As I sat across from Stuart Jefferson, Office Principles Head of Creative Design we started to compare and contrast working with one of our clients, and having us as a client.
Quickly the conversation turned to communication. Communication is key on any office fit-out project, but where it has an additional layer of complexity is when the client is your own company! I am sure as you follow our story while we journey towards our office relocation this summer, you will see how that all plays out.
Communication for any office fit out project has a number of stages, and it was to uncover those stages that the conversation now turned.
Firstly, there is the board level conversations, the process clearly has to start with a decision by the board of the client to make a change. Sometimes this is prompted by necessity, other times it is a desire or aspirational change. Lease ends always provide an opportunity to make a decision about whether to stay or move on to a new location.
Once that decision has been made and the board have bought into the plans for the office move, the task of communicating with the wider audience comes into place. Ensuring that everyone within the organisation that is effected by the move is involved in the communication will always ensure that it is a smoother process.
It’s easy to forget the importance of getting feedback at every step of the journey, whether that is from the board at the outset, or from any of the internal stakeholders. Clearly decisions have to be made, and you won’t always please everyone. By explaining and working through the changes in advance, many of the potential problems can be dealt with before they spiral into something that could have been avoided by open communication.
Where there are significant changes to be made in order to implement agile working, we always spend time supporting our clients to understand and travel through those changes in a way that makes everyone feel a part of the agile working environment.
In our case, once the board had agreed the plans, a room was set aside and all the plans were displayed for all of the team to see. Within moments of the email hitting everyone’s desks to make them aware it was ready, the space was buzzing with discussions and post-it notes started to be placed on the drawings with questions or ideas for improvement.
As the project continues, communication will be key to ensuring that it all happens smoothly, I am sure you will see references to its importance as we get closer to the move. Do keep an eye on the blog for further updates.