138 episodes

Welcome to Work Life by Design a podcast for People & Culture leaders, C-Suite
Execs, Entrepreneurs, Designers and anyone who is interested in elevating their
experience of work!

I’m your host, Mel Marsden, the Founder, and Director of COMUNiTI a Workplace
Strategy and Design Studio focused on collaboratively, re-imagining and designing
high-performance workplaces for our clients across Australia.

Over the last decade I have refined my workplace toolkit to create our signature
strategy offering, the Workplace Dynamics Blueprint, exploring the 5 pillars that
underpin every high performing workplace.

1. Reimagining the Future
2. Brand &Culture
3. Values & Behaviours
4. Wellbeing
5. Employee Experience
This process has seen my clients’ employees achieve results of;
 84% employees feeling more productive
 91% with increased job satisfaction
 100% of employees feeling more collaborative

I believe that our environments have the power to positively influence our behaviour
and our performance at work.

So much so, that I’ve written a book about! “The Next
Workplace; Designing Dynamic Environments that Inspire Human Potential”
connects the concepts of modern day management theory to the structural design of
our physical workplace environments, aligning, enabling and inspiring the human
potential of every organisation.

If the last few years have taught us anything it’s that change is inevitable, and we no
longer need to “go to work” to “work!

Through this podcast we explore what it takes to make work, work!

I draw back the curtains on my own business, the clients, and projects that we
deliver, along with tapping into the knowledge and insights from academics,
business leaders and champions of change.

Together, let's elevate our experience of work.

Work Life by Design Melissa Marsden

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 17 Ratings

Welcome to Work Life by Design a podcast for People & Culture leaders, C-Suite
Execs, Entrepreneurs, Designers and anyone who is interested in elevating their
experience of work!

I’m your host, Mel Marsden, the Founder, and Director of COMUNiTI a Workplace
Strategy and Design Studio focused on collaboratively, re-imagining and designing
high-performance workplaces for our clients across Australia.

Over the last decade I have refined my workplace toolkit to create our signature
strategy offering, the Workplace Dynamics Blueprint, exploring the 5 pillars that
underpin every high performing workplace.

1. Reimagining the Future
2. Brand &Culture
3. Values & Behaviours
4. Wellbeing
5. Employee Experience
This process has seen my clients’ employees achieve results of;
 84% employees feeling more productive
 91% with increased job satisfaction
 100% of employees feeling more collaborative

I believe that our environments have the power to positively influence our behaviour
and our performance at work.

So much so, that I’ve written a book about! “The Next
Workplace; Designing Dynamic Environments that Inspire Human Potential”
connects the concepts of modern day management theory to the structural design of
our physical workplace environments, aligning, enabling and inspiring the human
potential of every organisation.

If the last few years have taught us anything it’s that change is inevitable, and we no
longer need to “go to work” to “work!

Through this podcast we explore what it takes to make work, work!

I draw back the curtains on my own business, the clients, and projects that we
deliver, along with tapping into the knowledge and insights from academics,
business leaders and champions of change.

Together, let's elevate our experience of work.

    That's it for Season 5! The highlight reel from 48 episodes

    That's it for Season 5! The highlight reel from 48 episodes

    Well, that’s it for another season!
     
    After kicking off season 5 back in November last year, I think it’s well and truly time to switch off the mic for a while!
     
    This season has definitely taken on a life of its own and it really snuck up on me that we’ve been going straight for 48 episodes, almost a whole year! I’ve had the pleasure of engaging some incredibly intelligent, wise, and generous guests in conversation over this time which has what has kept me wanting to do “just one more!” episode.
     
    But here at COMUNiTI we are heading into our busiest season of the year in the final sprint to Christmas so it’s time to take a breath and make the space needed to ensure we finish the year strong.
     
    So, in this episode I’m sharing with you the highlights of 48 episodes, marking some incredible milestones including;
    📕🥂 The release of my book “The Next Workplace” and the conversations from the book launch 🎉 Hitting a 100 episodes of the podcast 🥳 Celebrating COMUNiTI’s 10th Birthday Plus a recap on some of the impactful conversations that I’ve had over the course of the season that have influenced my own thinking on work and the workplace  
    So, while I take a break there are 136 other episodes for you to dive back into. Thank you for joining me here each and every week and I look forward to being back in your ears with some fresh content very soon!
     
    LINKS
    Get your copy of Mel’s new Book “The Next Workplace; Designing Dynamic Environments that Inspire Human Potential”
     
    Connect with Mel;
    Email | Insta |
 LinkedIn | Website | Website | Whitepaper - The Road Map to Employee Experience Book a 30min Complimentary Discovery Call with Mel

    • 19 min
    The Art of Focus in a World of Distraction with Angela Lockwood

    The Art of Focus in a World of Distraction with Angela Lockwood

    The art of focus in our modern worlds has become just that. An art.
     
    With books like Johan Hari’s Stolen Focus and past guest Dr Kristy Goodwin's, Dear Digital we need to talk, the constant disruption, distraction mulit-tasking and task switching that we are all succumbing to is impacting our ability to truly focus.
     
    Add to this all the pressures and competing demands of daily life and we are quickly looking at fatigue, exhaustion and burnout.
     
    And whilst the rise of flexible working has given us more freedom to design our days and work lives, it’s a bit of a double edged sword. As many of us have relied on the routine, ritual and structure that our daily to commute has given to us to support our cognitive function and the daily need to “do our job”.
     
    We now need to develop a new skill. The ability to distinguish what is worth our attention, to do this intentionally and then to be able to focus.
     
    And that’s what today’s guest is here to share with us.
     
    Angela Lockwood is on a mission.
    To empower individuals to thrive amidst the distraction of modern life.
     
    As an Occupational Therapist with a wealth of real-world experience working alongside both children and adults, she has developed a unique approach to unlocking the power of our thinking and actions in ever-changing environments.
     
    After sustaining a life-changing head injury she became obsessed with learning how we can use our time and energy to thrive and has focused her career on helping others do the same.
     
    She is the author of two business self-help books, "The Power of Conscious Choice" and “Switch Off and Find Calm” and the engaging host of "A Kid's Life" Podcast.
     
    She’s been featured on Channel 9 Today EXTRA, The Australian Financial Review, Good Health magazine, Huffington Post, Mamamia, Radio 2UE and numerous parenting and lifestyle publications. She also has a regular segment on The Luke and Susie Show which is syndicated across Australia.
     
    Angela has an infectious energy and she’s highly relatable.
     
    So in today’s episode Ange and I are going to look at;
    Why the conversation about focus has become such a prevalent one Intentional Focus – what it means and how to manage it The importance of switching off The difference between time management and energy management Plus she’s also sharing with us some tools to get us started  
    A great conversation on how to focus your attention on the things that really matter so that you have more energy for life!
     
    LINKS
    Get your copy of Mel’s new Book “The Next Workplace; Designing Dynamic Environments that Inspire Human Potential”
     
    Connect with Angela;
    LinkedIn | Insta | Website
     
    Connect with Mel;
    Email | Insta |
 LinkedIn | Website | Website | Whitepaper - The Road Map to Employee Experience Book a 30min Complimentary Discovery Call with Mel

    • 36 min
    Why you need to guide your people through change

    Why you need to guide your people through change

    One of the biggest misconceptions about “a new office” is that it is simply that.  A new place for us to conduct our business from.  A design and construction project.


    This could not be further from the truth.  “A new office” is a whole of business opportunity and at its core it is actually a “cultural transformation project”.


    Everything about the way the new office looks, feels, operates is all new.  It’s in a new location, with a new commute and with that comes a whole new set of routines and rituals.


    Now while some of your team might be excited by the change, there are going to be a lot of your team who will not be.  And regardless of where they sit on the continuum of change experience, they are going to bring their own perceptions to the process, until they are guided, communicated to, informed, and educated about what the new workplace will entail.  


    Because, in the absence of information it is human nature to Make. It. Up!


    So, in today’s episode I’m sharing with you why it's important to support your people through change, and what you can do to prepare you and your business to make the most of this unique opportunity.  


    Remember, creating a new workplace for your business is typically a once in 10 year event, and just think about the ripple effect that doing an outstanding job of supporting your people through this change will have on the next 10 years of your business.   
     
    LINKS
    Get your copy of Mel’s new Book “The Next Workplace; Designing Dynamic Environments that Inspire Human Potential”
     
    Connect with Mel;
    Email | Insta |
 LinkedIn | Website | Website | Whitepaper - The Road Map to Employee Experience

    • 20 min
    The Pilgrim's Guide to the Workplace with Dr Agustin Chevez

    The Pilgrim's Guide to the Workplace with Dr Agustin Chevez

    Is the workplace really just a ‘task’ place?
     
    This is one of the thought-provoking questions that today’s guest poses, for us to ponder about our reality of work and the workplace.
     
    Dr Agustin Chevez is the author of The Pilgrim’s Guide to the Workplace. It was after reading a book on the diversity of Iguana’s in the Galapagos Islands, that Gus set off on a pilgrimage from Melbourne to Sydney, to explore the impact that isolation has on the diversity of our idea’s.
     
    Fast forward a few years and Gus is sharing his insights as 34 signposts from this exploration in his book, inviting us to reimagine our workplaces.
     
    As an Architect and researcher, Gus has dedicated his career to understanding the notion of work and uncovering environments that best support our working lives. His interest in the relationship between people, space and technology saw him pursue a PhD on the evolution of workplace architecture as a consequence of technology development.
     
    His work has been presented at various international forums and publications. As a sought-after speaker, Agustin has delivered international keynotes and is a TEDx speaker. He has also contributed to workplace strategies in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.
     
    Gus is the Workplace Futures Lead at the Centre for the New Workforce at Swinburne University and an Honorary Fellow at the School of Management and Marketing at the University of Melbourne.
     
    In this episode we are going to find out
    How Gus took this idea that he had to explore diversity of thinking to actually, walking from Melbourne to Sydney What the distinction is between a Pilgrimage and a Walk and how this applies to the workplace How the introduction of absurdity to the workplace enables us to bring more human traits to our experience of work Why removing friction from our environments can impact our ability to be innovative and its impact on our personal resilience as we overcome adversity How the conversation and questions we’re asking when approaching the design of workplaces need to change in order to create an enhanced environment for work  
    A fascinating conversation with someone who has incredible mind to explore ideas in a new way to challenge biases and see new opportunity.
     
    You are going to love this conversation with Dr Gus Chevez.
     
    LINKS
    Get your copy of Mel’s new Book “The Next Workplace; Designing Dynamic Environments that Inspire Human Potential”
     
    Connect with Gus;
    LinkedIn | Website / Book The Pilgrim’s Guide to the Workplace
     
    Connect with Mel;
    Email | Insta |
 LinkedIn | Website | Website | Whitepaper - The Road Map to Employee Experience

    • 51 min
    What I Thought Everyone Knew But Doesn't

    What I Thought Everyone Knew But Doesn't

    One of the reasons that I first started exploring this idea of Workplace Strategy was because I am fascinated by how businesses tick.  


    What makes one business a roaring success and another flounder?  


    And one thing that continues to fascinate me is the gap that I see emerge in almost every engagement.  And it’s a gap that I feel like I automatically step into fill without a second thought.


    But this gap is one that differentiates what we do at COMUNiTI apart.


    When clients approach us, they are likely to be seeking a Design Solution.  They don’t go to the design team looking for a business solution.   


    And that is the difference. Often as the opportunity is misunderstood, or it wasn’t even on the radar to begin with. 


    So many times, I have been told by clients, “We didn’t even know that what you do is a thing!”.


    So today we’re diving into the opportunity to transform your business that you likely didn’t even know what a possibility, as I’ve been reminded that what I thought everyone knew, they likely don’t, and that is a huge, missed opportunity for every business.
     
    LINKS
    Get your copy of Mel’s new Book “The Next Workplace; Designing Dynamic Environments that Inspire Human Potential”
     
    Connect with Mel;
    Email | Insta |
 LinkedIn | Website | Website | Whitepaper - The Road Map to Employee Experience

    • 15 min
    To own a Desk or not to own a Desk? What you need to consider when adopting desk sharing with Dr. Jenna Mikus

    To own a Desk or not to own a Desk? What you need to consider when adopting desk sharing with Dr. Jenna Mikus

    With more of us embracing the opportunity to work from home, it’s leaving our workplaces underutilised as occupancy levels in the workplace drop. The impacts of this vary from workplace ot workplace depending on the design style and approach ranging from limited variety in the spaces available for employees to perform their work through to a lack of energy and “buzz’ that comes from bringing people together in the space.
    As someone who engages with organisations daily in this delicate dance of who gets to own their desk and who doesn’t, weighing up the commercial realities of leasing costs vs underutilised floor area and the opportunity to provide variety and choice to employees in where and how they work within the workplace, this is a topic of conversation that I am keen to explore.
     
    So, when today’s guest Dr Jenna Mikus shared an article written by BBC on LinkedIn, questioning if the hybrid office will ever feel like home, with her view of the impact of this approach I was keen to engage her in a friendly debate on the pros and cons of the “to own a desk or not to own a desk”.
     
    Jenna shared;
    While this sounds ideal in theory, this Choose Your Adventure approach to daily working could backfire, as it introduces the risk of proving exhausting and therefore off-putting to workers often already overwhelmed with work obligations. Not everyone embraces change, let alone adventure...especially on a daily basis.
     
    As an advocate of creating workplaces that respond to the unique and individual needs of organisations, their teams and their people, my view is that by relinquishing individual ownership of our workpoints, we can inturn optimise our work environments to cater to a greater variety of work styles and activities, further enhancing our experience of work.
     
    Dr Jenna Mikus is the Founder and Managing Partner of the Eudae Group, which advises clients on organizational and spatial (both physical and digital) transformational change relating to built environments curated for health and wellbeing. Her clients have included commercial office owners, operators, and tenants as well as military, government, healthcare, higher education, aged care, and more on a global scale, with particular emphasis on the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia.
     
    As an advocate for bridging industry practice with academic theory/research, Jenna is also a Visiting Fellow with QUT's Centre for Decent Work & Industry, an Honorary Fellow with the Centre for Conscious Design, a former Health Equity and current Research Advisor for the International WELL Building Institute, and a contributor to Harvard University's Human Flourishing Program's Flourishing at Work Interest Group.
     
    Jenna leverages her education across engineering, architecture, and design with her depth and breadth of work experience relating to strategy, change management, and design thinking to encourage multidisciplinary cross-pollination in theory and practice and to guide the creation/curation of intelligent, sustainable, and flourishing environments for all.
     
    Jenna is well versed in supporting organisations to create environments that support us all in flourishing at work, having worked in organsiational change and recently completing her PhD focused on flourishing health and wellbeing, so I was pleased when she agreed to engage in this conversation, so that we could explore it from a few angles and see where we land.
     
    This is an interesting conversation exploring the role of workplace design on the individuals that occupy them.
     
    LINKS
    Get your copy of Mel’s new Book “The Next Workplace; Designing Dynamic Environments that Inspire Human Potential”
     
    Connect with Jenna;
    LinkedIn | Website
     
    Connect with Mel;
    Email | Insta |
 LinkedIn | Website | Website | Whitepaper - The Road Map to Employee Experience

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

Shellamallu ,

Perfect mix of corporate and individual content - clearly knows her stuff

I love the balance of practical and workplace culture content, with a good dose of Melissa the beautiful human herself.
This podcast is so well presented! It’s classy, informative, easy to understand and the tips are easy to implement for anyone at any business size.
Worth every second of ear time 💕

qween mj ,

Your the best

Your my favourite podcast

Djdinasty ,

Credible and energetic!

You’re a force to be reckoned with locally! Hopefully people around the world will now get to hear your message and experience that spark!

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