So you’re sold on the idea of future-proofing… now what?
Guest post by Bernice Boucher, Officerenew.com
You’re sold on the idea of future-proofing – who doesn’t want to set their company up for success down the road? You know the five steps of future-proofing, but now you want to know how to put it all together. After all, the proof is in the results.
The following checklist provides examples for how to go about these five future-proofing steps:
Identify and prioritize the most likely drivers for workplace change in your immediate future. Do your research on industry trends. For instance, “presentee-ism” is a recent trend in the workplace, stressing the importance of face-to-face collaboration to spur increased innovation and teamwork. You may want to future-proof your workplace by designing a collaborative workspace with more team rooms and huddle spaces.
Consider how the workplace can set companies up for success during changing times. Much of this comes down to agility. Align your portfolio with your company goals so that you realize a more fluid match between a relatively fixed supply (real estate) and an often volatile demand (people). When you create flexible space, you can better adapt to shifting workforce size and demands in less time and with lower costs.
Consider the consequences of not being prepared to meet these challenges creatively. Borders and Barnes & Noble provide the perfect example of this. One went under and the other stayed solvent by anticipating change and proactively implementing workplace strategies that better aligned their people, space and technology with their business goals. This is future-proofing at its core.
Leverage industry best practices to get ahead in the game.
Employee engagement: Engaged employees want to come to work. They ‘activate’ facilities with positive energy and keep you competitive.
Enterprise alignment: Aligning space with enterprise values and goals fosters a sense of identity, sending a clear message externally to the market and internally to employees.
Top talent: Create an environment that is attractive to top talent. For example, Silicon Valley companies provide transport to and from work and have created suburban campuses that provide meals, dry cleaning services, gyms, daycare and more.
Function driven: Focus on how people need to work. Offer employees choices of work settings – mobility based and office based – to promote work-life balance.
Flexibility: Align the real estate portfolio for flexibility and cost savings – it’s easier to move people than walls and desks. A well-designed workspace can grow over time, upgrade as new technology emerges and adapt to changing ways of working.
Data analytics: Leverage data to create value. Track trends, measure progress, understand industry metrics, model your options, follow best practices, aggregate information globally – and integrate all of this with your own data.
Start today! Start with a clear vision of who you are, what your goals are and where you need to go. Work with experts who understand best practices. Establish benchmarks, set up a data collection process and use metrics to guide your decisions. Most importantly, start building flexibility into your real estate portfolio so that you can respond intelligently to changes down the road. Change is a constant – so why not be prepared for it?
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