The Anatomy of a Highly Effective Workplace Strategy

It took us years and a pandemic to acknowledge that work is what we do and not a place where we go. We've learned that more flexibility enables more creativity, and that less commute time and distractions in the workplace makes us more productive. Today’s workforce is virtually mobile, agile, and collaborative and employees use the work space differently. Organizations need to adapt their office space to the new ways of working, while creating workplace strategies that encompass their employees' preferences.


  • A good workplace strategy is essential for organizations to adapt to new ways of working and employee preferences.
  • Workplace strategy is about everything your people experience every day, enabling delightful workplace experiences that raise teams' levels of engagement and satisfaction while providing business growth.
  • Benefits of a workplace strategy include keeping employees happy and engaged, saving costs, and downsizing while still allowing for growth.
  • To develop a workplace strategy, Deloitte recommends analyzing current demand for space, developing multiple scenarios for future workplace, finding the best integrated solution set to support the workforce, setting a change management strategy, and implementing a governance structure.
  • An effective workplace strategy can transform the way in which the workplace operates, providing frictionless workplace experiences, reducing costs, and increasing overall employee satisfaction.

What Is a Workplace Strategy?

While 65% of employees want flexibility in the workplace, others - more than 40% - believe that "office work" is still best when it comes to being noticed and advancing your career. Employers are in the difficult position to make the most of both worlds, especially in a time when the trend is changing yet again. Establishing a hybrid, "mixed" work environment takes a lot of goodwill and most importantly, strategy.

A good workplace strategy can be defined as an integrated system of space and technology that enables work, wherever it occurs, doubled by effective and consistent HR policies to increase operational efficiency. Your strategy must integrate planning and a change management approach to leverage space and technology in order to lower your costs and positively impact the overall employee performance and satisfaction.

colleagues discussing

Why Do You Need a Workplace Strategy?

You Want to Keep Your Employees Happy and Engaged

You should make joy at work a priority for the welfare of your company. Flexibility is the keyword and you can make your workplace a desirable place and a great experience by creating the choice for employees to be productive from a variety of work settings, including corporate sites, customer locations, at home, etc.

You Don't Want to Send Costs Through the Roof! 

Optimizing your work space will help you save costs, but at the same time you will have to be able to maintain an office presence and accommodate new employee preferences. How? You will have to get the headcount of those who want to have a hybrid schedule and those who want to stay fully remote in order to maintain the balance and simultaneously cut costs - 20-50 percent improvement in asset performance.

You Can Downsize While Still Allowing for Growth

Realign your workspace to better support the kinds of interactions that your people desire. 

Many teams (that balance hybrid and remote workers) are enacting monthly or quarterly meetings so that every employee gets the opportunity to meet and collaborate face-to-face

You can, thus, increase the amount of collaborative space while still keeping some individual workspaces, but not without evaluating the risks:

  • You will have to look at utilization data - i.e., who is using what space. This reveals not only how productive your workforce is but further allows you to measure employee engagement, and if your workplace strategy is successful.
  • Ask your HR to go to the company’s various team leaders and collect data regarding their needs for future headcount. Once HR gets a rough number, they can partner with the CFO, who can potentially forecast future budgets and allowances for talent acquisition. That way you can still downsize the space while factoring in potential growth as it pertains to future headcount.

You Will Unlock the Potential of Your Teams' Efficiency

A good workplace strategy will provide you with the resources and tools to evaluate the optimal way to align your workplace to your work. Mixing a thorough planning of resources with a change management policy and workspace management tools and technology will provide you with the necessary levers to grow your teams' productivity and engagement and to constantly measure the impact of your strategy.

team efficiency

Workplace Strategist Role and Responsibilities

A thriving workplace strategy starts with an able strategist who grasps the intricate interplay between people, space, and processes. Think of workplace strategists as architects designing blueprints for organizational prosperity. Their responsibilities are manifold yet revolve around one pivotal goal - forging workforce strategies that best harness available resources while enhancing workflow efficiency.

What Does a Workplace Strategist Do?

A workplace strategist is responsible for developing and implementing workplace strategies that align with an organization's goals and objectives. This can involve analyzing data and trends, engaging with employees and stakeholders, designing and implementing workplace solutions, and measuring the success of workplace initiatives. The role of a workplace strategist can vary depending on the organization and industry, but generally involves working closely with leadership and other stakeholders to create a workplace environment that supports the organization's goals and objectives.

How Do You Develop a Workplace Strategy?

Companies must embrace flexibility and innovation at every turn to cruise into the future with confidence. This begins by laying down robust building blocks tailored for dynamic hybrid teams.

Conducting a Needs Assessment and Analysis

Understanding your workforce's intricate dynamics is pivotal for any effective workplace strategy. Think of it as taking your team's pulse—identifying what invigorates them and what may be dragging them down.

  • Gauge current engagement levels: Use surveys or direct feedback tools to measure how connected your employees feel to their teammates and tasks.
  • Analyze job functions for adaptability: Determine which roles are amenable to remote work without jeopardizing productivity.
  • Examine technological aptitude: Assess software competencies and hardware availability among team members. Ensure everybody has access to adequate resources.

Combining these details clarifies where your strategy should focus its reinforcing efforts, setting a solid groundwork for progress.

Identifying Goals and Objectives

Now, pinpoint exactly what you hope to achieve with your refined workplace approach:

  • Enhance communication: Strive towards seamless interaction channels that balance efficiency with a personal touch.
  • Stabilize productivity: Create systems permitting workers to thrive remotely as in-office regarding output quality.

Clarify these aims internally and communicate them transparently with the team. Getting everyone aboard this shared vision aligns individual efforts with corporate aspirations.

Creating a Flexible and Adaptable Workspace Design

The design here extends beyond mere aesthetics—it encompasses how people interact with their environment under various circumstances.

  • Plan spacious yet modular office layouts catering to fluctuating attendance numbers.
  • Invest in cutting-edge virtual meeting platforms allowing off-site individuals equivalent participation opportunities.
  • Consider cross-departmental 'hot-desking' schemes promoting a fluid exchange of ideas while managing spatial requirements efficiently.

Such ingenuity enables companies to remain dexterously composed amidst ever-changing day-to-day conditions.

Implementing Effective Communication and Collaboration Strategies

At last, stitch everything together using tactics that nourish unity: 

  • Regular check-ins: Schedule consistent meetings discussing projects across physical distances.
  • Collaborative platforms: Utilize tools like Slack or Trello, giving everyone visibility over common goals despite disparate locations.
  • Social connections: Host virtual coffee breaks or Friday evening games, bridging gaps built by screens between personalities rather than merely cubicles.

Implementing these cadenced approaches ensures that even distributed teams function as cohesively as those who share office banter each morning beside the water cooler.

Workplace Strategy in Action

An effective workplace strategy transforms work and the way in which the workplace operates. It helps design and create frictionless workplace experiences that enable everyone to be the best they can be wherever and whenever they work.

One of Deloitte's clients improved its workspace utilization from 1.22 seats per person to 0.86 seats per person for the targeted population of employees and forecasted an annual run-rate cost reduction of $400 million. Additional long-term benefits such as anticipated reduction in carbon footprint and an increase in overall employee satisfaction are also expected to be achieved.

It's a good example of a workplace strategy done right. This can only work when the strategy is designed to make your business more effective and agile and when it is linked to your business goals, vision, culture and context.

Workplace Strategy is About Everything Your People Experience Every Day

Enabling delightful workplace experiences will raise your teams' level of engagement and satisfaction, while providing business growth. An efficient workplace strategy is like a ‘blueprint’ that sets out how to get the most from your people, technology and places, and work out the best practices, and cultures needed to provide a platform for business success.

It’s also about defining and proposing new working practices and understandings to help your people perform at their best.

Using ‘Workplace Change’ as a Catalyst for a Range of Initiatives 

In every workplace transition project, it is vital to explain what is going to change, why the change is being made, how things will work / how the change will be implemented, and when things will be changing. Change doesn't come easy, but it is a catalyst for a range of initiatives. 

Like, for example, agile collaboration... What we've all experienced in the past couple of years is the rise of agile collaboration under a framework that allows better alignment around the same objectives, transparency in decision-making, and a more results-oriented approach. This is one of the initiatives that have gained ground and are definitely here to stay.

Increasingly, the workplace experience is being seen by innovative leaders as a tool in the battle to recruit the best talent and support professionals in delivering their best performances. The workplace experience has immense value and putting the workplace ‘consumer’ at the heart of the design and management process is key.

Employers are more and more interested in thorough research of the in-house working patterns to build on more focused wellness and engagement programs for their employees.

Being able to adapt to all that and find opportunities inside disruption is what it takes to ensure your organization remains competitive, your people productive, and your workplace cost efficient.

The Anatomy of an Optimal Workplace Experience

How can your workplace experience function at its best? Follow these recommendations:

Set A Clear Vision

Be clear about your vision of change and how it will impact your business. In order to make it beneficial, this may involve enabling new ways of working or shifting the way work gets done inside your organization.

workplace strategy vision

Enable Your People

Understand your employees' needs for creating a workplace that is a destination for them. You can think of it as the IKEA of all workplaces, a space where people enjoy coming to because they feel their desires are addressed. Go beyond generations, and work to understand both working styles and lifestyles of your employees so that you can appropriately tailor your work experience proposal to their needs. 

Meet Basic Needs

Seek to address all the basic elements that each of us need to be productive at work, such as: access to a variety of spaces enabling different working patterns, flawless technology, support of flexibility and wellbeing, easy access to information etc.

Create A Destination

It's true that nowadays work can be done from anywhere and employees highly value flexibility and the choice to work from whenever they feel more productive. However, it is also known that collaborative working enhances cohesion and the feeling of striving for the same "why". So, by making the office a delightful, go-to place of choice, you can ensure people's heartful presence at work.

Focus On Details

The magic is always in the details! Caring for your employees and enabling them flexible workplaces and advanced workplace strategies to keep them engaged will help you attract and retain top talent, amplify loyalty and the joy of belonging to a company that values their work.

Change Management Initiatives

Change management initiatives are crucial for highly effective workplace strategies because they ensure a smooth transition from old practices to new ones.

Workplace strategies often involve introducing novel processes, technologies, or workflows to enhance efficiency and productivity. Without effective change management, employees may resist these changes, leading to disruptions, lowered morale, and reduced effectiveness.

Change management initiatives help prepare and guide employees through these transitions, address their concerns, and ensure they embrace the new strategies. This ultimately leads to a more adaptable and responsive workforce capable of successfully implementing and sustaining workplace strategies, resulting in a highly effective and efficient workplace.

Measuring the Effectiveness of a Workplace Strategy

Evaluating Employee Satisfaction and Productivity Levels

Measuring employee satisfaction and productivity isn't just punching numbers; it's about understanding the heartbeat of your organization. A well-executed workplace strategy should boost morale and output, but how do we gauge that?

  • Pulse Surveys: Short, frequent surveys provide insights into employees' day-to-day experiences and identify patterns over time.
  • Productivity Metrics: Analyze quantitative data like project completion rates or sales figures, but remember that quality trumps quantity.

By looking beyond mere statistics, engaging in conversations with team members also offers us invaluable qualitative data. Are they feeling more connected? Do they have the resources they need to thrive? The answers to these questions are often reflected by overall job satisfaction levels, which directly correlate with productivity.

Assessing the Impact on Organizational Goals and Objectives

Now, let's talk about synchronizing individual effort with company aspirations—a harmonious workplace strategy does precisely that. To determine whether your hybrid team building is hitting the mark:

  • Align performance metrics with specific organizational goals.
  • Observe if there has been an improvement in collaboration across departments.
  • Note any changes in customer service delivery or product innovation from improved team dynamics.

These areas offer concrete evidence of how well your initiatives support and enhance your overarching objectives as a business. It's not simply about having a solid plan; instead it's observing execution deliver results that push you closer to achieving key targets.

Collecting Feedback and Making Necessary Adjustments

The final piece of this puzzle involves continually looping back - using feedback to refine our approach. This agile mindset ensures our workplace strategies stay relevant against ever-changing variables:

  • Conduct focus groups or one-on-one interviews for deep-dive feedback.
  • Utilize suggestion boxes or digital platforms where ideas can be voiced anonymously.

Armed with this rich first-hand input from varying perspectives within your organization, adjustments aren't guesses—they're strategic decisions tailored to real needs and opportunities for growth highlighted by those at ground zero.

In essence, transforming raw feedback into actionable improvements helps mold an adaptable yet consistent process that works for today's tasks and tomorrow's ambitions—keeping us all in the same direction toward shared success.


Future Trends in Workplace Strategy

New technologies and societal changes continuously shape the landscape of work. Workplace strategies must be forward-thinking, embracing innovations that enhance productivity while fostering a positive work environment. Whether you're a workplace strategist or part of workplace consulting, staying informed on upcoming trends is critical for long-term success.

The Impact of AI, Automation, and Robotics on the Workplace

As we delve into the future trends shaping our workplaces, it's impossible to ignore the profound influence of artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and robotics. These technological forces are making waves in every sector, revamping how tasks are executed and transforming job roles.

  • Automation Streamlining Repetitive Tasks: Automation increasingly handles repetitive and time-consuming tasks. This shift allows employees to focus on more complex and creative work requiring human touch.
  • AI Fostering Decision-Making: AI's role extends beyond task execution—it assists in faster decision-making by analyzing large data sets with incredible accuracy.
  • Robotics Enhancing Efficiency: Robotics technology now operates alongside humans, boosting efficiency, particularly in manufacturing, logistics, and customer service.

For employers and workers alike, it is understanding how to integrate these technologies into daily workflows while upskilling becomes a crucial aspect of an effective workplace strategy.

Anticipating the Needs of the Multi-Generational Workforce

Creating a harmonious multi-generational workforce poses unique challenges—a puzzle that workplace strategy consultants often navigate. Today's workforce spans from seasoned baby boomers to adaptable Generation Zs entering their professional lives. Each group brings its values, communication styles, and expectations:

  • Baby Boomers appreciating stability may look for retirement planning resources.
  • Generation X might value opportunities for leadership growth.
  • Millennials could seek purpose-driven work with flexible arrangements.
  • Gen Z may want tech-savvy workplaces with opportunities for continuous learning.

Crafting a nuanced workplace strategy that caters to such diversity requires agility and empathy—elements that nurture inclusivity within office culture.

Predictions for the Future of Workplace Design and Technology Integration

Speculating about what lies ahead for office landscapes gives us exciting glimpses into potential futures:

  • Remote collaboration tools will continue evolving—mirroring face-to-face interactions more closely, which enhances social connectivity without geographical constraints.
  • Smart workplaces will use IoT devices for efficiency and well-being—imagine intelligent lighting adapting to natural circadian rhythms!
  • Sustainable building practices paired with biophilic designs aim to create eco-conscious spaces where nature is integral to employee wellness.

Embracing these predictions, forward-looking companies will partner with visionary workplace consulting teams dedicated to constructing environments primed for tomorrow’s demands yet adaptable enough for whatever unforeseen advancements emerge.

Wrapping Up

To conclude, as you can expect there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to hybrid workplace strategies. Your strategy will have to accommodate your employees' working preferences, enable good work, while increasing operational efficiency and will be subject to constant refinement. This might not come as an easy task, but luckily, with changing work trends come innovative platforms and services that can help you make the best use of your hybrid work environment.

Topics: Workplace management

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