Many business owners are changing the way they think about productivity in the workplace by creating agile, non-traditional offices. Using telecommuting, third place workspaces, office hoteling, and other fresh techniques, they are creating workplaces that retain the best and brightest employees, increasing productivity, employee satisfaction and increase their profits, too.
Changing an office work style isn’t as simple as a wholesale change and a deployment meeting announcing the changes. Business Owners and managers with office space must rethink how they think about productivity in order to help employees and managers to make a smooth transition. Here are some steps to include in the process to ensure success:
Commit: Determine that you are willing to commit to wholesale change in corporate workstyle and office space. Realize that you are committing not only to changing the office space square footage and layout, but to the amount of face-time you’ll have with employees. Commit to thinking of productivity as accomplishment, not as time at a desk in the office.
Influence and Build Support: If you are a manager, you will need to change the way you think about productivity. it will no longer be the hours worked, but what has been accomplished by those you manage. Business owners or managers must accept that a change in workplace style requires a change in management style; influence and facilitate is the change in thinking that is needed. You will need to change from thinking about office space and hours to thinking of work life and work accomplishments. After all, in an agile, streamlined office space much of the work will not happen inside the walls of the office.
Think Productivity, Not Space Reduction: Agile office spaces have smaller footprints than traditional offices. Up to 50% less space is required, but don’t fall into the trap of making the changes solely to save money on real estate office leases. In fact, the result of the change could be turning your current office space into an agile workspace and expanding staff to grow into new areas of profit. Rethinking productivity and making the changes will work only if you are motivated by a desire to improve the organization and make work life better for those who earn their livings in your company.
Avoid Analysis Paralysis: You want to research how other companies have made changes in productivity workstyles and how they have benefitted and see how those or similar changes can improve your own business. Sure, you need to do some analysis, but don’t let your organization fall into the over-analysis trap. Set a few data points to measure over a short period of time, such as desk occupancy, and use that data to plan changes.
Embrace and Celebrate Change: Business owners and managers must embrace the changes they implement and take time to recognize and celebrate the changes as employees adjust and excel in the work productivity environment. Point out how the changes being deployed can benefit employees and show, by your own actions and attitudes, how you personally embrace and celebrate the new opportunities provided.
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