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Workplace change is difficult and people are often resistant to it. Do you have best practices for reconciling those things?

Answered by:
Brendan O'Neil
Go-To-Market Lead

This comes up a lot. People are inherently territorial and at work, big changes are often accompanied by resistance, especially when it relates to traditional ways of working. Before implementing a specific change, have you figured out the why behind it? What’s the motive behind the change and how will it impact employee and workplace experience specifically? If there’s no clear answer, it might be worth rethinking.

One example in our office was intentionally not adding a coffee machine to our first floor and a Bevi on our second. People on each floor ask for each often and while it would be convenient, it’s a great way to get everyone moving and interacting with people they normally wouldn’t.

Next, one of our favorite pieces of advice, always start with an advocacy group. When it comes to introducing new office changes and testing the reaction of the team, expectations don’t always meet reality. That’s why getting a small group of power users involved early on is critical to gather feedback and adjust accordingly.

For example, if you’re thinking about implementing hot desking in your office, before rearranging desks and telling people they’re expected to reserve a desk every day that they’re in the office, start with your advocacy group, ideally a mix of people in different roles. If the reaction is positive, you know you’ll have evangelists once you roll it out to other teams.

Once you roll it out, be thorough with employees about why the change is happening. Create onboarding materials and make sure to communicate the benefits from the start. Using my hot desking example, this might sound like: we know it may feel like you’re losing your assigned seat, but in return, you’re getting access to the entire office.

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