The Economics of Workplace: The Decisions you Make Today Create Tomorrow’s Success

Companies spend billions of dollars on their work environment; dollars are spent not only on workplace as a space but workplace as a culture. Managing costs while providing exceptional experiences for employees is an ongoing challenge. Today’s workplace optimization trends provide opportunities but also add complexity and confusion. An individualized workplace strategy with tactical action steps, will help your company stay competitive and in-step with today’s workplace shifts without losing control of your costs or culture.


Here are five workplace innovation steps that can help empower your company now and stay aligned in the future.


#1 Take an honest look at your employee experience

Develop an ‘employee is a customer’ approach. By creating a hospitality mindset you can enable your company to identify key areas of employee enjoyment and dissatisfaction. Create a team of stakeholders to define employee experience as individuals, teams and departments. This team of stakeholders can ask employees what they have and don’t have to realize their ideal workday and be most effective in their job. Decide which data points and measurements, such as sick days and satisfaction surveys, will be most helpful to determine the current status of employee experience and what future success could look like.


#2 Utilize the technology you have and the “IoT” you don’t have

Intelligent devices and The Internet of Things (IoT) are influencing every aspect of our lives. Digital connectivity is supporting the interactivity of facilities and business systems for the benefit of the user. Companies can anticipate for more responsive controls and communication efficiencies by identifying where the potential for IoT exists in the organization today and where it could be in the future. Using the previously established principles of what an improved workplace means for your company, IoT can help companies find the intersection of optimized access, security and productivity for their unique workplace that lead to cost saving solutions and an overall return on investment.


#3 Make health and wellness part of the bottom line

New technological advancements, coupled with a heightened awareness of the correlation between health and work, is making wellness in the workplace a hot-button topic for all companies looking to improve their workplace. Wellness is driven by environment but also by behavior. Employee and employer both have a role to play, but companies who integrate wellness and human design into their workplace have the opportunity to shape their overall business success. First, create a wellness plan with the help of human resources to make sure all groups and company policies are considered. Next, identify the potential to incorporate “Well Building” elements into the workplace; for example, simple shifts in floor plans and common areas may encourage more interaction and activity. Finding the right balance of wellness and human design, then rolling it out in methodical steps and company communication, is key to supporting a happy, healthy workplace.


#4 Help your people collaborate and collocate

Plenty has already been said about the co-working trend. Opinions vary on the staying power of the trend, but the evidence is clear - co-working environments and services have magnetic qualities people and organizations want for their own. Choice, flexibility and concierge all play a large role in a great employee experience. A company can identify core assets and flexible employee positions to determine if outsourcing a portion of their real estate makes sense. Additionally, an examination of the communication and tools employees use daily can help determine if more autonomy is possible outside and inside the organization.


#5 Adopt change as a constant

One way to adapt to change, is to take an example from technology, and see it as continuous. Promoting participation in an agile organization means providing an environment that can evolve as well. Create multiple focus areas in a modular floor plan to support team projects encouraging employees to collaborate with others in a fluid and flexible fashion. Placing cross department adjacencies with small huddle spaces nearby can foster spontaneous sharing of ideas and information. But make sure that the space can continually change to the needs of your business and talent. You must constantly measure against yourself (Step #1) knowing that, like technology, there is always a “Software Update” that can be made to make the workplace even better.


"Ingraining the co-working mentality in your real estate strategy will result in enhanced employee satisfaction and retention."


Want to put it all together?

Create a Workplace Strategy that aligns your strategic assets and engages your Stakeholders, Facilities, Human Resources, Finances and Technology. To create your unique strategy, contact a Colliers International | Minneapolis-St. Paul Workplace Innovation Strategist to have a confidential conversation about how to get started.


Dan Peterson
Vice President Workplace Innovation

Colliers International | Minneapolis - St. Paul
Connect with Dan

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September 6, 2019

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