Too often, organizations have a one-dimensional view of relocation. They see it as nothing more than the act of getting from “physical point A” to “physical point B”. It’s a costly and unavoidable burden that gets outsourced to a moves specialist. Many give little, if any, thought is ever given to the potential for relocation projects to drive innovation and trigger bigger change.
Business transformation through relocation might seem like a lofty idea, particularly to disciplines that are traditionally responsible for these projects, but the act provides a rare opportunity for facility and real estate leaders to look up from the day to day and help their organizations reinvent, modernize, and evolve to new behaviors and culture. Without a proper strategy in place, organizations are doomed to repeat designs, services and processes — whether they work or not.
My firm, Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) has been providing support to organizations looking to make more efficient use of their real estate assets for more than a quarter of a century. In recent years, however, we’ve noticed an attitudinal shift. Now it seems the employer onus is on providing work “experiences” that support well-being, unleash the potential of the employees, and even assist recruitment by showcasing their unique personality, values, and heritage — as opposed to focusing solely on cost-saving initiatives, especially for businesses that rely on the cognitive athleticism of their knowledge workers.
Where output used to be measured in the number of goods produced, for a vast number of organizations in the knowledge economy, productivity now hinges on the quality of the ideas shared and the conversion of these to commercial value. This explains why office relocation should now be treated as a vehicle for business transformation — a catalyst for the move to a more dynamic, fluid, and adaptable work model that encourages social cohesion, information sharing, and trust…
Andrew Mawson is leader of global workplace consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) and founder of Workplace Week New York.
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