Welcoming our team back with open arms

16 May 2022

By Andrew Stringer

When organisations undertake a major relocation or refit, and at the same time look to adapt to new ways of working, change management is critical to a successful transformation, in both the short and long-term.

We recently underwent this process when relocating to our new office at Level 37 of the ANZ Centre in January this year. This relocation represented not just a change in space and settings, but also in the purpose of our workplace and the ways in which people work, aligning with our strategy. It was also in response to the dynamics of the past two years, having designed our new space through 2020 and 2021, we were acutely aware of the importance a variety of environments would play in attracting our people back to the office.

Our key changes included a shift to a fully agile way of working through unassigned desks, blended neighbourhoods, a wide variety of individual and collaborative settings, and an integrated client and employee space. The process was led by our Workplace team.

The concept was to create an environment that enhanced collaboration and provide us the ability to be operating across business lines to the benefit of our clients. Relocating presented us with the opportunity to design our workplace by putting our people first; how do they want to work to be most productive, to be more connected and what role does the physical environment play in that? We incorporated as much feedback as possible, which has resulted in everyone really engaging with all the spaces that are offered.

On day one I was blown away by the number of people that arrived at the office after nearly four months working from home. You can’t help but feel like you are part of something big as soon as you walk through the doors, I heard some of our team use the word ‘proud’ when describing the new workspace, so I know we got it right.

Though our organisation had to revert to working from home the week after our new premises opened due to lockdown requirements, we’ve now been able to return to the office. We have seen our teams embrace the opportunity and it hasn’t been a struggle to entice them back that we see and hear many organisations dealing with.

Now four months into the new working environment, I love the flexibility of moving around the office and having everyone on one floor. It has created a connectiveness that we previously missed. The ability to work in different settings with seamless technology almost hour-by-hour is a game changer – as is the ease of connection with my team.

I believe productivity is directly correlated to engagement; that’s what we hoped to achieve and it’s what we’ve done. It’s been interesting being intimately involved in the process with CBRE’s Workplace team. Everyone here understands and sees the benefit that workspace strategy and change management can deliver to clients if they do it right, and we’re living proof.

This Insights piece is a summary of the full article from our latest Workspace magazine. Read the full version here.