Changing workplaces: what you did not know and why it is so important!

Julia van Ramshorst
Changing workplaces is very good for a company

Switching workplaces has more influence than you think! 

A human being is a creature of habit and that's not always a good thing. Just think about where you sit for dinner. Probably always in the same place. Although at home it is less important, it is different at the office. 

The same workplace and colleagues around you are not conducive to creativity and development. That's why it is wise to switch things up once in a while. 

Changing workplaces: how do you do it? 

It can be really shocking for some employees if you start swapping workplaces or departments. Therefore, always communicate clearly about the reasons, involve staff and take their wishes into account. 

Take a good look at the business and individual departments 

Before you even think about changing workplaces, departments or your entire office, it is important that you get a good picture of the company and its activities. Some companies or departments devour paper and have extensive archives. 

Moving such a department requires unnecessary work and causes frustration. On the other hand, there are often departments that are easy to move. 

Of course, it is not the case that you cannot move a department that is difficult to move... 

In this case, swap the workplaces of employees within that department. 

Consultation and input 

Although the final decision will often lie with managers, owners or HR, it is wise to involve employees in the process. Then the change is less sudden and you immediately have extra input. 

Of course, it is not feasible to speak to and involve everyone individually. Depending on the size of your company, you therefore choose a number of employees who will be involved. For example, one employee per department or perhaps the office manager who knows everyone well and is up to date on everything. 

By consulting with them, employees feel that they are really involved in the decision and have a better understanding of the motives. 

Make informed choices 

Once you have gone through the first steps, it is essential not to change everything just yet. Because the choices you make will influence the success of workplace changes. 

This is how it works: 

1. Who do you put next to each other? This is possibly the most important choice! 

What can employees learn from each other and how do you optimise this experience? That is not easy. Yet there are a number of things you can take into account. 

  • Are you looking for focus and concentration? Then keep departments together. 

    Are you looking for creativity and innovation? Then mix different departments and facilitate cross-fertilisation. 

    Does someone need to learn more? Put them next to a more experienced employee. 

    Does someone regularly arrive late? Put them among people who come early. 

    Does an employee radiate little energy? Then put them next to the most energetic person. 

You communicate the most (40% to 60%) with the people in your immediate vicinity. 

They will also have the most impact. 

2. Where do you put people? 

Do not put employees just anywhere. It is important to take into account their preferences and their history within the office: some employees are always warm and others cold. Within an office space there are always hot and cold spots, so take this into account! 

The type of workplace also plays a role. Someone who has had his own office for years will not be happy to suddenly find himself in a coworking space. Some people prefer to sit by a window, while others find this distracting. Moreover, there are always places that are popular. This is probably less the case if you rent a small office unit in Amsterdam, but it is important to take this into account. 

This is often where the highest-ranking employees sit. 

That is not always desirable or good for your business! 

So take a look at this as well. What are the most popular workplaces, who sits there and could that person contribute more somewhere else? 

3. Collaborate 

Whatever changes you make, always keep in mind the people and departments that work together a lot. If there is intensive cooperation between certain people or departments, they should sit close together. This increases effectiveness and removes frustration. 

Otherwise. 

Employees sitting far apart consult with each other (shouting), which leads to irritation and loss of concentration. 

So... 

Start swapping workstations and do it right!