Thursday, 20 October 2011

Sherri's Top 10 Do Not Do's when moving to a flexible work place.

Picture this:
You're sitting in an executive meeting. The President of your division expresses his disappointment that the senior team is not leading by example in reducing the company's carbon and space footprint by even considering giving up their permanent 4 wall, corner offices... (ok so not many of us actually had corner offices but you get the point!)

What would YOU do?
Well, I did what any innovative, flexible, excited and a tiny bit reactive leader would do! I pulled my team together and told them we were going to lead the way, be pioneers of change, set a great example.
Yes that's right all you change management experts out there gasping. I didn't follow any of the brilliant strategies we teach and share.
So imagine my teams' reaction, ranging anywhere from complete excitement to almost pure horror. The cherry on top was that I didn't even have my whole team in attendance, so a few of my key associates found out from other team members. Brilliant? Innovative? Not one of my finer moments let me tell you!

So here are my Top 10 Do Not Do's when introducing a flexible work place to your team:

10. Do not leave anyone out! Telling your whole team at the same time so nothing gets lost in translation.
9.   Do not tell everyone they are giving up their offices! Do some research to see who even wants flexibility in location. And make sure you establish a way for people to book space, when they are on site.
8.   Do not assume everyone is fine not having a place to hang their hat every day! Some people just need to know where they will be every day and where their stuff will be.
7.   Don't use words like "lead the way", or "pioneering". Not everyone is a risk-taker!
6.   Don't make people give up their hard-earned parking stalls... This is a big don't until you have tested how parking will work in a flexible environment.
5.   Don't clear out your own office that day and take everything home. People will think you actually got FIRED!
4.   Do not move anyone out until you have specific results mapped out. As you can no longer see them, touch them, observe them to know what they are working on.
3.   Don't start answering your home phone "good afternoon, Sherri speaking, how can I help you?" it really messes with your family!
2.   Do not force anyone to be flexible. It becomes appealing to the right people, in the the right roles, at the right time.
And drum roll......

The number 1 do not do EVER is:

Do NOT implement a flexible workplace and set them free!! Each employee needs to their own approach. Work with them and discuss childcare needs, work expectations, and preferred location. Have a plan, some training and time for adoption.

Ta ta

1 comment:

  1. Hey Sherri,
    Great Top 10 list!
    How abpout a top 10 list to prepare your family for working from home?