The rise of cross-workplaces

Accelerating innovation through chance interactions


Cross-working is encouraging employees to interact with a wide range of people across an organization to spark innovation — which is the drumbeat of relentless change that’s become a hallmark of 21st-century work and life: new products, new processes, new services, new ways of organizing and new ways of thinking.


It’s not enough for employers to create conditions for random interactions and hope that innovation will spontaneously occur. They must foster the mindset and skills that make fruitful cross-pollination more likely: curiosity for unfamiliar ideas from other people, listening skills to hear them out, lateral thinking to play with those ideas and the belief that anybody can be an agent of innovation.


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Infographic: the rise of cross-workplaces


About the 2017 Global Workplace Trends

Every year, Sodexo looks at the main factors affecting the world’s workers and employers now — and in the future. These trends resonate across the spectrum of employee experience and can serve as a useful tool for employers navigating a landscape that is ever evolving.

The 10 trends we explored this year

The agile organization: striking a balance between speed and stability

Organizations are seeking the holy grail of agility—speed plus stability—with an ultimate goal of responding to new conditions, all while keeping employees agile, too, with help from disciplines like mindfulness.

The rise of cross-workplaces: accelerating innovation through chance interactions

The newest iteration of collaborative work spaces takes co-working to a new level, with organizations not only sharing physical space and resources but also intentionally structuring interactions across boundaries to encourage problem-solving approaches that combine strengths to address complex issues.

Employees without borders: understanding the impact of migration on the workplace

The sheer spread and scale of the relocation of workers, in both emerging and developed economies, is driving new opportunities to demonstrate inclusive leadership by evaluating skill needs, availability, location benefits and effective cultural integration.

The new gen of robotics: how robots are transforming the way we work

Robots have been in the workplace for years, and advances in artificial intelligence have led to organizations increasingly using them for jobs that humans used to perform. The newest discussion: exploring the success of robots, especially as they collaborate with people on uniquely human jobs.

Intergenerational learning: a new model for talent development

As people continue to live and work longer, all workers are forcing companies to think differently about hierarchical and traditional employee learning. Employees of all generations are teaching one another from their own experiences and driving a new culture of personal development.

Personal branding goes to work: a powerful tool for employees and employers alike

Personal branding is taking on a new life and getting deeper scrutiny, as employers look to leverage the power of employees’ personal brands for the good of the company.

Redefining workplace experience: putting design thinking principles to work

From physical space and technology to virtual work considerations and amenities, the way workers experience their surroundings is key to a happy workforce. Design thinking can help optimize this experience so that it supports employees both within and outside of the workplace.

The 2030 agenda for sustainable development: reframing CSR through a shared vision and common purpose

The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call on organizations to work together and with government toward a shared vision. The way businesses interpret and adapt practices will affect not only the progress toward meeting the SDGs but also the needs of a workforce hungry for positive change.

Unlocking the potential of millennial talent: a new understanding of what drives this generation

Why do we need to better understand millennials? Grasping the unique set of attributes that this generation brings to the work table gives us a view into the future of the workplace.

Wellness 3.0: the workplace as a wellness destination

Moving beyond “fixing” or preventing health problems, the current approach to wellness features the workplace as a potential catalyst for healthy living for employees, their families and the community at large.

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Workplace trends report cover