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Strategy | 3 min read

If you can answer these 5 critical questions, you're on track for a great post-COVID workplace

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If you can answer these 5 critical questions, you're on track for a great post-COVID workplace

Organisations are rethinking their ways of working, technology and office design in equal measure. There isn't one single solution or approach - it's about tuning in to your purpose, strategy, values and culture and basing your way forward on these insights.

Here are 5 key questions that will guide you through to a solution that works for your people:

  1. How do we create a great workplace experience?
    More than ever before, providing a workplace that attracts your people to it and brings them together to connect and collaborate is critical. Employee expectations have shifted with the remote working experience, such that coming into the office is no longer the default option.

    To answer this question, identify the 'signature experiences' that your workplace will offer your teams. Check out our webinar to learn more about identifying these experiences.
  2. Is this our chance to re-imagine?
    Especially if your office is due to be refurbished, or is coming up for a lease renewal (and an opportunity to move and start again), the COVID disruption could actually be your opportunity to aim for transformation.

    Here's a powerful truth - we associate patterns of thought and behaviour with the spaces we inhabit. They become part of our routine. So if the space is changing, this creates a moment where all sorts of mindsets and assumptions can be unlocked and reset.

    Does your organisation need to shift to a more innovative footing? Is it time to de-emphasise in-team collaboration in favour of cross-team dynamic collaboration? Are either your EVP or values ready to be redefined?

    Now is your opportunity to define your cultural imperatives and shape workplace design around them.
  3. What is our hybrid work model?
    Most companies have, at this stage, put some rules of thumb or high-level principles into place. This, however, does not equate to a model.
    A successful hybrid work model should address the challenges, opportunities and pitfalls that you've identified are of cultural relevance, and have mechanisms in place for each. A pitfall - that different teams will not adequately connect with each other. A mechanism - back to base Tuesdays with a catered lunch and cross-team announcements.

    Clothe your model with worked scenarios (explained here) and you'll be well on your way.
  4. Does our workplace attract or repel talented staff?
    Even in a fiercely competitive job market, attracting and retaining good staff is not just about the pay packet. More than ever before flexibility and a great work environment are basic expectations, rather than bonus features you can offer to tempt new employees.

    Workplaces are transforming rapidly, embracing new ways of working and new design features for collaboration, connection and supporting a diverse employee population. Make no mistake, it is a race, and those who move quickly will come out on top.
  5. How do we connect culture and workspace?
    Our work environments are our cultural ambassadors – they often determine how we connect with each other, how well we collaborate and what we can achieve.
    The look and feel of a space is a great place to start, but in a post-pandemic world, it's equally about which spaces are shared and to what extent.

    We know that learning from others has become more difficult in a remote or hybrid work model. What better way of remedying this than creating a workplace that allows colleagues to observe each other on the job, allowing spontaneous collaboration and learning conversations? Be brave in considering whether leaders should retain private office spaces, whether teams need allocated desks or set neighbourhoods, and whether the kitchen/breakout might not be able to provide for informal meetings that previously might have taken place behind closed doors.

The exciting truth of a time of disruption, such as we are experiencing now, is that it holds an opportunity for funding fresh clarity about what matters most. By tackling these 5 questions head-on, you can use this season of change as a springboard to a compelling new chapter.

Interested to know how our Workplace Strategy team can help? Visit our hybrid working dedicated website page or click here to book a chat with one of our experienced strategists.

 

 

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