Humans have a negative approach to change by nature as they believe that they can lose the sense of security related to functioning in well-known surroundings. What is more, a new office or rearrangement of existing space can also contribute to work team's resistance. The best method used in change management is engagement of employees in this process so that they could perceive themselves as the co-authors of the project.
User in the spotlight
According to the idea of human centered design, it is user who stands in the spotlight and their needs and expectations are the most important. This concept is characterized by a creative approach to the process of searching for the best solutions which make any design maximally adjusted to the real needs of its users.
The engagement of employees in the design process of new office space can be multidimensional. Although it is difficult to imagine letting all employees in the design process, it is worth leaving some parts of it to their initiative.
Do you expect effective changes? Engage your employees
In the face of change in office space, companies usually take advantage of a multidisciplinary design group which is composed of experts of the following fields: property management, purchase and administration, communication and marketing, or HR. Diversity of perspectives provides a complex approach to the design process of new office space and supports its effective implementation. However, is this enough for the project to be successful?
These following elements are worth considering during a management process:
Communication – regular informing of employees about particular stages of design.
Partnership – engagement of employees in the design process through examining their needs and inviting them to different initiatives aimed at co-creation of new space.
Adaptation – organization of initiatives and workshops which enable better knowing of functionality of a new office as well as devising some working principles in new space.
Companies more and more frequently organize design groups with whom the assumptions of a new office and design projects are consulted. It is worth making a selection of several representatives out of this group, who would be the so called ambassadors, that is people who are the propagators of changes and who are the connectors between regular employees and management board, making final decisions related to the project. It is also very popular to give people the opportunity of co-creating the project through competitions for the names of meeting rooms or leitmotivs of chosen parts of the office. The effect of such cooperation can be, for instance, a canteen in the vein of an American bar, a meeting room with a photograph wallpaper of Phoenix, or a relaxation zone full of greenery and hidden hammocks. Together with one of our clients, a company from the IT industry, we managed to organize workshops for employees aimed at knowing their needs in the area of office space. The effect of this brain storm was devising of an interesting solution – we arranged a spacious social zone with a chillout room, gym and library with a place for quiet work. What is more, we allowed our employees to arrange their kitchen – they could choose a leitmotif, photograph wallpapers and other accessories – says Sebastian Osuch, Business Services Senior Manager of Nowy Styl Group.
Employees who consider themselves as the coauthors of office space do not have so many problems with undergoing changes, whereas their resistance and negative attitude are minimized. Thanks to the examination of their needs and inviting them to different initiatives, they can create their new space.