Many large employers are reconsidering the physical layout and features of their office space.
People have shown that working from home can be more productive, so why would we dampen that productivity? Why wouldn’t we instead make it easier to use the office for collaboration, and the home office for concentration?
The Harvard Business Review quote from 2015 is just as relevant today: “isolate to concentrate, convene to collaborate.” – it’s a good guide for our work styles.
Where you have a chance to redesign the work style in your office, don’t make these rookie mistakes:
- Don’t set unreasonable expectations about sharing behaviours: it is not reasonable to expect people to jump off shared workstations every fifteen minutes, or even every hour.
- Don’t bring baggage from managing working from home during the COVID crisis: bad habits have crept into some teams, such as poor meeting practices and bad calendar management, and not having the right information flow about the work.
- Don’t overlook the high correlation between workplace satisfaction and engagement, shown by research from Steelcase. Yes, save money on your lease if that is what you’re looking to achieve, but take the chance to make your workplace even better, not worse. Don’t forget the critical importance of engagement for productivity.
- Don’t create workstation ratios that rule out productive work styles for a good portion of your workforce. This is the most common mistake I see from employers. Instead, understand your work style, so you can design your office to suit it. If you need some help, get in touch – we can set you up with our tested and proven work style survey.
- Lastly and most importantly, flexible employers have always known there are three enablers of a flexible workplace: three legs of the stool. The ones you know: office design and mobile technology; and the one you usually forget about: a ‘flexible first’ mindset and behaviours. The people and culture element is the hardest part to manage. If you need help working that out, that is our speciality.