What Is Workplace Strategy?
Workplace Strategy (WPS) is “the dynamic alignment of an organization’s work patterns with the office environment to enable peak performance and reduce costs.” Essentially, it’s a design strategy that takes a long-term approach to design solutions through a thorough understanding of the organization’s long-term and immediate goals.
In a standard office environment, each company department develops its strategy and plan for success. Workplace strategy optimizes a business’s development by coordinating information and processes across all departments (IT, HR, Finance, etc.). This coordination, in turn, creates a system of departments working in tandem to remove inefficiencies and streamline operations.
Bringing in on a third-party (such as DESIGN+BUILD) to design a workplace strategy involves a systematic approach to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your workspace by changing the way the space is configured.
Why workplace strategy
An organization’s physical work environment significantly affects people’s behavior and performance. Therefore, workspaces that have been intentionally designed for the success of their employees can expect a significant return on their investment.
One of the most common and preventable implications of poor office design is what we call “bubbling.” Bubbling occurs when a business’s workspace does not allow organic growth and creates a disconnection between departments. A strategic workspace design eliminates the risk of ‘bubbling’ by creating an office built for scale and connectivity.
Unfortunately, most workspaces are still being designed to be a means of containment rather than an asset for the business.
Benefits of a successful workplace strategy
Implementing a professional workplace strategy ensures that the office becomes a strategic asset and enables your organization to align how they plan and execute towards goals and objectives. In addition, a top-down dedication to workplace strategy will allow organizations to get the greatest return from their investment.
Potential benefits of WPS include:
- Greater talent attraction and retention
- Reduced real estate and facilities costs
- Improved work performance
- Increased organizational agility and flexibility
- Improved communication & collaboration
- Increased creativity & innovation
- Increased employee satisfaction and work-life balance
- Greater brand, image, and cultural identity
- Reduced environmental impact
- Healthier work environments
Case Study – The risk of ignoring WPS
A 2006 study at GE Commercial Finance showed that inefficient use of office space was destroying the company’s performance and client relationships.
The company suffered from severe client dissatisfaction and loss of business in response to loan processing times. Subsequently, they implemented a workplace investigation and pinpointed the culprit: the physical location of critical employees.
They found that loan approval required 22 approval handoffs, a whopping two miles of walking between key departments, and inefficiencies were dragging the approval processes out for several months.
After implementing a workplace strategy from an outside firm, the company restructured single-function departments with cross-functional teams to eliminate the back and forth between departments. After physically reassigning employees, loan processing time dropped to less than a month and required only seven handoffs.
The power of workspace design
The bottom line is that the way we work is changing. The last two years have shown accelerated economic progress and prioritization of employee health that have severely altered the traditional workspace. As a result, strategically planning, designing, and managing the workspace is now necessary to increase the effective use of your space to create a more productive and supportive environment.
A successful modern workplace must evolve to be supportive, flexible, innovative, and agile. For many companies, enabling flexible hybrid working opportunities has allowed them to turn the office into a strategic asset and provide a tangible ROI.
Let DESIGN+BUILD maximize your investment
Not only does WPS create a beautiful and optimized workspace, but a well-designed office is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve your business.
Whether you’re searching for workplace strategies to improve your physical space or embracing a build-out project, our team of workplace strategy experts has helped hundreds of local companies elevate their businesses through design, innovation, and strategy.
Not sure if we can help your business? Give us a call!