Lessons Learned from Alternative Workplace Studies, Part 2
We’ve learned quite a bit about alternative workplace strategies over the past two weeks. Let’s wrap it up with the final five lessons learned from “Alternative Workplace Strategies in the Current Economy: A 2009 Global Benchmarking Study by New Ways of Working.”
The final five lessons include home-based work attracts, incorporate three domains, executive champions needed, change is complicated, and remain flexible. Let’s look at each alternative workplace strategy lesson as New Ways of Working lays it out.
Home-based work attracts: The study emphasizes the importance of not overlooking the value of enabling work-from-home or third places outside the corporate workspace. The study reports that working-from-home programs can help companies achieve real estate savings, reduce commutes and associated CO2 emissions, and improve work-life balance. The study authors also remind that work-from-home doesn’t have to equal full-time telecommuting. Employees and employers get the “best of both worlds” even if employees work from home one, two or three days a week.
Incorporate the three domains: According to the study authors, the best alternative workplace programs holistically integrate new combinations of work policies/practices, technologies and workplaces, and consequently require the collaboration of business groups, human resources, IT and CRE. The study suggests creating a core team with CRE, IT, and HR represented for best results.
Executive champions needed: The study suggests you should secure executive endorsements for alternative workplace initiatives. You need leadership support to champion and resource program development and growth and lead necessary organizational changes.
Change is complicated: Workplaces are expressions of organizational culture
and it takes time to change attitudes towards them. For change to be successful, the study suggests it takes a shared vision of the organization, agreements on management, work
practices, supporting technologies, and places. In addition, the study concluded, it’s important to, include employees during the process.
Remain flexible: Alternative workplace programs are not static. Of course, businesses and their environments continue to evolve. The study suggests that organizations should continue to reflect and refine their alternative workplace programs.
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