1st Dec 2022
10 Questions to Ask Your Workplace Consultants
If you’re researching workplace consultants, you’re already a step closer to making informed, effective decisions that support your people, business and workplace.
If ‘done right’, the workplace consultancy process gives you insights that enable you to create a successful office strategy.
To ensure your strategy solves problems and creates solutions in the right places, we’ve put together a list of questions to ask any workplace consultant that you’re thinking of working with.
What is your approach to workplace consultancy?
This is a good question to start with as it gives you more of an idea of what’s involved in their process. Some workplace consultants use activities such as workshops, focus groups and surveys, so it’s good for you to understand what you’ll need to do, who will be involved, and when. We all know diaries are hard to coordinate at the best of times, so the more notice you have, the better!
Understanding the workplace consultancy process on this level also helps you decide if your business is ready to engage with it in the first place. For example, you may need some time to get various team members or stakeholders on board with the idea of bringing in a workplace consultant.
Is it just about the design of the office?
Workplace consultancy is about so much more than design. If they say, “oh yes, it’s just about the design”, we’d suggest walking the other way!
This question will allow you to understand the exact areas that the workplace consultant will touch upon during their work.
Good answers to this one would be:
- The wellbeing of your employees (both in-office and remote)
- Your workplace culture, values and goals
- Giving people the tools and environment they need to succeed
As well as the above, workplace consultancy will undoubtedly look into most areas of your business. It’s the only way for you to get the best results from the process.
What are the benefits of workplace consultancy?
There are many benefits to workplace consultancy and this question will help you open up the conversation on what these are.
You could follow up by asking the workplace consultant to tell you about how they’ve worked with other companies, and the benefits their clients have enjoyed.
More specifically, you could ask them to tell you about benefits in different areas that you’re looking to improve on, for example:
- Collaboration between teams (online and in person)
- Staff retention
- Employee wellbeing
- Brand and values alignment
The list goes on!
Do I need to write a brief before we meet?
This is a common one we get. The answer is often no, as one of the benefits is to define the brief for your office, based on the findings of the workplace consultancy process.
It never hurts to have a rough idea of what you think would be good for your company and people, though. Your workplace consultant will then help refine these ideas. The important thing is to keep an open mind, as your initial assumptions could be proven wrong.
What other services do you offer?
Your workplace consultant might be able to help you implement the improvements they suggest. If they don’t, it means you will need to brief another company on the things you want to achieve. This isn’t necessarily a negative, but one of the big pros of working with the same company is that they totally get your business, people and goals – because they’ve delved into it all already.
At Blueprint Interiors, we really enjoy supporting our clients from workplace consultancy, right through to the implementation of a new office design. It’s exciting being able to carry out the fit-out and refurbishment, including selecting the most effective workplace technology and furniture – of course, based on our findings from the consultancy phase.
Does workplace consultancy support wellbeing?
Spoiler alert, yes should be the answer to this one! A truly great workplace looks after the wellbeing of the people that use it. The insights that a workplace consultancy uncovers give you the information you need to form your unique workplace wellbeing strategy.
Insights include things like how staff feel about work, their colleagues, the office environment, and the expectations placed on them. When you know how people feel about these things, you can get to work on the elements that need to change or improve in your company.
How do we work out a budget?
Your workplace consultant will help you form your budget. But before you embark on the workplace consultancy process, you can start to make a list of the costs you’ll need to consider for your office design and fit-out project.
As with most things, the higher the quality, the larger the budget. Have a conversation with your workplace consultant about your budget early on, as it may affect the activities they plan for your team. They’ll also be able to manage your expectations.
Will the original floorplan change?
This is a tricky one to answer before you go through the process. Your workplace consultant may suggest a change to your office floorplan if the cost/effort will be worth it for the desired outcome. Sometimes it will be very obvious from the beginning that the layout of your workplace is negatively affecting your people, so ask their opinion to see what they say.
It’s worth noting that you might decide to move offices altogether rather than altering your existing one, so in that case, the floorplan would definitely change!
Will my staff have a say in any suggested changes?
If the answer isn’t, “of course” then this is another instance where we’d tell you to end the conversation there! In our opinion, workplace consultancy can’t give you a valuable outcome if your team (from board to employee level and back again) doesn’t have an input at some point. After all, your office is literally designed for them (or at least a workplace consultant ensures it is!), so their contribution is vital.
As an example of how this works in practice, our workplace consultancy process involves a range of workshops with different team members to understand their views and get them to contribute ideas.
How can I help manage any changes we make to our workplace?
Some people find change difficult. It’s understandable, so this question tells you how your workplace consultant will help you create a change management plan.
Part of successful change management is getting people on board as early as possible so they have time to get used to the ideas you present. This links back to how you engage people at all levels from the start of any office transformation project, but also how you communicate while change is happening.
Once you have the workplace consultant’s findings, you can plan the logistics of what you will and won’t implement. You can then create a change management plan that brings your team on the journey with you.
Just remember to be sensitive and mindful that some people find change harder than others.
For more on this, read our blog article on how to deal with workplace change management.
Are you looking to transform your workplace?
If you’d like some more personalised advice on how to transform your workplace and create an inspiring environment for your people, get in touch.
We’re always happy to have a no-obligation chat about what you’re looking to achieve.