How can workplace design support your transformation?

Article 1/4 in the “Leading Transformation” series


By Nabil Sabet
Group Director – New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto

and Charlie Millard
Director, Head of Office – London, Amsterdam, Paris

and Jeni Durksen
Senior Associate, Design – London

and Frances Gain
Senior Associate, Workplace Strategy and Transformation – London, Amsterdam, Paris

Designing workplaces effectively in uncertain times

Change to the ways people live and work is accelerating. In the wake of these shifts, business is undergoing a global revolution. Industries are moving faster than ever, employee demands of their workplaces are changing and employers are facing greater risks.

However, a renewed focus on human-centric office design is helping leaders gain a competitive edge during the transformation of their businesses. In this series of articles, we set out the design strategies that will help your organisation keep pace.

Research by McKinsey highlights significant challenges for transforming companies. An organisation’s leadership are 50% more likely to report successful transformation than their employees, signaling a high risk of failure when change happens without cross-level engagement.

A new approach to designing how people work, supported by a comprehensive change management programme, will enhance its success.

Finding the right people for the project

In the same study, McKinsey also noted that the multiplicity of initiatives was an important success factor, “the more actions an organisation takes, the more likely its transformation is to succeed.”

A workplace designed to support people, their teams and the business at large will boost the chances of a successful and sustained transformation.

In an interview with HR Technologist, Group Director at M Moser, Nabil Sabet noted, “The most impactful efforts we’ve seen are when all facets come together to develop transformation strategies: the head of business (CEO), head of people (COO or HR), head of finance (CFO) and business stakeholders.”

How can organisations get more value from the workplace?

People are key. To achieve holistic change that is supported by everyone in the business - the design solution will refine the “operating system” of the office that governs how people work. Once employees and their working behaviours are aligned to the vision for the future, people using the environment will be positioned to deliver greater value to their organisations over time.

In this series, we discuss three key strategies to support your workplace management processes:

How can workplace design support your transformation? section

Summary of the workplace design strategies

Nurture people

When employees become the champions of transformation, we see deeper and more sustainable change happen. When employee well-being is a priority it becomes easier to attract, retain and nurture high performers. Businesses are changing more rapidly than ever and as a result, people want to be more engaged with an organisation’s mission. In this article, we discuss how this helps to boost motivation and provide long term structure. 

Read more in article 2/4 
How engaged employees drive a more sustainable transformation


Embed innovation

With a clear purpose, staff are able to understand and connect more deeply with customer needs. When the work environment is designed to enable many different skillsets to collaborate effectively with the same goal in mind, businesses can produce faster and more disruptive innovations. Discover the future workplace environments dedicated to experimenting with new ideas that support new kinds of team-based work.

Read more in article 3/4 
The flexible spaces supporting rapid innovation


Embrace change

Stakeholders are seeking new kinds of operational agility and workplaces are becoming more flexible and adaptable as a result. Give staff greater control over their office environments to support their changing needs. Think of your office as a space that’s never quite finished, so it’s ready to be hacked, adjusted and updated as things move forwards. In this article we discuss the design and construction techniques that support constant change. 

Read more in article 4/4
Adapting workplace construction to support business change

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