“People adapt – but if they’re going to be disrupted by a workplace change, we can’t help that.”
I can see this way of thinking. It’s the point of view that people can be difficult and they can behave in ways that aren’t helpful – you wouldn’t be alive if you haven’t experienced an unhelpful, difficult person.
And it is easy to believe that people don’t like change. Then there’s the fact that sometimes the tough reality of fixed and limited resources plays a significant role in shaping what is possible in the workplace – it can’t always be rainbows and unicorns.
The problem is, there are both productivity and dollar impacts of a poor Workplace Experience. These are measured in the cost of turnover, firstly, because some people will take a poor Workplace Experience as unacceptable, especially your highly sought-after individuals. Industry estimates range wildly but 100-150% of a person’s salary is a good estimate of the cost of replacing technical and supervisory roles.
The cost impact of reduced productivity will vary between workplaces, but can you afford a productivity drop of even five or ten percent? Organisations with low engagement experienced 18% lower productivity. Another cost impact is the effect of increased stress and reduced wellbeing, which shows up in reduced productivity and increased turnover. Workplace stress also leads to an increase of almost 50% in voluntary turnover. It can also lead to increased workstation injuries and potential health and safety liability. Did you know that workstation injuries are more likely to happen when people are stressed?
This all means that taking on a workplace redesign, or new ways of working, is like skiing downhill. If you’re standing at the top of what you think is a blue run but you haven’t checked the signs, you will be quickly caught out once you dip over that first rise and find yourself flying down a steep black run.
So the question is how steep is the run – how much is your workplace redesign or new ways of working demanding of your teams? Is it the right move?
And if you find yourself on the black run because of a new remote or hybrid work style and the seismic shift that has occurred in your workplace, you will want to know how you can quickly build the skills to get down the hill safely.
Our workplace strategy service helps leaders in businesses, organisations and programmes define and deliver their ideal workplace approach – the workplace that will achieve what you want.
We look at the connection between your workspace and your workforce. We are experts in the modern workplace, which is dynamic, flexible and collaborative. However this does not mean we advocate agile ways of working everywhere we go. Instead, we help you decide on the workplace design, technology shifts, people capability and leadership direction that you need in the next few years to create the Workplace Experience you want.
Often this is of great relief to your architecture, interior design and technology partners – who are just looking for clear direction.