There’s been quite a lot of noise around the topic of the workplace of the future recently, especially as the pilot building for MyArena – our own future workplace concept – is about to open its doors to adidas Group employees for the very first time.

I’ve always been pretty relaxed when it comes to the working environment. Over the last few weeks I’ve worked from home, on the train and from a variety of different desks in different buildings belonging to various different people. I’m open to the idea of a more flexible working arrangement, but I have to admit I’d never really thought about what really drives these kinds of things… Until I went to the latest event in our regular Speaker Series entitled ‘The death of the office as we know it’.

Raphael Gielgen, Head of Research and Solutions at designer furniture company Vitra, presented his vision of the future and, I have to say, a lot of what he said resonated beautifully with how we work here at the adidas Group.

What did I learn from this 30-minute presentation?

We like to think we live in the modern world with our smartphones and fancy devices, but the world around us is old. If you really want to be in the here and now, it’s about fighting against the old ways of doing things: Challenge. Disrupt. Hack.

An informal setting will help to bring new ideas, solve problems and develop new perspectives in what Raphael called ‘serendipity’. Being more human and less ‘corporate’ not only serves to increase creativity, but also to reduce stress.

Unfinished is good. If you’re lucky enough to move into an innovative working space that is still in the concept phase, you may well have been gifted the opportunity to shape the workplace of the future, but this will only work if you…

…Develop a hacker mentality. Take ownership of your collective space. If it doesn’t reflect progress, work on it until it does.

Breaking down the physical walls between other organisational silos will bring a greater understanding of the organisation as a whole. Working in a more open environment will also enable a more collaborative approach to your daily tasks.

‘Bring back the kindergarten factor’. Other companies have benefited from so-called ‘hacker labs’ that allow employees to create something physical. Even if it’s totally unrelated to the task at hand, quite often these sorts of things help move problems or topics to the next level.

Naturally I’m keen to see how many of these will be brought to life through ‘MyArena’.

Does this sound like the kind of thing that might interest you?

Stay tuned for further news and trends on what shapes the future workplace here at the adidas Group.

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