By Teresa Whitney - 4th January, 2017
WorkTech 16 Paris brought together leading international building technology and workplace wellbeing experts to discuss the future of where and how we work. The two-day program was packed with individual and panel speakers, as well as a closing roundtable discussion and tour of Schneider Electric's The Hive, a living experiment in energy efficiency and technological innovation.
Similar to PLASTARC's findings, speakers' research indicated that spatial diversity and activity-based design are essential to the future of work. Karine Sacepe, a researcher at CRG Polytechnique, closed out the discussion on day one with the assertion that innovation requires temporal and spatial disruption. Our team also enjoyed hearing from the likes of Microsoft, Deloitte, Cisco, Schneider Electric, and Herman Miller on technological innovations and workplace optimization driven by big data and social data.
The second day of the conference was devoted to an interactive roundtable on smart buildings and wellbeing. The discussion focused on the pros and cons of increasing connectivity in the workplace, specifically its impact on mental and physical health. Even with mobile working and technology on the rise, workplace designers still need to account for colocation and person-to-person contact.
The concept of designing for humans was at the center of the conference: namely, how do we make buildings and workplaces greener and more humane, while also increasing their real estate value? The PLASTARC team has done extensive research on this theme, such as:
Following the conference, PLASTARC maximized our time across the pond by attending a research symposium on coworking at the Emlyon Business School in Paris, and touring coworking locations in London and Paris. We had the pleasure of viewing a wide range of coworking spaces, from pay-as-you-go cafes to social incubators to small, intimate community spaces.
It was a highly successful trip in which we were able to absorb and collect a ton of data on how coworking is evolving on a global scale.