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  • Writer's pictureDavid George

Hack 2: Avoid this workplace fail!

In my last post I shared a hack to improve a workplace at low or zero cost, by reducing office space to densify the occupants, improving the sense of connectiveness and community. Today I thought I’d talk about a more controversial subject.

The expensive office redesigns.

You know the ones, they get posted on LinkedIn, fabulous images, with the objective of improving occupancy (“look at all our collaboration space and amenities”), but after an initial, enthusiastic opening ceremony, occupancy trails back to what it was – about 50% of pre-pandemic levels, or around 30% in actual terms.

Why didn’t this “creative, wonderful new space” result in a sustained increase in occupancy?

In our experience, there could be three reasons.

1) Lack of employee engagement in the journey to create the spaces – so no one accepts the solution.

2) Lack of evidence to support the range and quantity of work-settings used – the work-settings do not support, let alone enable the preferred in-office work activities.

3) Lack of discussion and agreement on supportive etiquette, behavior, use guidance, and Team Agreements – people are unsure of how or when to use the spaces (or even if they are allowed to) or they are not attending at the same time as their necessary collaborators, social or otherwise.

So here’s this week’s free hack:

* Engage people on the journey, over engagement is better than under engagement, involve them in the process seeking our their thoughts, concerns and opportunities. After all, they’re the one you’re creating the workplace for.

* Use data to support the configuration of spaces “people want to come not collaborate” is not a strategy or the basis for a design. Collect activity and interaction data and use this to inform the solutions.

* Employees do appreciate guidelines – work with them to agree the expected behaviors in the new office space, how work-settings should be used, and how teams will work together to create the optimal balance of interaction, location and timing of work.

As before, if you would like support in creating or formalizing your workplace strategy, or any of the above, do reach out to chat.

Our initial consultations are always free and it might just save you a whole lot of cash!


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