The Great Workplace Experiment: what have we learnt?
23rd September 2022
As move and change specialists, throughout the pandemic we worked closely with our clients to support them in understanding and implementing the new ways of working during a time of major workplace upheaval. However, as we now emerge and the “new normal” becomes the “norm”, what have we learnt along the way and what lessons can we take forward with us?
At MovePlan, our ethos is to ensure we constantly learn about our clients’ workplace challenges. This enables us to consistently provide the right support for a variety of complex space utilisation and culture needs, aligned with our best-in-class, industry leading processes in move and change management.
In keeping with this focus for continual learning, earlier this year we held our Great Workplace Experiment webinar series with senior business leaders from across our client network within the financial, technology, healthcare and automotive sectors. These leaders were invited to share their insights and observations, learnings and challenges when it came to delivering the new workplace.
If we were to summarise the main themes from the events, the following areas were discussed at length and provide a good structure for designing a successful workspace utilisation and change management programme:
- Understanding that the purpose of a workspace is far more important than just prescribing rules around its usage
- A flexible working blueprint should be about employee equitability not equality
- Understanding these first two points will enable businesses to deliver a workplace strategy that supports employees to work to the best of their abilities, all the while balancing flexibility, with productivity and wellness
- Business teams must be de-siloed: HR should be working with real estate and IT on any work change project
- Communication is key to ensure that culture isn’t lost and performance doesn’t suffer
A further observation from the series was that many employees are keen to return to the office, often driven by the desire to meet others, secure focus time and to use the amenities. However, many will also want to work elsewhere, flexibly, at times that suit their own personal preference. Business leaders must not overrule this desire. We must trust that individuals are already well versed with where they get their best work done, and empower staff to make the right choice.
This will ensure people feel heard and valued, and mitigate the risk of talent loss.
Finally, what was evident from all our webinars was the need to engage with all stakeholders to ensure fair and broad insight into, and acceptance of, the new policies governing how we work. Coupled with investment into a business’ technology infrastructure to support effective flexible working, provision for analysis into data around workplace usage to inform future strategy, and clear communication to ensure that everyone understands what is happening and how it has been implemented will be key to delivering success. If we can all view change through the lens of the above requirements, we will be able to deliver the right workplace for everyone.
If you’d like further insight into the themes discussed at each regional event, head to the following links: