Category: The Workspace Dilemma

The Workspace Dilemma: The Future in Present Tense

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Insights and Information from Splice

The Future in Present Tense

Three Dynamic Strategies for Managing Future-Fluid Spaces

Posted by Kai Thompson  |  September 28, 2020

Preface

In addition to safeguarding the wellbeing of their people, organizations now find themselves striving to keep pace with the sudden acceleration in the advancement of workplace technology. To establish new business models and management practices that not only integrate the use of these technologies into their workforce but govern how people adapt to and work in partnership with the technology available to them.

In a post-COVID world, purpose, potential, perspective, and possibility are no longer future-focused aspirations, but the reality of the here and now.”

Erica Volini

Deloitte Consulting LLP

Since the immergence of COVID-19, one of the most prominent lessons of our collective experience has been the true value of communing together. For the sake of community, people across the globe stayed apart from one another for the better part of this year. Organizations were sent scrambling in search of solutions that allowed work to continue despite physical distancing protocols that kept people in their homes and out of offices. In the face of unprecedented odds, the ideals behind connection, community, and collaboration managed to hold true and even sustain the very fabric of society. As we move forward into a new era—where health and safety have taken renewed importance—we must reimagine the workspace experience in its entirety. Here we outline three strategies for building a sustainable post-COVID future for your business.

1. Remote Work as a Culture and a Practice

It’s time to rethink how work gets done. In the wake of profound societal and organizational shifts, business leaders have the opportunity to redesign the future of work, building on the practices implemented as a means to surviving the crisis and integrating lessons learned as their people return to the workplace. Virtual teams can be challenging to manage, but with a clear strategy and the right set of tools, leaders can ensure that their unique culture transcends physical boundaries. Actions that managers can take to support remote employees include consistent communication, establish and manage expectations, focus on outcomes rather than activity, supply proper resources, be flexible, make time for team building activities and ‘non-work’ conversations. Another suggestion: Identify what jobs can be done remotely, as well as which jobs must be carried out in person, and to what degree. Roles can then be reclassified into three major employee segments: fully remote, hybrid remote, or onsite only.

2. Agile Workspace Configurations

Chart a new path forward by redesigning your workspace to support organizational priorities. It’s impossible to predict what technology or work-culture disruptor will strike next but staying flexible is the best way to ensure the longevity of your workspace. Agile workspaces – designed for maximum flexibility and hybrid functionality – empower employees to work how, where and when they choose, and give them all the technology and tools they need. Creating an agile office requires much more than simply transforming your physical space, it also requires a shift in organizational thinking.

3. Technology and Controlled Access (stage the return to work)

Using industry leading apps like inpixon to capture, interpret and visualize your building’s data can help make your indoor space(s) smarter, safer, and more secure by providing indoor mapping and contact tracing; identifying areas or assets within your space that require sanitation; configuring wayfinding paths and offering customizable navigation options to minimize unnecessary interactions; leveraging advanced indoor analytics to gain invaluable insights into how visitors and employees interact with your buildings and address complex and evolving needs across your enterprise on an ongoing basis.

Here to help you succeed

Splice offers a suite of services built for the day-to-day, long-term, and anything in-between. Whether you’re moving, growing, or evolving, we’re here to help you handle the finer details while doing the heavy lifting.

  • Need help managing your space? We offer schematic design, occupancy planning, tenant improvements, and FF&E planning services geared toward establishing and accommodating greater flexibility.
  • Need help measuring, evaluating, and adapting your space? Splice’s space utilization services can help you identify how much of your current space is being used versus what you actually need. We also offer staff and facility infrastructure augmentation to help you take swift, cost-effective action on high priority tasks.
  • Need help maintaining your space? In addition to our staff and technology augmentation services, Splice can work with you to build out your own real time interactive real estate management dashboard, giving you the ability to make informed decisions in less time and with greater confidence.

Connect with Splice

Need help deciding what your next “right” thing to do is? We’d love to discuss how Splice can help you bring your company’s vision to life.

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The Workspace Dilemma: Flex Forward

Connections

Insights and Information from Splice

FlexForward

Managing, Measuring, and Maintaining YOUR Flexible Workspace

Posted by Kai Thompson  |  September 15, 2020

Preface

What is the true value of Face 2 Face communication? In the absence of it, what are the benefits that we can derive from virtual communication as a supplement rather than a substitute? What are the roadblocks and/or challenges to both and how do we overcome them?

The percentage of people that work virtually will no doubt be far less once the pandemic has passed, but it belies reason to think that the trend that was already present won’t jump ahead”

Scott Davis

Splice President

The inherent value in effective communication can’t be overstated. And while it’s true that Face to Face work will never cease to be, we now must adjust the lens through which we See it. We must consider the how, when, where, and why as well as the implications behind the choices made for face to face and/or virtual collaboration. As we’ve previously explored in The Workspace Dilemma and The Space Between, for many workspace owners, landlords, tenants, and managers, deciding what the next “right” thing to do is a common challenge. While the choice to do as little as possible might be tempting, we must all keep our heads up and eyes forward in order to be prepared and equipped to leap over the hurdles we’re all sure to face in the future…

1. Managing

Much of the resistance to supporting an increased percentage of mobile or at home virtual work has historically come from middle managers and their struggle to account for their people without seeing and counting them throughout the day. While it’s clear that the COVID crisis has blown a hole in that wall of resistance, the untethering of our workforce, by and large, has been an emerging phenomenon for more than fifteen years. Thanks to the advent and convergence of cell phones, laptops, WiFi, and cloud computing, prior to the pandemic it was not unusual for workstations to be empty more than half the day as workers moved to conference rooms, amenity spaces, off site 3rd party spaces, and yes, even home. So, the question becomes, why continue investing in large, fully equipped workstations that might often go unused? A possible solution: improve your shared and collaborative spaces by making them larger, better equipped and more supportive of mobile technology.

2. Measuring

While virtual customer interface has grown to become a widely accepted norm in many industries, professional and consultative organizations–that have historically relied strongly on face to face engagement–have long held out as the exception… Until now. From healthcare organizations to lawyers and financial advisors, companies are finding ways to pivot and flex. Take, for example, REI’s recent choice NOT to occupy their spectacular new space in Bellevue’s Spring District in favor of a decentralized approach that may come to include a mix of work from home as well as localized collaboration/workspaces. REI’s actions are similar to growing speculation that for many commercial and administrative spaces, there may be a move toward a “hub and spoke” model, where a relatively large space serves as a center for leadership and larger collaborations, while regional or even smaller neighborhood spaces support needs of workers closer to their home. It might be that a veritable combination of virtual collaboration, work from home and a high percentage of shared workstations holds the model together. Whatever that future model turns out to be, it’s clear that workspace managers must now find new ways to flex and adapt. To manage ever-changing spaces filled with people in highly varying numbers while adapting to an overall real estate strategy that is prone to shifting under their feet at a near moment’s notice. Unfortunately, in many organizations a single person often ends up “inheriting” facilities management in addition to their normal job function. For one person, this can quickly become an insurmountable task. A possible solution: engage temporary or long-term talent to support your ability to manage through the crisis and assist in establishing adaptable protocols for the long haul.

3. Maintaining

One of the biggest challenges for workspace managers–once they’ve jumped the many hurdles to update and enforce occupancy, engineering and janitorial systems and processes–is being able to monitor, interpret, and act on all that information. Having to look at numerous reports from several different systems is daunting and offers little opportunity to see how things might be related. A possible solution: centralized data collection, management, and reporting systems.

Here to help you succeed

Splice offers a suite of services built for the day-to-day, long-term, and anything in-between. Whether you’re moving, growing, or evolving, we’re here to help you handle the finer details while doing the heavy lifting.

  • Need help managing your space? We offer schematic design, occupancy planning, tenant improvements, and FF&E planning services geared toward establishing and accommodating greater flexibility.
  • Need help measuring, evaluating, and adapting your space? Splice’s space utilization services can help you identify how much of your current space is being used versus what you actually need. We also offer staff and facility infrastructure augmentation to help you take swift, cost-effective action on high priority tasks.
  • Need help maintaining your space? In addition to our staff and technology augmentation services, Splice can work with you to build out your own real time interactive real estate management dashboard, giving you the ability to make informed decisions in less time and with greater confidence.

Connect with Splice

Need help deciding what your next “right” thing to do is? We’d love to discuss how Splice can help you bring your company’s vision to life.

Get In TouCh

The Workspace Dilemma: The Space Between

Connections

Insights and Information from Splice

The Space Between…

Agile Approaches to Overcoming Today’s Workspace Planning Paradox

Posted by Kai Thompson  |  September 1, 2020

Preface

We are in a situation that none have faced in our lifetime. Members of the commercial real estate industry—those who manage workplaces and consumer spaces, as well as tenants and landlords—are all in a place where weighty near- and long-term decisions must be made. In the face of the current pandemic, many often find themselves having to doing so in the absence of critical information about what the “right” thing to do is. As queried in an age-old public health mantra, we must collectively ask ourselves: ”What do we KNOW? What do we THINK? What can we PROVE? And what do we DO?”

The Space Between conjures ideas of the unknown… the space between ideas, between answers, and how can we find strength in surrendering. Accepting living in the space between knowing how working in the office used to be and how we might work in the office in the future.”

Siri Nelson

Splice Project Manager

The idea of space optimization is shifting. Rather than just maximizing the capacity of every square inch, our focus as a society must now widen to include the safeguarding of our greatest asset—each other. The path ahead requires that we seek the true meaning of sustainability and efficiency. What does it look like to be good stewards of our resources while remaining cognizant of the impacts our actions have on the overall health and wellbeing of the very people who keep our economy going?

In order to better understand where we are and lay the framework for where we intend to go, we must look at how we got here and hold fast to the lessons learned.

1. What Was

Once the cold calculated jargon of operational efficiency translated our business and people into quotas, space requirements, and maintenance costs.  We have exhausted multiple workspace configurations—be it cubicles, benching, open layouts, or free address—that essentiality center around getting as many people into one space as possible. Ultimately saving money came before health of the employees. At the time the health of the company was not directly tied to the physical health of the employees. It was clear that our concept of workspace needed an overhaul, however we continued onward with a flawed system—applying band-aid fixes as we went. In the absence of any substantial challenges, we were lulled into a false sense of confidence, believing that what was could continue to be. And then along comes the challenge… COVID-19. A literal shock to the system.

2. What Now?

Our relationship with space is changing in leaps and bounds. We’ve come to realize that the environment in which people work matters. As a result, many of the forward-thinking initiatives that have lingered on the periphery are now in full focus (i.e. Healthy Buildings), while others that have garnered high levels of recognition are finding ways to pivot (i.e. the U.S. Green Building Council). We must consider the implementation of important safety measures alongside practical application, building confidence in the safe return to work without negatively impacting the emotional and psychological wellbeing of the very people we’re striving to protect. As a society we are now charged with simultaneously safeguarding the investments we’ve already made in our workforce while overhauling the hard assets that create the very framework in which they are intended to thrive.

3. What’s Next?

COVID-19 has created the impetus for our sector to change. Previously, resistance to change fueled by fear and anxiety, prevented us from making necessary course correcting adjustments.  To continue in similar fashion is to usher the sector back into a broken system. We should learn from challenges of COVID-19 and resist the urge to return to a system that does not work. What’s next, is growing from this challenge. When we get the opportunity to start over, we should take it, and begin again from a more informed place than we had previously. The sector needs new habits, and habits take a minimum of 3 weeks to form. Essentially, the future is now. What’s next is focusing on what’s now. What’s next is focusing on optimizing the health of your organization, which includes buildings, employees, and the subsequent space between, because when you optimize health, your business wins too.

Here to Help You Succeed

Is your organization confidently prepared to reopen or expand the occupancy of its space(s)? Have you established sustainable protocols to protect the H+S of your tenants and/or employees? Need help deciding what your next “right” thing to do is? Please get in touch!

We’d love to discuss how Splice can help you bring your company’s vision to life.

Get In TouCh

The Workspace Dilemma: Data-Driven Solutions

Connections

Insights and Information from Splice

The Workspace Dilemma…

Exploring Data Driven Solutions in a Post-Pandemic World

Posted by Kai Thompson  |  August 18, 2020

As businesses across the nation prepare to reopen following coronavirus lockdowns, many are wondering what will the return to work look like? During our recent Bisnow Webinar titled Data’s New Rules for the Office Space: How Data Can Drive Better Decisions Going Forward, Splice President, Scott Davis, sat down with Jordan Lott (Lake Washington Partners), Marc Weigum (Starbucks), and Doug Loates (TPCHD) to explore the important role data has played and will continue to play in the ongoing management of corporate spaces. While it’s true that each company’s unique set of needs means that no two transitions will look exactly alike, Splice has identified three key challenge areas that organizations and workplace leaders should anticipate as they look to bring tenants back into buildings…

Download and Read the PDF

Navigating a New Normal

Online survey conducted July 30, 2020, of 342 webinar registrants.

Lack the Right Information
to confidently manage their commercial space(s) in the age of COVID.
N=311

Think a Data-Centric Approach
is Very Important
to re-opening and/or expanding occupancy of their space(s).
N=84

Have Inefficient Space Configurations
to keep a 6-ft distance between employees.
N=91

Let’s connect

We’d love to discuss how Splice can help you bring your company’s vision to life.

Get In TouCh

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