"Workplace Strategy aligns the organisation’s work patterns and culture with its physical environment to meet current and future needs."
The future of work hinges on how our organisations and workplace environment can support activities in the face of biological, economic, technological, and cultural disruptions.
Recent global disruptions have shown that the structures of known work routines and the purpose of the workplace have the potential to be redefined. Considering these developments of the ‘new normal’ – and further broadened with thoughts of what could be considered the ‘next normal’ - it is more imperative than ever that organisations look towards developing or updating their Workplace Strategy.
Workplace Strategy defined
Workplace Strategy aligns the organisation’s work patterns and culture with its physical environment. The aim of a Workplace Strategy is to provide data and intelligence on the organisation, people, and work culture, ensuring that the resulting environmental design meets client’s needs and vision. Common project drivers identified in the strategy process for new workplaces are enhancing performance of the organisation, reduce operating costs, and enhancing the organisation’s market position, culture and brand.
Workplace Strategy is about solving problems for organisations and helping organisations achieve their goals. A workplace strategy typically addresses and provide recommendations for the following key themes: organisation (business model, service, goals), people and culture, technology, space and environment, workflows, and experience (point of difference). The themes are inter-connected to create a dynamic and complex narrative of who the organisation is, their future aspirations, and how this can translate into tangible outcomes.
Workplace Strategy solutions are often represented in the final product of a physical workplace design, however they are equally effective as non-physical outcomes, such as new workplace policies and practices. Common Workplace Strategy services or activities include undertaking pre-design briefing works, real estate, and property analysis and recommendations, brand vision and client-organisational review, and qualitative and quantitative user data collection and analysis.
Strategy vs Project Briefing
Workplace Strategies differs from a regular project briefing in that it provides more comprehensive, data-driven outcomes. Where briefing may cover the specifics relating to a current site or one project, Workplace Strategy provides a future-driven and in-depth plan with potential applications for multiple projects.
Effective Workplace Strategy processes follow best-practice methodologies from academic theory regarding organisational design, change management, business management, social research, and environmental psychology to engage with organisations. These methodologies are also complemented by knowledge or skillsets in design, architecture, real estate, or urbanism to offer a holistic overview of strategic recommendations and solutions.
Highlighting that not ‘one size fits all’, Workplace Strategy explores various strategies from Agile and Activity Based Workplaces (ABW) to hybrid strategies and other contemporary office typologies with finding the best fit solution for each organisation. Workplace Strategy is a user-experience focused process with benefits that go beyond getting a fresh new workplace.
Realising the benefits
An effective Workplace Strategy will:
- Align workplace with broader organisational vision.
- Unlock space efficiency – reduces the amount of ‘dead’ space.
- Informed property selection.
- Improve organisational culture.
- Align brand and improve market positioning.
- Leverage disruptions and new ways of working – multigenerational workplace, technology, COVID-19, knowledge exchange, share economy, integrating wellbeing.
- Support change management.
- Evidence-based design solutions.
- Improve staff engagement and retention.
- Reduce costs.
- Create memorable experiences and destinations.
Positioning for the Future
Strategy data can become the launch pad for future projects. Workplace Strategy can help to provide a solid plan, through data and evidence-based solutions, to navigate and mitigate through contemporary disruptions. Workplace Strategy explores future ways of working and the opportunities they present in enhancing current workplaces, as well as they can take organisations in the planning and design of engaging new workplaces of the future.
How we can help?
As recognised leaders in workplace strategy and design, WMK bring innovation and intelligence to your entire project. Our Workplace Strategy involves numerous levels of engagements, consultation, data gathering and analysis tailored to suit the needs of our clients. Outcomes are presented graphically and virtually incorporating strategic test fit plans and look and feel imagery, as appropriate, in addition to the standard written report. We go further in leveraging your brand and values to instill organisational culture, engage clients and add significant value to your building and people assets.
For more information or to gain a copy of our Workplace Strategy capability statement please contact us.