A step-by-step look at the workplace lifecycle and what to expect during each stage.
The goal of every workplace update is to increase business performance. We created our lifecycle model to help you make sense of each stage of your office transformation. Here’s a look at what you’ll experience during your fit out with some helpful advice from Managing Director Richard Johnstone.
Every stage of the cycle is designed to align your workplace strategy with your business strategy, ultimately driving business success. The cycle can be broken down into two halves – plan and deliver (steps 1-3), and occupy and perform (steps 4-7).
1. Understanding your business strategy and goals
Your workplace is one of the most valuable resources you have, second only to your people. Understanding your business strategy and goals is an important part of defining what your workplace will need to do, both in terms of how it will support your teams and when you should expect to update it again.
We have an in-house team of workplace strategists who can help you create a clear workplace strategy with your business goals in mind. You can read more about some of the workplace consultancy services we offer here, or feel free to get in touch to let us know how we can help.
2. Developing your workplace strategy and success drivers
In order to ensure business success, it’s crucial that your workplace and business strategies are aligned. Your workplace strategy should be based on your business strategy and goals, using them as guidelines for a plan to connect your people, processes and technology – the key elements of your operating model. “Your workplace strategy needs to acknowledge the unique circumstances in which your business exists,” says Managing Director Richard Johnstone.
It’s important to consider immediate and future needs, as predicting upcoming changes will reduce disruption to your company later on and increase the longevity of your workspace. Using a ‘core and flex’ space model will give your business the room it needs to grow.
3. Delivering your vision
This is the step most commonly associated with design and build. Your project partner will work with you to develop the brief for a workplace as unique as you are, based on a clear set of requirements – these requirements will emerge as part of your workplace strategy. The right space and the right property will deliver the right outcome for your business.
It’s important that your people are at the heart of the design brief; your space will be most effective if it’s designed with your employees in mind, giving them the resources they need to be great at what they do. Your teams should experience the workplace journey with you, participating in its design through workshops and internal feedback sessions. After all, a new workplace brings with it massive potential for positive change and the more emotionally engaged your employees are, the faster they’ll adopt new ways of working.
Your partner should then operate with diligence and speed to deliver your new office by an agreed date. Be sure to select a partner who prioritises transparency throughout the project, as you’ll want to be informed during the entire process.
4. Preparing your people for change
If there is one constant in the business world (and in life), it’s change. Businesses that anticipate and plan for change are almost always the ones that succeed; avoiding change, or refusing to accept it, are recipes for disaster. Change management is the process of helping individuals transition from their current state to their desired state. It’s impossible to be prepared for everything, but a good change management plan will at least guide your progress.
“The design and build process creates a unique opportunity for your people to get their hands dirty and make decisions influencing their new environment,” says Johnstone. “By focusing on your people and ensuring they have a clear understanding of what is happening and how they will be effected, you can help everyone cope better with the upcoming change.” The more excitement you can build around the shift to a new working environment, whether it be a brand-new space or an updated space, the more likely it is to succeed.
5. Onboarding for integration excellence
A new office comes with new processes, systems and ways of working. Change usually comes with mixed emotions and this instance is no exception. Be prepared for a mix of curiosity and excitement with a little bit of hesitation. You may find that your transition needs to be carefully managed in order to maximise the benefits of the new space.
“Your new space announces the business on its new trajectory,” Johnstone explains. “But it also heralds a different way of working.” For example, a switch to an open floorplan will require a degree of agile working. Depending on how your business worked before the move, bringing in specialist coaches to help ease the transition could help make sure everyone embraces the shift.
6. Actionable insights that enhance performance
Your business is ever-changing and your workplace should be too. Your workplace success partner should be readily available to assist with your changing needs. Be sure to periodically evaluate the workplace’s performance against key performance indicators to make sure it continues to drive your business strategy and business success. “It’s about going back to the main principles of why you invested in your new workplace to begin with – your business strategy and key success drivers,” says Johnstone.
Your KPIs should be based on your operating model, demonstrating the way your workplace supports your people, processes and technology. We recommend establishing these metrics during the workplace strategy stage (step 2), so that you can develop your own method for tracking and monitoring your workplace’s performance.
7. Fine-tune to maintain alignment
Fine-tuning is a continual process. Your partner should stay up-to-date on the way your office is performing. That way, they can help adjust any underperforming aspects. An expert partner will also keep an eye on technological and product advancements so that they can help you incorporate cutting-edge developments in your workplace. “For a workplace to be considered a success, it must achieve a number of things,” says Johnstone. “Chief among them, however, it must actively contribute to business success.”