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Did you know Australia has the world’s largest percentage of open plan offices? 42 per cent to a global average of 23 per cent. That’s pretty significant. We’re also the most flexible with our employees – more than half of Australian workers can choose to work remotely, should they wish. The jury is still out on just how this impacts Australian business in positive productivity terms. And it will be years before we gain a wider perspective on the impacts – good and bad – that new working typologies have on our personal and professional lives.
What we do know, though, is that Australians are leading the world in workplace design. We are constantly metamorphosing our designs to adapt to changing user needs – whether that be employees, clients or customers. In the manner of a mutating organism, Australia’s top workplace designers are mating their design principles, cross-breeding their disciplines and breaking with convention to holistically cater for a complexity of human needs.
In this issue of Indesign, the WorkLife issue, we challenge the ‘new norm’ of agile working to discover what lies beyond the frontline of the workplace revolution.
Meanwhile, in real time, we’re actively enabling specifiers and suppliers to push the boundaries in workplace design, through an all-new boutique specifier event, entitled FRONT. Through industry workshops, design discussions, and a pop-up marketplace/event space (encompassing 70 of the country’s leading architectural and design suppliers), FRONT facilitates knowledge-sharing around design, while simultaneously demystifying the decision-making process. It’s a no-fuss neo-trade fair, that does away with the posturing to focus on the business at hand. FRONT is scheduled to launch in Sydney this August. Stay tuned for further updates and get involved at www.front.design.
And now, allow me introduce you to our Special Edition Editor (former Indesign Editorial Director), Paul McGillick. Paul’s take on the workplace revolution (page 24) fills me with anticipation for the future. Enjoy the issue!
Alice Blackwood | Editor