The COVID-19 pandemic requires major, long-term adjustments to your real estate strategy. But even the best workplace ideas must make it past the board – so here’s a helping hand from us.
Real estate and workplace executives are under a lot of pressure to provide workspace solutions for an unexpected rethinking of the future. If that weren’t challenging enough, any chosen proposal will need board approval. Your board will want to know:
1 – “Why is this a good workspace solution?”
Everyone’s asking questions about the future workplace, but few are suggesting workable ideas. Agile and ABW need to evolve – but how? This is when partnership and expert support really count, otherwise you’re going it alone.
For our part, we’d love you to take a look at Propeller, our framework for the future workplace. It blends the best of all work locations to deliver a destination workspace which is highly productive and inclusive.
2 – “Where’s the evidence?”
1. You need to provide your board with hard external data. What’s happening to the workspace across the world, and in your industry? You can do the research, or we’ll share our research and insights.
2. You need to crunch the data about the real estate you have now, and how it’ll be impacted in future by the effects of COVID-19 (a weaker economy, people working remotely, etc). Our predictive analytics, and space and budget calculators – tailorable by industry – can help you plan moves, consolidations, satellites/hubs, home working, work patterns, headcount changes, etc.
3. You need to provide employee sentiment data. If you don’t have your own or it’s hard to interpret, ask for our highly tailorable WorkReady Survey. It offers solid metrics around workplace behaviour, engagement and productivity, and will also inform your strategy for maintaining your culture.
3 – “Why is this workspace model right for us?”
1. It will help your case if your future workspace strategy is based on a model from an expert source, and being adopted by companies similar in scale to yours.
2. As we’ve seen, you need to show that your future workplace model is tailored to your people’s preferred working patterns, your business needs, your industry, and more. That comes from the evidence.
3. Finally, you need to propose a future workplace solution which is flexible enough to evolve with your business. No one knows exactly what the future holds, or how it will impact on them, so it’s vital to be able to make changes without undermining your overall strategy – so it won’t come back to bite you.
4 – “Where are the savings?"
The global economy has been hard-hit by COVID-19. Everyone has to cut back, so your chosen strategy must offer an attractive ROI. In addition:
1. It must deliver savings by optimising your office footprint. You need to explore how much space you need, and what type and where, and for how many people overall as well as at any given time (since many will only come in occasionally). What will they do, and what kind of spaces will they need? Our workplace strategists can help you figure this out.
2. It must not only deliver those savings, but evidence them in advance. Our calculators and other advanced scenario-planning tools can provide highly personalised financials for you, tailored to your industry, enabling you to provide comparisons of your current and future KPIs.
3. It must not cost the earth. Unispace’s procurement methodology offers radical ways to deliver both savings and transparency without ever compromising on quality.
5 – “How can this proposal be de-risked?”
1. By realising savings – not just through the strategy itself (see above), but in the way it is delivered. Unispace’s progressive costings, continual value engineering, early contractor engagement and agile methods are just some of the ways we keep your costs down.
2. By taking advantage of Unispace’s two-stage engagement process, which transfers the risk – for on-time/on-budget completion – from your shoulders to ours. So you (and your board) can relax.
3. By working with a partner who understands the pressure you’re under as a real estate executive: some of the risk is going to feel quite personal. On the other hand, this is your big moment! We get that, and we’re here to help.