Image/Tracey Nearmy for Hot-desking and change leaders needed in new workspace

The great hot-desking experiment has failed, or has it?

In Relocation by Barbara0 Comments

Libby Sander is a lecturer at Bond Business School and in her article originally published on The Conversation and then in The Sydney Morning Herald she really highlights the issues with some of the new work spaces being designed for businesses today.

Read her original article here or click on the links above.

What is important about what she says is not that hot-desking or shared desk arrangements or other activity based workplace designs in themselves are “wrong”. She does share recent research into how people are responding to these workplace designs. It is interesting reading – but from my experience I am not surprised at all at their results.

For me, what is usually missing from the implementation plans of new workstations and designs is the necessary and appropriate leadership needed to support people so that they are able:

  • to discover how to combine their old role with new workplace
  • to understand their own emotional responses to the changes being demanded
  • to work through their own past change experiences – both the good and the awful
  • to understand and contain their own expectations
  • to consider why it might not work – and what it means to them and their team
  • to consider how it might work – and what that means to their role and that of their team
  • to work out how to get their ideas into the corporate conversations.

No wonder people are battling with the new workplaces and work stations. It is not surprising that feelings of alienation, stress, not fitting in and loss are experienced.

The danger lies in attempting to short circuit this natural process people go through when experiencing change, or squeeze it into specific lines in the project plan.

Change management and support during the relocation or refurbishment process is at last seen to be a critical part of the relocation project.

Changing the workspace and introducing a new design needs much more than moving support.
What experiences have you had trying to sustain new work designs after the project team have moved on?

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