Kay Sargent, Senior Principal | Director of WorkPlace, HOK


“What advice would you offer to someone who is preparing a space for Workplace Transformation?”

Change is difficult. It takes away the comfort of the old and replaces it with the unfamiliar. Workplace transformation involves change on a grand scale. Often, the bigger the change, the more resistant people are to embracing it. What’s the best way to address this inherent challenge of updating the workplace? How can you increase your chances of a successful transition?

For many leading companies, the answer lies in bringing people into the change management process as early as possible so employees will feel the change is being done for them rather than to them. This way, they will experience a sense of ownership and pride in the transformation.


“For any company to be successful, it really needs to look at its people, its process, its IT/tools, and its space—all four of those
elements together impact outcomes.”


For any company to be successful, it really needs to look at its people, its process, its IT and tools, and its space—all four of those elements together impact outcomes. I could design an amazing space, but if it doesn’t align with your processes, you don’t have the right IT tools in place, or the space doesn’t align with how people are actually working, it’s going to be a misfit. Numerous spaces out there right now are misfits because people aren’t taking the time to truly understand what the organization is about.

Every company has its own unique organizational DNA that is made up of six different strands: the industry that you’re in, the regional influences of where you are, the demographics of your workforce, the culture of your organization, your organizational structure, and the work styles or your staff.. It’s incredibly important to understand these core aspects of a company’s DNA so that you can tailor the right solution.

Many companies rely on benchmarking, which is the best way to get you to average. Benchmarking might get you into the ballpark, but it won’t tell you what seat you need to sit in. Understanding your unique organizational DNA and how you might differ from the benchmarks is important. Benchmarks look backward at what other companies have done, but they don’t tell you whether the companies liked what they did, whether they were successful, or even whether you are anything like the companies surveyed. It’s important to know thyself and to craft a solution that is tailored to your workers.

This is an excerpt from 8 Experts on Workplace Transformation. The eBook was generously sponsored by Iron Mountain.