5 Steps to Defining (or Redefining) Your Workplace Strategy


As all business owners and employees know, the last few years have fundamentally shifted the workplace. As discussed in our last blog, we are entering 2023 with hybrid work schedules becoming the norm among many industries. This shift in workstyle is pushing companies to redefine their workplace strategy.

To begin understanding how to go about reshaping workplace strategy, we must first understand what workplace strategy is and its importance in the workforce. Workplace strategy is the exercise of researching how your employees work, analyzing your company’s vision for the future, and combining those findings to create the best possible work environment. The ideal strategy will address your employees’ needs while minimizing costs and optimizing the office space.

To be clear, there is no one-size-fits-all workplace solution. Each company will differ depending on their current space, how their employees are working, and their company goals. However, our workplace strategy experts at Newmark Ciminelli created a step-by-step guide to breakdown workplace strategizing into 5 simple steps that can get your team started in the right direction.

1. Evaluate and establish larger goals and priorities of the business

While evaluating your workplace strategy, it is important to keep in mind the bigger goals of your business. What is your organization trying to achieve commercially, and in what ways does the office environment impact these drivers? For example, your company may be reevaluating their workplace because they’re gearing up for a rapid expansion after a new round of funding. It’s helpful to look at your company’s current priorities and determine what those priorities will look like in 3 to 5 years, while building in the proper flexibility should those priorities shift.

Whether it’s increasing revenue, reducing cost, or retaining key talent, understanding what goals are most important to the business will ultimately help guide you to a tailored workplace strategy. No matter what the goals of your company involve, your workplace strategy should be aligned, helping your company reach success.

2. Workforce Analysis

Along with analyzing company goals and priorities, employees are a key ingredient to determining a successful workplace strategy. Their input will help leaders determine current satisfaction in the workplace and provides employees the opportunity to suggest potential improvements. Not only will this give the company important feedback to incorporate into their workplace strategy; it will give employees a sense of ownership and an opportunity to build trust with their leaders.

It is important to note, that however your company chooses to collect feedback, it should be done in a secure and anonymous environment. This allows employees to speak their mind freely and eliminates the possibility of office politics. Surveys are an excellent solution, and a great way to get a collective understanding of how employees currently use your space and how they intend on seeing it evolve.

3. Define your vision for the future

Once Step 1 and 2 are complete, it’s time to combine the collected data and determine the overarching vision for the future. This involves analyzing your company’s larger goals, incorporating the employee feedback of current and future work, and establishing a blueprint for the workplace that aligns with the company’s commercial objectives.

In a way, think of this as further defining “Step 1” of this process. You’ve sat down with your leaders and determined your business goals, worked alongside stakeholders, performed an office audit to understand the space’s current use, and you now fully understand what your employees are experiencing and expect in the future. Bringing together this knowledge and analyzing trends will fully set you up to begin your workplace planning.

4. Workplace Planning

Now that all the prework is complete, it’s time to compose your workplace plan. First, we should determine whose responsibility it is to make sure the workplace strategy is delivering to its full potential. This is dependent on the leaders of the organization, and who they believe should be involved in the planning. Our recommendation is to consider a healthy mix of all departments, including but not limited to, HR, Operations, Procurement, IT, Marketing, and Facilities Management. It will be important to have a designated group advocating for your newfound strategy, and accountable for implementation, reporting, and problem solving throughout the process.

Once the team is determined, it’s time to formulate and finalize your workplace strategy. If your company reflects similar ideas to most companies post pandemic, it’s likely that your employees and companies are adjusting to a more flexible lifestyle. This could mean readjusting your office space to support collaboration and team working, and further supporting hybrid work schedules. It may also mean aligning your technology to support the need of your workers, including the implementation of a company-wide communication tool such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, or other digital platforms. Remember, change can be hard, which is why its important to have a detailed and effective change management plan ready to ensure your workplace strategy is executed effectively.

5. Implementation and Launch

Now, for arguably the most important and exciting step, implementation of your workplace strategy! Communication is key in this step. Employees were engaged throughout the entire process of data collection and planning and should now be fully engaged with implementation. Phased rollouts and timelines are important factors in this stage. Communication and input of physical office adjustments are essential, and can even be made into an enjoyable process for employees. For technology, it remains important to have training sessions and/or documentation. Communication will make employees feel like an important part of the process, and it is paramount to remember that their input is valued and essential to a smooth transition.

The world of work is constantly shifting, and it is necessary that your workplace continues to evolve with it in the most effortless way possible. Driven by the changes in economy, technology, and ways of work, workplaces must evolve to be more flexible, supportive, innovative, and agile. An effective workplace strategy and engaged workforce will lead to the most successful, prosperous version of your company yet.

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