According to a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)’s report, despite increased business awareness of the importance of actively supporting health and wellbeing in the workplace, there still appears to be a stagnant implementation of any productive work wellbeing infrastructure in the UK working culture.
With an average cost of absence now at £554 per employee per year, and with fewer than one in 10 (8%) UK organisations having adopted a wellbeing strategy, many organisations’ internal efforts have consisted of one-off initiatives that often fail to have a long-term impact in the workplace.
To address this, the CIPD recommends that a proactive employee wellbeing programme – based on proper people management, leadership and culture – should be at the core of how an organisation fulfils its mission and carries out its operations.
We all know that moving house can be a stressful process, but an office relocation can have an impact on businesses and staff wellbeing if a well-structured plan isn’t implemented early enough in the process.
Identifying your staff’s home locations, for example, during an early consultation can identify employees who may be lost during the process due to an increased commute.
With these factors in mind, we spoke to Angela Seed, previously the General Manager of the London hub of The New York Times to find out how you can keep your employees happy while moving your business.
Considering your staff’s needs has a significant impact on the process, so discover their locations and travelling patterns.
Based on our move-in April last year, we had a situation where we were centrally placed in London and all of our staff commute from North, South or East and West London so there wasn’t a huge problem. But, if you’re not in a centralised area, you’ve got to see where there may be challenges with travel for staff and increased costs.
Of course, business needs are the ultimate consideration, but your staff are also a big part of the location process.
Consult your employees – initially; we compiled a shortlist involving key people and heads of department; we then included all other employees when the decision was made on moving.
Employees may ask for certain things – our staff asked for showers, and they wanted functional kitchen areas. We wanted to ensure our staff’s wellbeing was being maintained, and reasonable requests met. We were able to accommodate showers in a small design change and ensured they had functional kitchenette areas on all floors as opposed to one floor.
We also have a pleasant basement courtyard with seating and tables where staff can sit and take lunch breaks, as well as room to store their bikes. You need to consider your staff and take into consideration what they would like out of the building and the working environment.
These aspects can be great incentives to employees through the process.
There are incentives you could implement for staff as an example agreeing to pay any additional travel fares to incentivise a move with the business.
It’s an overhead and cost so if you value your staff paying for the extra cost over 2/3 years as an example, could make the relocation process easier to accept.
But, some companies aren’t in a position to be able to do that. So, if an organisation needs to move out of London because of spiralling office space costs your staff either go with you, or they leave.
Alternatively, use a company like Rapport Solutions to assist you with the property locations, the tender lease process and to help project manage the process if need be to consider moving further afield to help save costs in the long term.
For example, there’s more space available in the City now, but the cost of rents have risen by as much as 46% on some properties, so consider looking at other areas in and around the capital.
Having Rapport to Project Manage the processes, on your behalf with agents and contractors, enables you to concentrate on other areas of your role, business needs and in the long run, can control costs.
To ensure a smooth office move, you need to be organised and have extra support teams working with you. It helps to ensure a smooth transition for your staff to come in, to unpack their box straight away and enable them to start working immediately.
We had extra support; we brought over our IT team from Paris who worked on setting systems and PC’s up while the desks were being assembled over the weekend.
On the day, we moved in, and we put a system in place to have a team of removal men on all the floors to assist with moving furniture and collecting empty crates, etc., which resulted in a tidy and workable environment by the end of the day. Everything was up and running apart from small teething problems, which are inevitable.
Think about the process logically and organise teams who have clear objectives to make a move seamless throughout the relocation project.
You can speak with Rapport on 01252 712590 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Design and Workspace Analysis offers businesses the opportunity to assess how their workspace is used. Quantitative methods such as behaviour mapping and decibel measurement are combined with qualitative data to present a picture of how fully space is being utilised. And how it is meeting individual and teams working needs.
The utilisation study reveals how well a workspace is performing and identifies areas that can be improved upon, such as:
*How many hours a week are workers in the office?
*How much space is needed for different functions and teams?
*How will the future needs of the business affect the space we need?
The crucial insights transform an office move or fit-out into a valuable opportunity to make the workspace truly support organisational performance and employee wellbeing.
We sat down with Jeanette Grover Rapport’s Project Director and our independent designer Will to find out what considerations need to be addressed when considering budgets for your workspace design or fit-out.
Jeanette: That’s driven naturally, given limited, available good quality space and the cost associated to today’s work space. Space needs to be utilised effectively.
Will: In terms of the look and feel from a furniture perspective, creating flexibility’ while balancing privacy is an important aspect.
Open plan space has its benefits, enabling increased occupancy and flexibility to change within an organisation. However, considerations to noise and privacy will be paramount to its users and their long-term health.
White noise systems, acoustic flooring, wall and ceiling panelling can all be incorporated effectively into the design of the working space, depending on the individual need.
A successful design/designer and management team should provide a functional space that’s realistic, flexible AND atheistically pleasing.
Will: Older buildings with smaller floor plates can divide an organisation and increase fit-out costs.
Restructuring and improving departmental efficiencies by being more strategic in its designed environment is crucial.
Jeanette: Budget comes in conjunction with the design process and building selection. Some clients don’t have a clue what their budget is.
The selection of the most appropriate procurement route should always be based on client needs. Consider, as an absolute minimum, programme, cost and quality expectations.
You can design creating minimal cellular space within the right building and therefore, the budget is not going to be high. Or you can design high spec, and the budget is naturally higher. One can’t come without the other.
Taking early professional advice, understanding your organisations’ future needs and planning at least 6-months before you need to move (dependent on your lease terms) or refurbish plans will all assist in managing project costs.
Jeanette: Rapport are well placed to offer an independent assessment to identify the best procurement route for our client. One of the benefits of appointing a company like Rapport is we independently manage the entire project programme.
A turnkey ‘Design and Build’ process whereby you have design and contractor working together can make it difficult to monitor costs closely. Rapport provides clients with cost certainty, and we offer an open book tender process. Design and Build companies are useful if you have limited time and limitless budgets.
We can be appointed to work in two ways;
UK Broadband and Jagermeister appointed Rapport in this capacity to check design practicalities and cost associations within the design and build process. We can help monitor costs and performance through the programme as an Employers Agent.
We are always delighted to hear from those working on a workspace design or fit-out project. You can speak with us on 01252 712590 or email us at email@example.com.
You can view our portfolio of work here
Moving offices is a significant investment for any business, and we are proud to have worked on some incredible projects over the years across a variety of sectors including; media, banking, finance and technology with a strong portfolio of projects for housing associations.
Throughout our time in the industry, we have built many strong relationships with our clients. And at the core of our business is Rapport. We believe it is a crucial component to the successful outcome of a project, from a clear brief.
In particular, Rapport was integral to two for Shepherds Bush Housing Group (SBHG) including SBHG HQ and SBHG Craft Court. We sat down with David Blackburn, to talk through his time at SBHG on the projects and to understand the learnings and effectiveness of both projects. David, as Director of Business Support, was key to the success of the project supporting internal communication between staff, management and the delivery team.
Your office accommodation is one of your most valuable assets. Over the life of your tenure, you need to ensure you manage the space in a way that is responsive, affordable, sustainable and safe; leveraging the floor plan as a tool to support organisational culture and assist in the delivery of ever more efficient and effective services.
Rapport’ has recently been commissioned to manage and develop design options for Verisk Analytics at their Fleet office in Hampshire.
As a leading source of insurance data information, our team will provide an objective review of Verisk’s current space and work practices in addition to designing a new floor to accommodate new ways of working to improve internal communication and ensure further growth and development.
Actions to date:
Size: 7.620 sq ft across two floors
Location: Fleet, Hampshire
Services: Design, Management & Cost Consultancy