Creating your productive, flexible working environment
Hybrid, agile, distributed? There are lots of different workplace design models. What we know to be true is that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed staff expectations of the workplace permanently, with a heavy focus on a more flexible way of working. This has put pressure on organisations to design and communicate their permanent post-COVID working arrangements.
Creating a flexible and productive working environment requires a shift in organisational thinking that doesn’t magically happen once you have redesigned your workspace, rolled out laptops and implemented a working from home policy.
We can help you to design and implement a post-pandemic working environment that optimises the productivity of your workforce, and fosters a culture where people focus on outcomes, not attendance.
“Covid-19 has accelerated a trend towards more flexible schedules and virtual work, but it’s also pushing organisations to rethink purpose of the office and reinvent the structure and schedules as we start to carve out our new normal.”
– Anne-Laure Fayard on the HBR IdeaCast
Designing your flexible working environment
Designing and implementing an effective flexible working environment requires your place, technology, practices, and people to be interconnected. To optimise productivity & efficiency, you first need to be clear on your organisation objectives at a strategic level.
There is an employee demand for greater workplace flexibility, with many of our clients favouring a hybrid model. According to Peakon’s 2020 Employee Expectation’s report, people want some element of remote working in the future with an 18% increase in demand for flexible working from the previous year.
We can help you to create an effective workplace strategy & design that includes home working, whilst optimising collaboration and productivity. The Peakon report concludes that “when employees feel heard and supported, they are empowered and motivated to help you drive your business forward.” (source)
To work effectively in a virtual setting, technology is an important element that underpins your workplace strategy. For example, The Gap wanted to give their hourly employees greater freedom and flexibility, so they have rolled out an app that enables more control over their schedules. A Workstream article explains how the app was rolled out and how it affected employees and customers.
We can help you to create a technology strategy that supports your chosen workplace strategy. This not only covers your equipment, but also addresses how you continuously provide user support and maintain your equipment.
Alongside your workplace and technology strategy, we help you to put working practices in place. This includes organisational policies, processes, and a performance management framework. No matter where your employees are working, everyone is clear on expectations, optimising employee satisfaction and productivity.
In the short-term, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shared their answers to frequently asked questions about managing remote working and business closures during the pandemic.
Ultimately, your people and culture is what makes your working environment effective. Productivity and staff satisfaction come from a culture where outcomes matter, rather than attendance.
Amongst other aspects of post-pandemic workplace design, Anne-Laure Fayard explains that organisational culture is just as important as your physical workplace on HBR IdeaCast. Fayard explains that it’s important to build cultural norms that make socialisation, learning and collaboration expected behaviours. Listen to the podcast.
We help you to develop a culture that enables your working practices through leadership development, coaching, and practical support (lead by example).
Examples of other workplace designs
Spotify’s ‘My Work Mode’
Spotify are introducing ‘My Work Mode’, which allows employees to choose for themselves where they work. In their HR blog, they also address the need for a flexible working culture which is “built on trust, communication, collaboration, and connection.” The company have also “considered labour law, tax and insurance readiness” to support their chosen model.
Read more here
Twitter’s work from home ‘forever’
Twitter were decentralising their workforce before the pandemic hit, and were one of the first major organisations to encourage employees to work from home ‘forever’.
Read more here
Goldman Sachs return to the office
A article in the Guardian explains that Goldman Sachs are preparing to return to their London office with the same set up as pre-pandemic times. Some have scrutinised this decision.
Read more here
Automattic’s distributed workplace
This technology company have a ‘distributed’ workforce where employees are located across the world. The CEO shares his tips for building distributed capability in this Ted Talk.
Watch the video
How we can help you
Below are the stages we go through when supporting organisation design and implement a workplace that’s fit for now and the future.
We can offer facilitation and coordination from end-to-end, or support you at individual stages. Our Implementation Manager can co-ordinate and lead the delivery of the planning and implementation phase for you.
“We simply could not have implemented the changes without Ad Esse’s support”
We have operated as a distributed organisation since inception; ever since we were founded in 2004, Ad Esse staff have worked virtually with the freedom, tools, support and resources to deliver quality outputs for our clients, in the way that works best for them.
If you’re looking to create a productive, flexible working environment, we can help you to establish a clear vision for your future and make it a reality.
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