Andrew Carmichael, Principal for Woodhead Singapore, joined forces with Woodhead client HSBC Bank, represented by Anthony Smith as the proposition team in The Great Debate – On-line Networking: Fad or Future? They argued for the motion, “Social Networking is nothing but a fad that wastes productive time”. On the opposing side of the panel were Daniel Webster (Turner & Townsend), Noeleen Goh (UTC) and Kent Olsen (JLL). A lively and entertaining session ensued.
Conceding that Facebook, Twitter and the ever present blinking light of the iPhone or Blackberry were game changers in the connected world of knowledge workers of the future, Anthony and Andrew embarked upon an argument focusing on the latter part of the posed question. In a nutshell, that an imbalance in on-line social activity that was for “off-task”
Anthony and Andrew drew upon research from the Harvard Business Review, various published papers on psychology, human behaviour and Andrew’s neuro-science experiences with the Body-Brain Performance Institute to challenge the misheld belief that we are all excellent multi-taskers.
In an entertaining presentation, the team demonstrated that multi-tasking can reduce productivity by approximately 40 percent and it is the human desire to feel needed that draws us to the next message or blinking light on our hand-held device.
The takeaway from the topic is that whilst the importance of Social Networking is undeniable, a balance and channeled approach is going to be required in a Gen Y/Gen Z virtual workplace of the future if it is to be productive.
The rest of the event programme was full and varied, with discussion topics centred around the workplace landscape of the future.
Dr. Chua Yang Liang, National Director of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Research team, presented data pointing to “What’s next?” for the commercial property scene in Asia and Singapore specifically. This was followed by panel discussions sharing experiences from Marina Bay Financial Centre. With Standard Chartered Bank and DBS as major anchor tenants, Woodhead has been responsible for the Workplace design of over 1 million square feet of this prestigious development in Singapore.
As a truly inspirational conclusion to the day, Lee Peh Gee shared her 5-year journey of training and dedication to be part of the 6-member NATAS Singapore Women’s Everest Team, Singapore’s first all-women’s climbing team that successfully summited Mt Everest in 2009.
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Woodhead is a leading international architecture and interior design consultancy established in Australia in 1927 servicing Australia, South East Asia, India, Middle East & beyond. Its portfolios include Transport, Workplace, Hospitality, Health, Retail.