Sustainable Corporate Villages

On this page, we present the results of the events hosted with diverse groups of participants to explore the possibility of Sustainable Corporate villages as an alternative to the traditional way of working. The events were part of the United Nations registered SDG Partnership  #SDGAction46967 - mOther Earth

The DNA of the project is Rural Development. The goal is to revive and repopulate the rural areas of Europe. In line with the Next Generation EU, the idea is to create Villages of the Future (Las Aldeas del Futuro) while preserving the local communities, environment, and cultural heritage. We aim to provide opportunities for education and employment to rural youth; bring and develop sustainable entrepreneurs in rural communities; and solve the housing crisis by creating rural alternatives. The vision is to create sustainable self-sufficient rural communities driven by youth. 

The approach to solving these is to create Villages of the Future – innovation settlements that bring rural youth, researchers, schools, startups, businesses, experts, and NGOs to reside there and co-create solutions to the most pressing local problems together with the community.

People at Heart - Automation in Mind: Finding your Balance

On December 7, at the 3rd Annual HR Innovations Summit, the co-founders of Think Tank AlterContacts hosted an interactive workshop on HR innovation for a sustainable tomorrow. Together with 33 participants, they explored how to lead a transformation where technology is complementary to the power of people.

Co-Creating the Workplace of Sustainable Future

On November 16, at the 7th Future Workplaces Summit by Luxatia International, the co-founders of Think Tank AlterContacts hosted a dynamic and interactive workshop on workplace innovation. In just one hour, they enabled 35 participants to explore the forces behind these changes in their organizations and how to channel them to a more sustainable and inspiring future.

The past and the present of the Workspaces

In the workshop, we looked back at how our workspaces have changed over the past 200 years, from cubicles to open offices, coworking spaces, and home offices. We asked some unconventional questions to encourage creative thinking. Instead of just changing furniture or redesigning, we explored the idea of working in places we usually choose for vacations. The goal was to challenge traditional views and imagine a new way of combining work and life.

The Future

Impact on Sustainable Development Goals

Enhancing Rural Office Spaces: Retaining Essential Elements for Worker Satisfaction

We have explored essential elements employees wish to retain when relocating their office to a small village. Insights from diverse contributors highlight preferences for a positive and productive work environment, emphasizing the importance of a balanced, vibrant workspace fostering collaboration, social interaction, and individual well-being. The identified elements represent a holistic approach to designing workspaces, integrating social spaces, collaboration zones, private workstations, and a commitment to preserving organizational culture. Incorporating these elements in rural relocations will contribute to a positive and satisfying work experience for employees.

1. Watercooler Area: Emphasizes the importance of the watercooler area as a space for casual interactions. This element encourages spontaneous conversations, fostering a sense of community among coworkers.

2. Café: Highlights the need to retain a café within the workspace. Such spaces serve as hubs for relaxation, informal meetings, and provide a comfortable atmosphere for employees to unwind.

3. Organizational Culture: Underscores the importance of preserving the existing organizational culture. This cultural continuity ensures that employees feel connected to the company's values and objectives, irrespective of the physical location.

4. Coffee and Informal Seating Areas: Expresses a desire for informal seating areas. These spaces, combined with coffee amenities, contribute to a relaxed and collaborative atmosphere, promoting spontaneous discussions.

5. Social Interaction and Workspace Vibrancy: Stresses the significance of social interaction and workspace vibrancy. These elements enhance the overall work experience by promoting a dynamic and engaging atmosphere.

6. Collaboration Areas and Green Spaces: Highlights the importance of collaboration areas and green spaces. Bright, open rooms with plants, combined with on-site sports facilities, contribute to employee well-being and creativity.

7. Hybrid Meeting Rooms and Phone Booths: Emphasizes the need for hybrid meeting rooms and phone booths. These facilities support flexible work arrangements and provide employees with private spaces for focused tasks.

8. Learning Environment and Global Connectivity: Advocates for maintaining the office as a learning environment and preserving global connectivity. These elements contribute to continuous learning, professional development, and global collaboration.

9. Private Working Stations: Underscores the importance of private working stations within shared environments. Providing a quiet, focused area within an open office layout is crucial for individual concentration.

10. Personal Elements: Stresses the importance of preserving personal elements, such as one's spirit, the café ambiance, and Wi-Fi connectivity, to maintain a sense of familiarity and comfort in the new environment.

Motivating Employees to Embrace Corporate Village Relocation

With the group of HR executives, we discussed strategies to motivate employees to move to a corporate village, drawing insights from a diverse range of contributors. The focus is on creating an environment that aligns with employee interests, guarantees solid infrastructure, and fosters a sense of community, belonging, and pride. The multifaceted approach includes addressing housing, education, and job opportunities for partners and children, as well as emphasizing specific benefits tailored to individual preferences.

1. Vision and Alignment: Drawing inspiration from the sentiment "If you build it, they will come," the participants emphasized the importance of sharing a compelling vision, mission, and a sense of pride and belonging. This aligned with creating an appealing narrative for employees to rally behind.

2. Inclusive Environment and Well-being: Participants highlighted the significance of inclusive environments that focused on moments that matter. To motivate employees, it is crucial to emphasize well-being, support networks, and in-person opportunities for connection, thereby rebuilding a sense of community.

3. Tailored Benefits: A targeted approach was recommended, aiming for specific types of individuals while considering benefits that might encourage them to embrace the relocation. Aligning with individual interests and providing excellent conditions of employment, including salary and education grants, were key components.

4. Comprehensive Infrastructure: Ensuring a solid infrastructure, including schools, healthcare facilities, and commercial amenities, was essential. This addressed practical concerns and contributed to the overall quality of life in the corporate village.

5. Experience and Purpose: The participants suggested creating an experience that employees did not want to miss out on, emphasizing the corporate village as a natural addition to their private lives. Additionally, giving a clear purpose for the move contributed to a sense of belonging and loyalty.

6. Flexibility and Onboarding: Acknowledging diverse preferences, the participants recommended stressing the benefits of the corporate village, such as everything in one place and potential tax breaks. Flexibility in choosing work environments and providing excellent onboarding, especially for international relocations, were critical considerations.

7. Tangible Incentives: Such as free food and coffee, were discussed as elements that could contribute to the overall positive experience and make the corporate village an attractive workplace.

Unlocking the Potential of Corporate Villages: Advantages and Opportunities for Companies

This summary encapsulates the key insights shared during the workshop, focusing on the advantages and opportunities associated with corporate villages. Participants highlighted a wide array of benefits, ranging from fostering a sense of community and personal well-being to cost savings and contributions to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The insights gained provide a comprehensive understanding of the potential benefits for companies, employees, and communities, offering valuable considerations for organizations contemplating such relocations in the EU context.

Advantages of Corporate Villages:

Opportunities for Companies in Corporate Villages:

Exploring Perspectives on Relocating to Corporate Villages: Insights from the Workshop

There were varied sentiments expressed during the workshop regarding the potential relocation to corporate villages. Participants shared diverse perspectives based on personal considerations, work-life balance, and the impact on relationships. Participants weighed personal considerations, work-life balance, and the potential impact on social networks in deciding whether to embrace such a shift. The insights provide valuable perspectives for organizations considering or implementing corporate village initiatives within the EU context.

Considerations Against Relocation:

Considerations in Favor of Relocation: