When it comes to workplace trends, it is imperative we don’t lose sight of the proven strategies that help organisations create workplaces which empower people, reduce costs and transform their businesses.

There is no single solution for workplaces, this is why it’s crucial to create a workplace strategy that works for your company. By merging your business goals with research and design, you place yourself in the best position to achieve your objectives.

Many of our clients have found that the best method of developing a sound strategy is dividing the concept of the workplace into its various components – that of People, Place, Process.
Staying or Going – How to Create a Successful Workplace StrategyA successful workplace strategy starts with a strong foundation and effective planning
People
Shrewd companies understand that a major priority in workplace transformations is to enhance the performance of their people. In a knowledge-work economy, people are the dynamo that keep organisations growing, improving and innovating.

Not surprisingly, an intelligent workplace strategy can be a powerful tool for supporting employee performance. And a subsequent benefit is that what typically supports performance and fosters productivity also enhances employee health and wellbeing.

The first step in creating this strategy is actively engaging with employees and encouraging staff feedback. This will assist you in discovering what currently works and the tools and methodologies you can implement to optimise performance and productivity.

-> Considerations
● What metrics do you currently use to measure performance? How can these be improved?
● What types of interaction and communication take place and how often?
● What is the main purpose of encouraging communication (e.g. improved collaboration, faster decision making etc)?
● What are the differences between individual and group productivity?
● What tools do staff currently use to communicate with each other?
● Where can communication be enhanced (e.g. with employees or external partners)?

Place
Gearing your workplace towards a location that meets your requirements; now and in the future, will be one of the most expensive decisions your company makes, so it is important to get it right the first time.

Distinguishing between the workplace (the building that houses your company) and the workspace (where the work is carried out) is a good place to start as each of these agencies have unique and particular values and influences.

It may help to consider your new workplace, not as simply office space, but as a communication tool where strategy, efficiency and value are the main drivers for a strong real estate investment.

Workplace
-> Considerations
● Is the building and local area consistent with the brand image you want to create?
● How close is the building to your suppliers?
● Are there local amenities close by for staff and clients?
● Are the businesses in the local area complementary or competing?
● Does the local area have potential employees? What is the local commute like?

Workspace
● How can the office design enhance productivity?
● Does the building layout fulfil your space requirements now? How much future growth do you anticipate?
● How does the new space enhance your company culture?
● What are the options to reduce the floor space per workstation?
● To what extent do cost savings inhibit staff satisfaction and productivity?
● What areas in the new space will you need to get the most out of your teams?

Process
Understanding how work activity and communication flows through your organisation is a key consideration for any successful workplace strategy. By examining your core business processes and how departments work and interact, you’ll be able to firstly identify current work practices and secondly, determine whether the future workspace supports or hinders these work styles.

Furthermore, analysing your processes will provide insight into the ‘bigger picture’ of the organisation, allowing you to streamline and improve any current departmental or operational objectives. Ultimately, this can expedite employee buy-in and minimise disruption when managing any future changes.

-> Considerations
● What activities do staff currently undertake? How can the new workspace enhance these tasks?
● What working practices and philosophies will you utilise in the new space?
● Does the new space work with a mobile workforce?
● What are the options to increase workstation utilisation (e.g. Agile Working models)?
● How will you measure the adoption and successful uptake of new working practices?

Technology
With advances in disruptive technology occurring so frequently, it can be difficult for companies to keep up – let alone anticipate what’s next. The influx of tech solutions can also make it difficult to decide what is essential to the business; what provides a competitive advantage and what may prove to be a poor investment. Fundamentally, the adoption of new technology is a question for the process section – evaluating whether the technology is the best tool for your business and developing a clear understanding on how it can effect change to make a valid return on your investment.

-> Considerations
● Does this technology increase productivity?
● Does the technology enable us to reach our goals more efficiently?
● Is this the best tool for the business? What are the alternatives?
● Will staff require assistance or training with the new technology?
● How will we measure the ROI?

Below are our 5 Steps to an Effective Workplace Strategy
1) Assess the company – Determine if your strategy aligns with business objectives and budgetary considerations.
2) Evaluate the company culture – Gain insight into your stakeholders with surveys, workshops and focus groups.
3) Calculate the risks involved – Partner with diffusive departments like Facilities, HR and IT to understand and manage the potential obstacles and risks associated with the strategy.
4) Create a business transformation strategy – Manage and communicate the future changes in your company by building awareness with stakeholders.
5) Establish a metrics tracker – Develop a measurement system that tracks progress against your goals and share the results.