Workplace Strategy 101
For Savills, workplace strategy is the dynamic alignment of an organization’s work patterns with the work environment to enhance employee experience and optimize real estate. It’s essential to use this time for a change and think about your workplace, work, and people. Workplace strategy is about analyzing what’s working, what’s not, and the things your organization would like to keep.
Having a workplace strategy means that you can:
- Define future space requirements
- Navigate change
- Plan for remote work
- Consolidate space and culture
- Identify policies, tools, and technology for future ways of working
The first thing is to identify what service lines are available to work on your organization’s workplace strategy. In this rendition of Alliance U, we discussed:
- Workplace strategy and utilization: looking at the current state of the organization and doing a headcount analysis
- Change management: implementing a plan and mapping the journey for these changes
- Wellness programming: through certification and wellness initiatives
- Workplace technology and innovation: finding tools to serve the needs of the organization best
- Return to office planning: using surveys and future programming to have a better idea of how this process will unfold
- Hybrid and remote work consulting: planning and setting focus groups to find the best way to strategize about this
Thinking about a comprehensive strategy
The workplace strategy will vary for all organizations, especially those dealing with global and national teams. As Kelly Creighton from Savills explains, “what’s happening over here in this city isn’t necessarily happening over here in this city.” Because of this, a comprehensive strategy is broken down by short-term, long-term, and ongoing goals are paramount. Example decisions to be made to create your workplace strategy include:
- What’s the goal for long-term office usage?
- What is the space assignment policy?
- Do you want an open or closed work environment?
- Are there required days in the office?
- How are remote days assigned?
- How will employees work together?
- What are the ongoing policy changes to support how work is being done?
Sample comprehensive workplace engagement
The process to draft a comprehensive workplace and change process is different for everyone. However, here’s an estimated timeline based on the most common procedures and activities needed.
Discovery Phase: Collect data and outline
- Historical data
- Floorplan analysis
- Employee survey
- Occupancy scenarios
- Direction setting
Define Phase: Determine the details
- Leadership interviews
- Employee focus groups
Deliver Phase: Finalize decisions
- Space requirements
- Leadership consensus
Employee Engagement: Embrace the change
Embed Change: Maintain the momentum
Surabhi Raman from Savills also pointed out the importance of looking at the global trends we see in the workplace. For any organization looking at strategy building, it’s essential to look at the bigger picture and learn about the latest trends. Some of the most popular trends include:
- A focus on the total experience
- Adapt to flexibility
- Focus on well-being
- Pay attention to digital equality
- Don’t ignore the gig economy
The importance of wellness
Workplace strategy and how to fight The Great Resignation focuses on wellness. It provides an essential amenity for attracting and retaining employees. It meets people’s higher standards for workplace health, safety, and comfort post-COVID-19. Plus, there’s a solid evidence base for supporting employee productivity and success.
Interestingly, wellness benefits were seen as a luxury offering not too long ago. Today, our global health crisis has heightened consciousness about health and wellness. Making it more important than ever to support employee recruitment and retention.
Organizations should focus on building an environment with wellness in mind. Things like air quality, functional design, adaptable spaces, and thermal comfort pave the road for a wellness strategy. Using programs and policies focused on health, such as food services, active incentive programs, parental support, and progressive workplace policies, can help reinforce an organization’s culture.
To put this into number, having a wellness strategy can reduce operation costs 6:1. Estimates say it can increase employee engagement by 56%, with 14% of companies seeing revenue growth. Companies that create cultures of health see an 11% lower turnover than employers who did little to prioritize employee wellbeing.
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