to solve, concentration spaces in the workplace are required to support this crucial activity.

The power of community

Throughout our working week we come together to collaborate, and retreat to concentrate. At the end of the day, though, we are part of a work community. That work community gives us a broader sense of purpose, responsibility, and commitment.

Enabling community is hard, and it requires conscious action. A great example of how that community is built at Mash is with Friday team lunches. A time when everyone downs tools and gathers to share a meal, in the office, at the kitchen table. A time when the conversation moves from work to weekend plans; a time when relationships are formed. And when you come back to work on Monday and start the cycle of collaborating and concentrating, the outcomes are better because underpinning your collaboration is the connection to the community.

It’s been a fantastic experience working alongside Mash, and my own work and insight has improved by living the Mash Studio mindset. Keep collaborating.