Realise the true value of your office with a workplace transformation project

Britain needs to get back to business to power up its economy, create jobs and build future opportunities. In my last article, I highlighted that business leaders should seize the initiative and think about how they can transform their organisations for what lies ahead.

In this post, I want to take these thoughts further by focusing on the office. Specifically, how workplace transformation can be the catalyst for positive and proactive change. Acting as the springboard to help your organisation and its people realise a better, more productive, and profitable future.

Facilities Manager with laptop reviewing workplace with a colleague

As we continue to respond to changes in our working lives, most organisations are now focused on how they get their employees back to work safely and efficiently. But is bringing them back to the same workplace they left many months ago really going to give you, or your employees, the best opportunity for the future?

Reverting back to a predominately office-based culture may well be a backward step for your business. Consider the fundamental changes which have occurred. The extensive use of cloud platforms, full-time remote working, the digitisation of workflows, and processes. These new technologies and ways of working should be enhanced further, not regressed.

Bringing employees back to business

Likewise, the daily working lives of employees has changed significantly. Many have reevaluated their priorities and found a new work/life balance. Adopting an entirely new, more agile way of working. With 73% of employees expecting more flexible working options in the future.

On the other hand, some have found the past few months less attractive. As many as 68% of employees miss face-to-face chats. This disconnection from conversations, camaraderie, and social interactions have left some feeling isolated.

So, reverting back to a one-dimensional workplace could make your business culture less attractive to talent. As well as slowing processes and potentially leaving you behind the competition.

Why now is the right time for workplace transformation

Disruption can be a catalyst to realise positive change. It’s also an exciting time for business leaders to shape how they want to take their businesses forward.

So now is a great time to consider a workplace transformation project. Transforming your office into a smart and safe workplace that enhances efficiency, optimises processes, and builds a strong culture for all. No matter their working style or needs.

Why workplace transformation will make your office space more valuable

The workplace has always been a valuable asset. But it’s also a costly one. So, taking this opportunity to reimagine how you use it makes sense.

It’s a great environment in which to bring people together to collaborate, inspire, share, and create IP. Digitising processes and workflows will bring more efficiency, improve security, enable the automation of repeatable tasks, and create flexibility.

But it’s a poor place to try and house all your employees all of the time, week after week. That’s expensive, demoralising and limiting for employees.

But now isn’t the time to make a knee-jerk decision. Many businesses have already closed offices or are currently considering a vast reduction in floor space. But before making radical decisions its good practice to have considered all the implications – our workplace transformation guide offers some great ideas and advice.

Realise the true value of your office

The future workplace needs to be a central hub for creativity and inspiration. A seamless digital environment where your employees come to immerse, connect, collaborate, and be productive.

Equally, the workplace needs to extend seamlessly beyond the physical office. Enabling individuals to be equally productive and connected whilst on the move or working remotely. Basically, anywhere an employee feels comfortable working. Whether that be at home, in a café or indeed in the office.

Successful business workplaces must fully meet the needs of employees, customers, security, the environment, and well-being.

The importance of face-to-face interactions

The most valuable aspect of the existing workplace is people-to-people interactions. This is when the real value is added, either in the form of inspiration and innovation or simply through collaboration and face-to-face interactions.

Whilst remote collaboration has, by and large, enabled organisations to continue with ‘business as usual’, the limitations of screen conversations can sometimes remove the rich, immersive experiences of face-to-face sessions. So, an ability to leverage both creates an ideal balance for any business.

Transform workplace experiences

As many as 49% of employees are currently concerned about social distancing if they return to work. So, to meet the needs of all employees, the workplace needs to be both smart and safe.

‘Smart’ to provide the right employee experience.  Support with the right blend of technologies, working practices, and processes. Delivering a consistent employee experience no matter where they are.

‘Safe’ by addressing the anxiety that your people may currently be feeling.  Adapt your workspaces to prioritise wellbeing without compromising the experience.

Making decisions about the best approach for workplace transformation can be a complex project. Requiring input and leadership across many areas of your business. Operations, IT, HR, Legal, and Finance will all have a key role to play. So, having a project leader who has a broad yet objective view will be vital.

Our experience suggests that Facilities Managers, working with an experienced business partner, are ideally suited to this task.

Getting started with workplace transformation

Our latest guide ‘Reimagine your workplace’ explores why now is the perfect opportunity to rethink your workplace. In this workplace transformation guide you’ll discover:

  • Core thoughts and considerations for the future
  • How to create a smart and safe workplace
  • Tools and processes for seamless remote working
  • Technology will enable better process automation
  • Infrastructure and cloud technology for digital transformation

If you would like more advice on workplace transformation or help with an existing project, please get in touch.

Phil Keoghan

Chief Executive Officer of Ricoh Northern Europe

Read all articles by Phil Keoghan