How to Create Cross-Functional Teams to Manage the Ideal, Dynamic Workplace

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Better performance across the workforce—that is the goal of every organization when it comes to workspace design and workplace management. What set of environmental, physical and mental factors will result in higher productivity and efficiency while also ensuring employee engagement, creativity and retention?

In this article, we will examine what high-performance workplaces have in common, how organizations approach workplace decisions, and how to create a cross-functional team to manage the ideal, dynamic workplace.

What do high-performance workplaces have in common?

High performance organizations don’t guess at what it will take to help people work smarter. Instead, they monitor performance, make data-driven iterative adjustments to the workplace, measure improvements (or decreases) and sharpen future plans.

This data-driven approach requires the right workplace monitoring and analytical tools. It also requires a good human sense of what is working best at every level and in every part of the organization. For that, you need a cross-functional workplace management team.

How does a cross-functional team improve workplace management?

Many organizations work mostly within a top-down hierarchical structure. Executives set the objectives. Plans and instructions come down from the top and tend to filter through the organization within departmental siloes.

Unfortunately, a top-down approach often misses great ideas and feedback that occur organically throughout the organization. That is why it is a great idea to have some cross-functional teams that enable managers to work closely with employees. These teams bring together problem-solvers from different departments who have unique skills, abilities and ideas.

Cross-functional teams are essential for good office design and workplace management. Cross-functional teams help organizations gather the feedback and perspectives needed to make choices about the workplace which will result in better performance. They also put all of the decision-makers in the same place.

Who should serve on a cross-functional workplace team?

Organizations will want a variety of departments and decision-makers represented on the workplace team:

  • Space management analysts study the workplace data collected for key insights and trends.
  • Real Estate and Facilities Management professionals optimize the performance of the real estate portfolio.
  • The Human Resources department measures the pulse of employee engagement. They measure the performance and productivity of the workforce.
  • Employees need to be represented on the team since they are the ones using the space and often point out challenges management might not notice.
  • Likewise, managers need to participate and provide feedback on what is and isn’t working in terms of team productivity and interaction with the space.
  • Finally, organizations will want to include executives for strategic buy-in and final decision making.

Next, we will examine the workplace solutions to help your cross-functional workplace management team actualize success.

Empower employees with easy access to the workplace

To achieve optimal productivity, organizations must deliver an optimal employee experience. In the hybrid work model, an ideal workplace experience will include a blend of spaces including flexible, hybrid seating for focus work and collaborative spaces for teams. Employees will need easy, yet secure access to the workplace. From a technology perspective, organizations need secure visitor management as well as workplace services and booking hardware such as self-serve kiosks where employees can make desk and meeting room reservations.

Do you need a few meeting rooms or many? What percentage of meetings require web conferencing with remote teammates? Do employees utilize the huddle spaces or larger meeting rooms more? All of these questions can be answered with the right workplace management solutions and will lead to the correct, unique mix of spaces for your organization.

Measure and analyze, then optimize, to achieve workplace goals

Workplace optimization requires continual measurements and analytical tools to uncover the insights within the workplace data. This is how analysts will identify utilization trends and patterns that reveal how—and in what spaces—your employees prefer to work.

Your cross-functional team will need data about the spaces employees book and to what degree each space gets utilized. Workplace analytics will yield actionable insights in this area.

For an even richer, more complete set of real-time workplace data, organizations should consider occupancy and environmental sensors. This enables study of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and how it relates to health.

Workplace analytics will empower your cross-functional team and executives to make important decisions about environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, cost reductions, and re-purposing of poorly used spaces.

Manage the strategic portfolio with an eye on the future

Real estate and space managers need to be able to visualize the workplace through spatial data and digital floor plans. This creates a single source of shareable truth for space and facilities data.

Workplace data and management solutions should drive space and asset management, as well as strategic portfolio planning and move management. Again, sensor data will add more data points for complete visibility into trends. With the right information and a cross-functional team to identify the key patterns and inform decision-making, your organization can create a dynamic and optimized workplace.

See how Samsung and Highmark Health workplace teams work cross-functionally with HR and leverage technology to optimize the real estate portfolio.

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