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Make Your Office Work – Breakfast Seminar Review

Last week we hosted our first breakfast seminar entitled - 'Make Your Office Work - The Case For Change...'

Our panel of experts included our own Head of Design, Simon Hart, Hannah Nardini, Workplace Strategist & Managing Director of WK Space and Sarah Booth, Design Manager at, Kinnarps.

The panellists spoke about influencing and handling cultural changes in the design of your workplace and answered our guests’ questions regarding adapting to those changes. We’ve highlighted a few of the key take-away messages below.

Your office design starts with your people

Engaging with members of your team is crucial in transforming your workforce. In order to understand what needs have to be responded to, turn to representatives from each different team that make up your business to find out from a first-hand perspective what is currently working for them and what’s not. This is key in understanding your current workplace culture. Once you get a full understanding, you can then decide whether it needs to change or whether you want to nurture your existing culture.

Empowerment of choice

The most successful workplaces are the ones that build a culture of trust.

Over the last decade we’ve seen a new appreciation for differences emerge and there is now significant research to back up the belief that designing for different types of workers, eg introverts and extroverts will help you to achieve more efficiency from your workforce.

The panellists all agreed that although these ideas are often embraced and in turn implemented into the design of a new workplace, after occupation these spaces are often underutilised due to workplace cultures that lack trust.

If you are moving to a space that introduces new ways of working you must implement the appropriate cultural changes to work alongside this and allow staff to feel like they can be trusted to work in these spaces.

Make sure staff are aware they have a choice of work spaces and encourage these spaces be used.

Day 1 is the beginning not the end..

The end of your refurbishment is not the end of your journey but really – the beginning. Usually, it takes around 6 – 8 months for a team to settle in and for you to see your culture change after moving into your new office. It is vital to be open to feedback in these first months and similarly be on the lookout for any negative behaviours that are forming to stamp them out before they become a habit.

We would like to thank our speakers and guests for joining us – our next talk will be held in February, and we’ll be discussing the effects Brexit has had on office markets across the UK and Europe – stay tuned for more details!