Taking A New Approach To Workplace Productivity (SlideShare)

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By: JC Pelusi, Market Leader, Managing Director, JLL 

Leading companies look to the workspace to accelerate employee productivity and happiness. Take Google for example: The tech company’s office in Pittsburgh includes sectioned off cubicles, group meeting areas, a cargo net hammock, an indoor garden and raised catwalks. (Check out all the tour on Business Insider).

While all offices can’t be quite that cool, we can look for ways to make the workplace an efficient, desired destination for employees.

It all starts with workplace strategy. And unfortunately, many businesses miss the mark when it comes to focusing on the right objectives for corporate offices. For example, executives are focusing on how much work is getting done, without necessarily measuring the amount of work that actually has an impact on bottom line success.

In a recent survey, JLL found that 74% said “thinking, talking and brainstorming create the most value,” but only 24% actually spend a majority of their time on these behaviors.

We suggest taking a new approach, which begins with determining what kind of work brings the most value for individual organizations, and then planning an office space to support those activities. 

Does Your Office Encourage High-Value Work?

The first step toward measuring toward the bottom line is to identify those highest value activities or deliverables internally. Oftentimes, we find that the most important items are the ones that boost client happiness and retention. For example, retailers will find the most value in activities that drive brand loyalty, whereas a bank will look to increase client wealth and share of wallet. Regardless, start by pinpointing what high value work means for your company.

Next, evaluate with your office space in mind. Ask: ‘Does the office encourage the creativity or focus needed to drive this type of work?’

Oftentimes, offices don’t strike a good balance between focused and collaborative spaces. According to JLL’s whitepaper, “…creative, collaboration, concentrated work and face-to-face interactions have been identified as the activities that create the most value.”

And—a major disconnect—JLL found that, for the most part, employee time goes into activities encouraged by a traditional, closed workspace. This includes sending emails, making phone calls and attending formal meetings.

The ideal workplace will accommodate for creative collaboration, concentrated work, as well as face-to-face conversations.

Get The Productivity Conversation Started

Before designing a new layout (or pricing an indoor garden), start a strategic conversation with internal leaders about bottom line goals and values. Your new, or renovated space, should accelerate all bottom line objectives. Below are four questions to kick start discussion:

1. What does value really mean for your business?
2. What does our ideal client experience look like?
3. What daily activities and behaviors will drive desired outcomes?
4. How can the office better support high value activities and high value work?

Try not to let the conversation focus on cost. Look to value generation internally and externally, instead of the dollar sign.

Your ideal workspace should inspire, motivate and empower employees to do their very best work.

Download JLL’s new whitepaper Forget The Workplace…For Now for more details on enabling productivity in the workplace.

Forgot The Workplace...For Now

Have questions on how to improve workplace strategy and productivity in your office? Contact me for more information at spaces@am.jll.com.

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About the Author

JC Pelusi is an International Director for JLL and works out of the Pittsburgh office.  As the leader for JLL’s Great Lakes region, JC has extensive experience in a variety of areas, including Corporate Account Management and Transaction Services.

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