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June 9, 2021

The three workplace questions every business is asking (and how to answer them)

Operating in a post-Covid world, we must consider what our future workplaces will look like. Whether you decide to refurbish, relocate, consolidate or grow your organization’s footprint, one thing is for sure: strategic decisions need to be made.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen some unexpected changes in the office market. Our most recent Unispace Client Pulse Survey found that 71% of APAC clients anticipate a “return to a new normal” by the end of Q3 2021, with 43% citing workplace strategy as their biggest concern.

Using data gathered from our clients, we’ve created our post-Covid workplace guide, ‘Your future workplace re-imagined'. In it, we answer the three key workplace questions facing every global business, employing our proprietary model for successful hybrid offices, the Propeller framework.

Download: Your future workplace re-imagined guide

The three key workplace questions every business is reconsidering:
1. What is the purpose of our workplace?
2. What should our workplace look and feel like?
3. How should we structure our real estate portfolio?

1. Discovering the purpose of your workplace
Post- and mid-Covid, businesses need to re-evaluate the ‘why’ of their workplace. When speaking to our clients, we find that more than half of their employees value the physical office as a place for connection and community, and this is a great starting point for analyzing what your workplace could and should be.

Connection and collaboration: Unispace Auckland
Putting our Propeller framework into action, we used our own Auckland studio to create one of the first built examples of a post-Covid workplace. Data we gathered from our WorkReady survey revealed employees valued the workplace for collaboration and belonging, with 82% of staff believing that being together with colleagues supports innovation and creativity. This insight gave us a clear purpose for our new Auckland studio, and the redesigned space includes zones for innovation, problem solving and community.

2. Deciding how your workplace should look
With a clearly defined workplace purpose, we can start to pull together the details of how the space will look, feel, and function, considering:
  • How different spaces will be used
  • Percentage breakdowns for different kinds of activities
  • Look and feel for the space

A balanced workplace: A global print and software solutions provider
This print and software solutions provider were looking for a new ecosystem of work settings and spaces. From our WorkReady survey, we understood that their employees strongly valued remote working. However, more than half needed to come into the office for collaboration, and more than a third needed somewhere to meet with clients. With these insights, the client decided to consolidate from 3 separate premises into one shared space across 1.5 floors. The resulting workplace has an almost even balance between problem solving, innovation and community, enabling them to achieve a 60% reduction in seats and a 48% reduction in commercial real estate.

3. Structuring your workplace portfolio
Using our Propeller framework, we look holistically at all your sites and devise a portfolio strategy that works across all of them, but are still customized based on regional and cultural nuance, as well as employee sentiment.

Seven sites, a single strategy: A global insurer
With a large amount of unused real estate, it was crucial to build a solution that could be deployed across this global insurer’s entire portfolio. Applying the Propeller framework, we provided a custom solution for each of their seven sites, we took a 70/30 approach to office space – 70% for problem-solving, innovation and socializing, 30% for individual workstations – a reverse of their previous approach. Overall, the company reduced its portfolio by 30%, saving US$100 million/year.

Knowing where to start is not always easy. Download our future workplace strategy guide and discover a clear pathway for your organization to create a future-proof workplace.


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