Carson Design Associates Blog

Your Office Redesign: How to Strike a Balance Between Democracy and Autocracy

AUTHOR: Carson Design Associates - Indy   POST DATE:

Early next year, we’re moving the Carson Design Associates team to a new office, which calls for the opportunity for a redesign and move management strategy. As a team of designers, we have a unique opportunity to engage our employees in the office redesign process.

Below, we discuss the risk and reward of making the process of a new office design collaborative, and how to manage employee input during this process. We hope to help you strike a balance between letting your team share their needs and ideas and setting expectations for the ideas shared.

Methods of Gathering Feedback

When involving your team in the office redesign process, it’s essential that you determine which methods you will use to gather feedback. Consider these four options:

1. Online Surveys

An employee questionnaire provides deep insight on employee work styles and desires that will help guide your workplace redesign strategy in a new space or as you improve an existing one. This approach gives you an opportunity to ask specific questions about what’s working and not working about your current situation and allows employees the ability to stay anonymous and spend time truly thinking about their answers.

2. Empower Managers to Take Ownership

Generate excitement with your managers and ask them to collect feedback from their teams. Each team has different needs in an office space, and the leadership team doesn’t always know best about what employees encounter every day. Here, managers can play an extremely important role in gathering authentic feedback from your team.

3. Create a Wish List

Consider adding a wish list section in the online survey or on a public facing wall if you’re open to everyone seeing the answers. It can be a fun way to inspire creativity, encourage your team to think big, and gather ideas you may not have had otherwise at the executive level.

4. Town Halls

Host a company-wide meeting to present the upcoming move or redesign. This could happen before sending out the survey, and then again after survey results have been collected to review the answers. Open up the floor for questions, ideas, suggestions, and record everything said.

We highly recommend using a combination of these tactics when gathering feedback from your employees. It’s important to understand how your workplace functions today and how your employees perceive it, so that you can make efforts to enhance the design in the future. Feedback allows you to dig deeper into the minds of your employees and ensure that their voices are heard.

Keep Your Team Engaged

Throughout the feedback and redesign process, use these tools in order to gain trust and garner excitement from your team:

1. Be Transparent

Educate your team every step of the way. A smooth transition relies on frequent and direct communication to address any anxiety or questions your team may be having about the move. Be clear with how you will be collecting feedback, who will be reading that feedback, and how decisions will be made throughout the entire process process.

2. Promote a Sense of Ownership

By allowing your employees to have a voice in the redesign process, you promote a sense of ownership and pride in your new office location. While you won’t fulfill every idea that comes up, your team will appreciate the opportunity to voice their opinions.

3. Generate Excitement

While a new workplace can be an exciting step for some, it also represents an organizational and cultural shift that not all employees may be ready to embrace. Above all else, celebrate your office design in a way that works best for all your entire team.

A successful office redesign and move management strategy generates understanding, provides ownership, and builds excitement among employees. Giving your employees a voice in any big decision that affects them is proven to increase engagement, improve retention and enhance performance. Staying open, curious and transparent through the redesign process can translate into a very positive and powerful experience for your team.

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Have you recently been through an office redesign, or are you considering one? We’d love to hear your story and help in any way that we can. Reach out here. We look forward to meeting you!

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