COVID-19, Coronavirus, the global pandemic has put the workplace into a spin. At present the signage companies are doing well. But what happens when we peel up the COVID-19 floor stickers and take down the Coronavirus posters?
There’s been a lot of talk about the future of the workplace amid the pandemic. What should your real-estate strategy be? Should you down-size, end leases early? Who will be coming back to work, who will continue to work from home, what will the office be used for and how much space will that need?
Maybe you have postponed a workplace or office move? Now is the time to think creatively about how you can get your existing workplace to do more for you. This could help with staff moral and create a stronger unity between the personality of your organisation, your people and the physical places they work.
The future workplace should create unity seamlessly, enabling your brand personality to come to life. Creating a strong collaborative culture even in a time with challenges like social distancing is vital. The future workplace will be highly flexible and light on its feet, it will be highly adept at managing change. How can the virtual office world capture your brand values, how do you develop culture in a world where we are not always in one place?
Leaderships that put workplace strategy at the heart of their organisation alongside, technology, product delivery and brand marketing will be stronger. Properties teams have often been put to one side, but now they are centre stage, how we behave and operate in our brand homes needs to be discussed regularly at board level working closely with HR.
Many will see the peeling of stickers and removal of posters as the beginning of the new era, but we are told that a pandemic could happen again, therefore the future workplace needs be multi-location and flexible. RAW Brothers have been working with organisations to create coworking spaces, local working hubs and office HQs for many years. A broader perspective on the connection from home to local to cities is now becoming the reality.
Workplace safety is paramount, but workplace strategy is too. Those organisations that adopt a post covid-19 workplace strategy will forge ahead quickly. The foresight to see the future workplace isn’t actually that complex, methodologies we have been using for many years give obvious clues for taking you forward in this new normal.
If you haven’t already done this you need to identify the personality of your business. How does your business personality express the purpose of your business? And how is this expressed in the built environment and the growing virtual world? This can be done in many ways for example have you thought about the user experience journey around your office or taken a look to see what it feels like to be on the other end of virtual experience?
Talk to your people about your organisations personality, how is it expressed, what are its strengths, how does it impact and effect the culture? Can your staff and teams be part of a creative workplace strategy. Making that strong connection across departments, teams and individuals will strengthen your organisation. What are the lockdown stories and new skills that people have developed how can you encourage these?
Uniting the personality to people through the place creates a powerful connection. And we are not talking about one place but multiple. Your workplace strategy must be flexible enough to bring consistency across different locations and expressions of ‘workplace’ e.g. the home, local hub, to the HQ.
Peel up the floor stickers, take down the posters – what next…
…Everyone everywhere unite personality, people and place.
Images courtesy of Unslpash United Nations COVID-19 Response
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