This week I visited an industry conference: Bits, Bricks and behaviour. One of the take aways on productive working environments showed that open plan offices have failed to improve efficiency. Maybe the usage/m2 of office space went up, but productivity went down with 66%. The core of the problem is distraction through background noise.
It seems that people need an appropriate working environment that fits the job to be done. Since creative working environments popped up everywhere with lounge corners and barista outlets, it has not necessarily dealt with the problem of background noise. Often noise is a severe stress factor and distractor. Consciously and unconsciously people feel the need to escape from the office into the home office which offeres a different set of distractions.
Intuitively I always felt that a nice office would help boost productivity. I am not so sure if the transformation of an office into a club house is a sustainable solution. The philosophy of google to make sure people can work, relax, eat and exercise at the same place, might guarantee that people do not think about getting home soon, which is good for business I presume.
We live in a hyper connected world, which leaves little room for shutting down, reflection, and recharging of your batteries. Inspired people live longer and accomplish more. It seems that our senses are being overloaded 24 hours a day. I believe it attributes to the high level of burn-outs we see around us.
Silent workspaces might be the thing of the future. Since Bio-mimicry has attracted a lot of attention lately, it might be worthwhile to study the behaviour of ants. Have you ever seen a community of ants making a lot of noise?, yet they are a very productive species.
The crypto crash last winter, will hopefully remembered as a blessing in disguise. When the hype is over and the dust has settled, its time to look at the potential of the blockchain, which might be the most important innovation that came out the 2008-2018 crises. This crisis could be labeled as an integrity, transparency and trust crises. This is exactly what the blockchain promises to deliver.
What the blockchain revolution has in store is a trust protocol which is based on four principles:
The image above depicts the opportunities by sector. The public sector stands out in terms of both impact and feasibility. This stems from the fact that in a democracy e.g. integrity, identity, privacy, transparency and security are all at stake in securing a properly functioning government with a high degree of trust with the public.
A nice example is a civilian pass provided by local governments to citizens. This pass is distributed for the usage of public services provided by third parties. Transactions are registered through a QR-code and payments instantly handled upon delivery of service. This limits the administrative burden and prevents potential fraud.
Another area with great potential is the implementation of a smart contract. This type of contract implemented on a blockchain ensures the execution of the contract with a predefined set of business rules. In addition to the underlying financial transaction, reputation and accountability can be managed between agents. These can be organizations as well as individuals. The provided transparency is building trust required for creating sustainable economic relationships.
Enabling new operating models which reduce cost by fewer administrative tasks and the elimination of intermediaries will have a positive impact on the operating capital needed. At the same time boosting revenue and productivity, the blockchain might be disruptive after all.