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4 Ways Businesses Can Optimize Their Workplace Strategy

It’s common for even the most productive employees to ask this — extremely — painful question. According to a recent report from global business strategy firm DEGW, the day’s “wasted minutes” really add up – one company reported a loss of 19 minutes per employee, per day, due to various distractions.That same company later decided to renovate its office and broader workplace strategy by optimizing the site for flexibility between openness and privacy. After the redesign, this office lost only 7 minutes per employee.It may not sound like much, but this workplace redesign will save the company 50 manhours, per employee, every single year. That’s more than a week in productivity you’re getting back for each employee, just by optimizing your workplace.

1. RESEARCH EXISTING WORKFLOWS

Talk to your employees about their existing workflows and pain points. Find out what’s good, what’s just okay, and what could benefit from a round of improvements.

You can start this process by launching a company-wide survey. But don’t just make this an impersonal all-staff email. Talk to team members one-on-one, and encourage them to fully articulate their concerns about the current workspace. Look for patterns in responses, segmented by team and job function. You’ll be well positioned to optimize your workplace strategy around real needs.

2. EMPOWER EMPLOYEES WITH FLEXIBILITY

Workspaces aren’t black and white. An open floor plan isn’t necessarily better for collaboration than cubicles and offices. It all depends on the employee.

In a corporate setting, having a mix of both is a wise strategy. Give employees the flexibility to choose when they need privacy or time to collaborate. Empower teams with the resources necessary to make their own decisions, and build an atmosphere based on trust.

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3. INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY TOOLS

Technology makes it possible for global teams to collaborate in real time. However, there is significant room for error with this workflow. Conference lines drop calls. Videoconferencing tools stop working. Email and IM go down.

As part of the survey you’re running in step #1, conduct a technology audit. Ask team members what technology pain points they’re experiencing and what workplace strategy solutions or ideas they recommend for a smoother office experience.

When it comes to productivity and creativity, your office is only the first step. It’s equally important to bridge connections between worldwide offices. The easier it is to talk, the more effectively you can communicate.

4. HIRE AN OFFICE DESIGNER OR CONSULTANT

Don’t force team members to take time away from their days to create a “decorating committee.” Instead, work with an established culture designer. This individual will have likely worked with offices—and teams—that are similar to yours. He or she has exposure to a number of organizations that are going through what your team is experiencing right now, and can suggest best practices that can make a real difference.


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