If you’re thinking about embarking upon a change in the way your office works, it’s vital that you do a good amount of planning before you make the slightest move. Changing things without consulting those it affects, e.g. your employees sat at their office desks, can have hugely negative consequences, and can even dramatically affect productivity in the long-run.
Despite that, there are many different office systems which work wonderfully well for specific settings. It’s vital that you choose the right type of system for your office, and think about the pro's and con's of all the major big-hitters, before you make a final decision. What works for one company won’t necessarily work for another, and it’s often the case that a specific system needs to be tweaked a little, in order to ebb and flow in the right way for those working within it.
When we talk about office systems we’re referring to things like hot desking, an agile working environment, open plan offices, opting for a team working environment with collaborative office desks, when perhaps you were more individualised before, and finding the right fit for your office.
Every single system has pro's and con's, so research is your number one starting point. Head online and look into what each system is, and some other systems that may crop up in the near future. Office working environments are always shifting and changing and new endeavours are being thought up every single day.
So, where should you start? You know you want to make a change in your office space planning and methods, you know that something needs to alter, but you can’t for the life of you figure out your starting point. Let’s give you some ideas.
Step 1 – Research
We just mentioned that you need to research the specific types of office working systems and weigh up the pro's and con's of each. Make a list, brainstorm, write down everything you find out, because you’e going to need to present it to other people before a decision is made.
Step 2 – Streamline your research
In order to move through the process you need to streamline your research down into coherent notes. Have a page for each system you have found, and list the pro's and con's.
Step 3 – Create a focus group
The next step is the most important one - consulting with your employees. Sit down on your boardroom chair and explain to everyone that you’re thinking about implementing a new office system, but that no decision has yet been made. Explain that you are open to ideas and that you want to set up a focus group of people from all levels, to help come to a decision, taking into account everyone’s views and ideas.
Step 4 – All your focus group to come up with their own ideas
Taking your research into account, ask your focus group to field opinions and pull everything together, coming to a conclusion which they believe is the best one for the office environment.
Step 5 – Explain the decision
Once everyone has agreed on a specific working system, formalise this in an email, a letter, or at a meeting with some comfortable luxury office chairs, and come up with a date when the new system will begin.
Step 6 – Organise your office
Do you need any new contemporary office furniture for the change? Do you need to draw up guidelines? Does anyone need training? Make sure everything is in place before the day of the change.
Making sweeping changes such as this need to be approached with caution. Whilst it’s true that nothing can stay the same forever, when changes are made, it’s important to consult with the people it affects and to ensure they are involved and listened to, every step of the way.
No change is going to be 100% successful all of the time, and when you change to a system like hot desking, you have to expect a few teething problems at first. Having a contingency plan in place and allowing a transitional period will help to calm the waters. After a short while, measure whether the new system is working and if extra changes need to be made, that is the time to make them.