The term “new ways of working” is fast becoming much more than a footnote in the corporate boardroom agenda these days. It can deliver real, long-term advantages to your workplace if it is properly understood and implemented. The four principle factors to deciding on an alternative workplace strategy are below and are easily quantifiable in the short, medium and long term.
Greatly reducing Commercial real estate needs and costs – Companies have traditionally strived to have between 100 and 200 square feet per employee but, by employing alternative workplace strategies such as teleworking, smart working and outsourcing, this can be brought down to as low as 50 square foot per employee. Yes, we are talking about serious savings here.
Increasing productivity – Contrary to corporate belief, employees do not live to travel the long commute to a corporate building just so they can spend 60% of their lives in a glass box and the new generation of employees just don’t see any sense in it. Not only is the workplace full of efficiency wasting distractions but it also plays tricks on the mind, because, just by being at the workplace there is a feeling that we are already working. This is contrary to when an employee is working from home where the difference between being productive or not is much easier to measure as well as the fact that the employee is always eager to show how much more productive they can be in a comfortable environment, so they just work harder.
Boosting staff retention and satisfaction – Home / work life balance is just so difficult these days and any flexibility given to employees to help is normally greatly appreciated. A study was done recently with University leavers who said that they expected to never be in one job for more than a 2 year period. Employers now have to work much harder for that loyalty that came so naturally before.
Providing flexibility across the organization – This is key because in this economic environment companies need to be able to change direction to react to whatever is thrown at them that day. The Wall Street Journal famously said after the 2001 recession that companies who could not change direction on a dime in this economy would not survive, no matter how big they are. This was true then and is still true today. This is not a matter of workspace preference its about economic survival.
The issue is not that companies wont embrace new ways of working its just that so few brokers and consultants really understand how to analyze and implement a strategy for companies of all sizes, together with the medieval attitude that still remains in some areas of corporate America that our workplace is our castle. In reality this is just a thinly shrouded way of saying that I like to see my company name on the biggest building in town or that size really does matter.
We at Your Office Agent don’t propose that this is an all or nothing strategy and the opposite is actually true. Companies should analyze this by employee and review daily depend on the 4 principal factors we mentioned. If you are to be successful in this type of work style change then you need all the help you can get to help to guide you through the maze of opportunities and pitfalls that come hand in hand with implementing a highly effective and productive plan for your company.
New ways of working is also sometimes called “agile working” and as the ultimate agile concept of “virtuality” gains ground, creating an internal robust business case for changing the way your company works will become essential. Winning strategies at work are all about success and this success is for both employer and employee, as the concept of VWork delivers dividends in a number of areas.
A very good example of this type of success is a legal firm we are advising who feel they have a unique business model and wish to take advantage of the low cost / high impact market entry options available today. Their entry strategy is to take executive suite offices and virtual offices in 20 new cities immediately, start their advertising straight away helped by low facilities operational costs and then follow up by increasing office size by market as their operation grows and reducing space when not. Here is the genius in this case. The company become global in a 3 month period and can change their office cost in line with their business success. Smart working to reflect a new world if you ask us with virtually no upfront fit out costs and an additional saving of $300,000 in year one against the next best traditional business facility plan available to them. it also reads very nicely on the balance sheet for their investors.
We at Your Office Agent help many of our clients with change management and strongly recommend some level of agile working in every organization. This does not mean that we encourage extreme change but your company should continually be reinventing itself to both stay competitive in this new business world we live in and also show your teams that your money is being spent on them and the marketing of their product, not expensive inefficient real estate.
This is not complicated. Just seek to really understand all your options, not just the traditional ones and live by the rules of the “KISS principle” when choosing a consultant partner and implementing your policy. Everyone has to understand the why and how and you wont go wrong.
Good luck and let us know how Your Office Agent can help you.