Workplace Transformation that Works
Making the Most of Office Moves and Restacks
The corporate world is in the midst of a global real estate realignment, as major companies work to relocate, consolidate or otherwise transform their physical workplaces. It’s a phenomenon brought on by other business mega-trends such as the explosion of mobile working technologies and sustainability programs designed to shrink the corporate footprint. Ultimately, a well-executed real estate transformation can bring forth a bounty of cost savings, increased employee satisfaction, greater collaboration and productivity, and reduced environmental impact. Getting to that state, however, is a change initiative of mammoth proportions.
Our client, a multinational Fortune 10 company, faced a unique set of circumstances with its real estate portfolio in one particular market. The client had recently merged with and acquired several other companies. As a result, offices were scattered throughout the city and suburbs, making it difficult for team members to work together efficiently. An earlier attempt at consolidation had backfired, disrupting employees and stifling productivity. The client needed to get it right this time, and called in Expressworks to lead a transformation.
One of the biggest challenges the project faced was selling the benefits of moving from traditional offices to open workspace. The results from a prior move were not good, with 46 percent of employees saying they were dissatisfied with their new environment. So Expressworks began by asking for input. We organized a team of employee representatives, facilities personnel, and other stakeholders to agree on standard workspace designs and transition plans for more than a million square feet of interiors. Then we helped them develop an efficient, repeatable move process that everyone could get behind.
Keys to success included visible executive sponsorship, an effective governance council to make quick decisions, and strategic communications throughout the project to keep stakeholders informed and inspired. After guiding the first implementation to success, we transitioned the standardized process to the client’s operations group, allowing them to take the lead on the build-out of additional facilities.
Happy people do the best work
By the end of our engagement, seven office buildings were consolidated into three, building out and/or converting 2.8 million square feet of office space and moving nearly 10,000 employees to redesigned workspaces. Post-project surveys and analysis drew high marks for employee satisfaction, productivity ratings increased, and each subsequent move took less time than the one before it. Today, the client has adopted Expressworks’ design standards as its own, as it continues to reshape its physical footprint for a more prosperous future.
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