8 Key Players for Creating a Workplace Optimization Strategy

September 12, 2018


The way we work is changing, and the office environment is evolving right along with it. Modern workplaces are flexible, efficient and connected. Behind the scenes, these optimized places are collecting valuable data for making informed business decisions, identifying opportunities to reduce costs, and enhancing the office experience for employees and visitors alike.

Many companies, however, are still in the early stages of their optimization journey. And if you’re transitioning to an optimized workplace, you need a holistic approach to ensure the transition is as efficient and productive as possible, especially in this era of increasing real estate costs, changing employee expectations and the strong push for spaces that are inspiring and engaging.

The process starts with bringing the right people together. Because in an empowered workplace, everyone benefits from office-wide optimization. It’s important that key stakeholders are at the table when discussing your workplace optimization strategy so that you create the best possible vision for work -- today and tomorrow.

Strengths and Perspectives

Stakeholders bring various strengths and perspectives to the optimization conversation. For example, HR may shed light on how to improve employee retention with inspiring workspaces, while IT may focus on creating a simplified user experience that leads to faster adoption. And though their exact titles vary by organization, depending in large part upon the organization’s size and structure, the key is to ensure all these departments are involved – because all of their voices are important.

  1. Chief Financial Officer
    The CFO helps your organization fully realize the value of technological and human investments with improved pricing, invoicing and financial reporting, bringing the scope of your complete organization to the table. They likely won’t be involved in the nitty gritty details of choosing or implementing a workplace optimization platform, but their voice is important in understanding the global sense of general administrative costs and the best overall ways to gain efficiency.
  2. Vice President of Real Estate/Facilities (Facilities Manager, Real Estate Manager)
    The VP of Real Estate/Facilities ensures that you make smarter decisions using extensive utilization data which can be gathered throughout the workplace. Creating a productive workplace experience typically falls under their umbrella – e.g., knowing how many 5-person- or 25-person-rooms you need – as do vital financial responsibilities (lease agreements, space acquisition, tax incentives). They are usually involved in the conversation right from the beginning, so getting them involved often means making sure they are sharing their expertise outside their department so that your entire business benefits from their knowledge.
  3. Workplace Strategist
    The quarterback of your organization, the workplace strategist improves the office experience and increases workplace collaboration and productivity with integrated technology that supports a more mobile, flexible workplace. Often tucked into the real estate department, these collaborative masters know the right type of rooms, the right type of furnishings/accoutrements (think sit/stand desks and preferred coffee), and the right type of technology for a frictionless work environment, and they bring in the other titles and make sure everyone is on board.
  4. Chief Information Officer (VP of IT, IT Director, IT Manager)
    Your CIO or other IT professional is instrumental in creating a simplified and secure user experience, which will lead to easier user adoption, reduced support tickets for IT staff and improved company-wide security. This practical, hands-on and day-to-day focused role will administer the platform’s hardware and software (access points, room signs, kiosks, calendaring, etc.) and ask the right technical questions; it’s important to include them so that you have confidence your organization is choosing and correctly implementing the technology that will further your optimization goals.
  5. Director of Unified Communications
    The Director of Communications knows how to improve the meeting experience by simplifying the entire scheduling process using integrated web, audio and video conferencing technology. Their proficiency in collaboration, conferencing and overall company initiatives – the team can sometimes be found in the intersection of IT and workplace strategy – can shepherd your company through better utilization of their investments in technology, helping your organization streamline and save money.
  6. Vice President of Human Resources
    Cultural champions who win the battle for top talent and improve employee retention by keeping up with changing expectations, the HR team is vital in creating engaging employee experiences – but that’s not all they do. They also understand context around company policies, whether it be the need for handicap desks and mediation rooms or government regulations regarding reconfiguring spaces and/or relocating employees. The VP of HR and team members help the optimization process through both employee communication and adoption of processes, and their input is valuable in facilitating change management.
  7. Director of Conferences/Events
    Steeped in the knowledge of what it takes to run a busy machine of services and resources to pull off high-profile events, these individuals have a grasp of the complex workflows involved in the scheduling and coordination of events, spaces, meetings and services for a large company. The Director of Conferences/Events will simplify the meeting planning and management process using a single system of record and automated reporting and invoicing, and their input is vital in guiding the system that will help your organization achieve your optimization goals.
  8. Service Manager
    If you want greater insight and control over required meeting services and cost savings from reduced food and inventory waste – and these days, who doesn’t – the Service Manager’s inclusion at the table is critical. By making sure deliveries are on time, notifications are streamlined, and reporting gives greater visibility into the data, this team not only saves your company money and resources, they also ensure that meeting attendees are impressed by a best-in-class experience.

A Range of Stakeholder Input

Workplace optimization shouldn’t fall onto the shoulders of any one role or department. Some voices are more important for the overall strategic vision, while others are more important for successful implementation – but you need both as well as the range in between. It may not always be possible to have everyone involved from the start of the discussion, but get as many as you can as soon as you can. By doing so, you will achieve a better company-wide understanding of the broader picture—and be set up for success with your workplace optimization strategy.

To learn more about how EMS can help your organization drive workplace value, please contact us.