As organisations look to boost productivity, collaboration and engagement, many have turned to transforming the workplace itself. With the power of digital technology to create an environment that enables staff to perform at their best, employees are more effective in their roles and enjoy a better work experience. Consequently, a competitive business advantage ensues. Here are four things that those responsible for implementing and driving organisational change should be considering before a transformation project to make the most of those advantages.
But, a workspace is not a one-size fits all solution – every organisation’s requirements are different. At its core, a workplace transformation needs to embody the brand and culture it’s representing, be aligned to the future direction of the business and representative of employee needs. Furthermore, there needs to be clear direction from the top, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve with the transformation, and there needs to be collaboration between corporate real estate (workplace resources), HR and IT.
Here are four key considerations, that all three stakeholder departments should be contemplating beforehand, to ensure a workplace transformation is successful.
When investing in a large-scale transformation project, naturally you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your space. In order to achieve this, first you must understand what your employees need to be successful, advises Nicole Fitzgerald, Pacific director workplace strategy with real estate firm CBRE. Once you know this, you can be much smarter in how you design the future workplace.
“A big part of this is making sure you’re factoring in all the different types of places where people get their work done, such as working from home, down at the coffee shop or in a client office,” explains Fitzgerald.
By creating a space that’s focused on how your employees are currently working and how they want to work in the future – and providing the right tools to do so – you’re intrinsically optimising the available office space and eliminating wastage.
Creating workplace flexibility is a competitive differentiator, says Geoff Warren, CBRE’s regional director of investor services. But, it’s important to have a clear stance on what flexibility means for your individual business and then make sure this is reflected in the functionality of the workplace. Getting this right comes back to being clear on the intent of the office.
Naturally, a big component of creating a flexible work environment is having the supporting technology in place, allowing people to work and collaborate more effectively, wherever they are, whatever the task.
Our digitally-connected world has blurred the boundaries of the traditional office space and transformed how employees want to work. Creating a digital workplace where employees can communicate and collaborate seamlessly – regardless of whether they’re physically in the office or not – is key to creating a successful workplace for the future.
More and more, employees are prioritising flexibility and technology when selecting a place of work, so this must be a key consideration in creating the most optimal workplace. Employees – especially millennials – want to know that the tech stack available will help them be successful in their roles, and that the workplace is flexible enough for them to balance their professional and personal lives.
“Investing in technology sends a really clear message that you value your employees and you value the contributions they make,” says Warren.
Rather than looking at a workplace transformation project as a pure cost-saving exercise, it’s more pertinent to look at how much money it’s going to make the business in the long run. “If your people are more engaged and working more collaboratively, they’re creating better value for the organisation,” says Warren.
This marks an important change from the days where companies saw workplace redesign as a means to cut costs. The focus now is on how to make smart investments in the workplace and technology, in order to drive productivity and innovation.
See the result of these four considerations – a highly flexible, technologically enabled and creative space that allows for the fluid flow of information and ideas.
John Corbett, Cisco’s APJC director of workplace resources, explains that Cisco’s revamped North Sydney offices features different office configurations designed to give staff more options in how they work, creating a viable workplace for the future.