Working with designers and builders to create the perfect commercial fit-out for your business can take a lot of effort, but your employees may be used to the way things are. How can you convince them the new fit-out is for the better?
Working with someone to update the layout of your work space can be quite time-consuming, but you should end up with a work environment that you are happy with.
Your employees are another aspect entirely. They have not been working with the designers or builders and may not be aware of the intended vision, even though you have their needs in mind throughout the process.
What it initially comes down to is dealing with change: a change that may not have occurred in the workplace environment for a decade.
“People hate it at one level, even if it's good change,” says Richard deVries, director at DCI Partnership, on the My Business Podcast.
“It's very hard to get over the perception that people are losing something, even if it's moving from that big L-shaped desk that they had with the big monitor that would have been there 10 years ago to a smaller desk where they perhaps have really just as much work space. It's always seen as a negative.”
Richard says that senior staff using and accepting these changes can be one way to remove doubts.
“It's maybe senior management holding meetings in those areas, and everybody brings their laptop or their iPad or their device, and they sit there and they brainstorm and they work in that environment,” he says.
“It's increasingly appropriate to have the flexibility that if I want to work at a stand-up bench or a sit-down desk or a soft-seating area or the kitchen or wherever, I can do that. I don't have to be tied to the desk.
“The more we can encourage people to see the whole office as their work space, not just their desk, the better it is.”
Another method to help employees to accept the new fit-out is to have workshops between the designers and the employees to discuss the changes being made, and their benefits.
“One of the things we do is often spend time in workshops with staff, just explaining what this new work environment is going to be about and trying to remove the fear from the equation and show people that, in fact, it's helping them, it's a positive, and they will indeed be better off because of it,” says Richard.