Launching an Alternative Workplace Initiative, 10 Tips

10 Tips Before you launch an Alternative Workplace Initiative

The physical environment is only one piece of the puzzle in designing a successful workplace. With a noticeable shift in organisations considering more flexible workplace strategies, it is important to consider how these strategies will align with how the organisation functions and its business operations. Planning a successful workplace is a collective effort across various departments and many factors must be considered in the development and implementation of the plan.

Make sure your team understands the following vital concepts before moving forward:

1. Build a Business case for an Alternative Workspace Program

    • Get people engaged in the process
    • Demonstrate the possible productivity gains, work/life balance, attraction and retention of top talent


2. Assist Mobile Workers with Cultural Change Adjustment:

    • Engage the facility manager to call upon consultants and/or work with human resources if mobile workers feel a lack of appreciation from no longer having a personal workspace


3. Guarantee success by planning ahead:

    • Develop a detailed plan that includes tactics and logistics focusing on the ultimate objectives, while allowing room for changes


4. Understand how CRE's, IT, HR and other departments are affected:

    • Work closely with corporate real estate department and Human Resources department to better define how work is being conducted
    • Define how all unassigned and assigned workspace decisions will be made
    • Get the IT dept. to participate so it can determine how the current infrastructure will be affected


5. Align the New Workplace Plan Initiative with Current Infrastructure:

    • Review how it will affect the existing corporate infrastructure and determine if any adjustments will need to be made
    • Run a pilot program so that conflicts can be resolved. This will allow the company to identify different work styles, design a workplace that supports various activities, target early adopters to test the new space, and determine the training and tools needed necessary to support the mobile workers


6. Maintain Productivity While Maximising Efficiency

    • During the shift to mobile workplace, a cultural change is inevitable, and must be dealt with early on
    • Provide new tools to provide a collaborative work environment so mobile workers still feel connected


7. Reduce and Repurpose Workspace:

    • Provide less "Me" space, more "We" space and provide space to support focus work
    • Shared space where workers feel welcomed generates friendly and comforting environment


8. Manage and Measure Performance

    • You can't manage what you can't measure so be sure to employ a pilot program which can track variance by comparing planned data with actual data. This information will allow company to maximise the efficiency of a new flex plan while maintaining productivity
    • Measure impact on human performance. Turnover costs estimate 15%-40% of earnings for organisations. Ability to prove reduced attrition is powerful!
    • Include qualitative metrics
    • Value that is easiest to demonstrate is from a real estate perspective
        • Rental costs
        • Ability to consolidate locations
        • Reduced churn costs
        • Energy savings
        • Improved space utilisation
        • Extended life of assets and improved cycle times


9. Record and Analyse Actual vs. Planned Utilisation of Space

    • Track actual vs. planned utilisation of space using nonintrusive occupancy detection, kiosk, or security badge log systems to record necessary data. Gather info on what space is being underutilised and the reasons for it


10. Understand Changes in Return of Investment:

    • Track new programs ROI
    • Recording changes are worthless without calculating the ROI
    • Understand ALL impacts to the company
Tags - Workplace , Culture , Productivity , Alternative workplace , Change management , Space utilisation , Strategic , Planning , Procurement , ROI , Business