Over the last two years, we have interviewed 2,000+ Future of Work Pioneers who have shared their insights into new work paradigms. Today we feature Lori Strasser as part of our series. Enjoy!
Lori Strasser is a nationally certified interior designer and workplace strategist specializing in the “people and processes” side of the real estate strategy equation, bringing a customized perspective and methodology to various strategic programs. From the creation of a Watchdog client’s unique vision in planning for the future of their workplace environment to the integrated implementation intended to influence all programs and projects in flight, through the post occupancy analysis, Lori is with Watchdog clients every step of the way. Prior to joining Watchdog, Lori’s career was focused on corporate clients through a design-centric lens. Contact Lori at WatchdogPM.com
How are your clients approaching new work models (in lieu of 9am-5pm | 5 days a week)?
Currently, many of our Watchdog clients, crossing all sizes and industries, are working within hybrid models of varying types. Some are requesting employees be in the office 3 specified days of the week; some allowing autonomy within teams to do what works for the team; others going completely remote.
Many are relying on their HR liaisons or their business unit middle managers to figure this new equation out. For our clients without extensive internal teams, Watchdog offers support, from strategic, operational and implementation perspectives.
What metrics or other indicators will you recommend be used to measure how your clients new work models are performing?
We recommend that our clients measure both the quantitative and the qualitative data points. Measuring how and when people are using the workplace, as well as how they are feeling about culture and connections will become increasingly important. Studies show that there is a direct correlation between positive employee experience and increased revenue.
What does the purpose and vision for an ‘office’ look like from your perspective in the next five years?
We believe that the purpose of the workplace, whether an office or some other type of workplace, is to be a very deliberate and thoughtful destination for inspired collaboration. That purposeful vision will need to apply to both the physical and virtual environments and will be a contributor to overall employee wellbeing. One size does NOT fit all, and therefore it is imperative that a continuous improvement plan is implemented to support the evolution of the environment for five years and beyond.
What were the top three challenges your clients have faced since Covid hit?
Our clients have faced many challenges since covid. The top three challenges cross both the physical and the emotional needs of their respective employee bases:
Physically, getting everyone returned to the office: from the occupancy planning pre-work, through the actual move coordination and post occupancy considerations
The alignment of technology to address an equity of presence between those in the office and those working remotely
Creating and implementing enough guidelines to support associates but not too many “rules” to bog them down.
Do your clients have teams within your organization that have different space, cultural or organizational needs? If so, can you provide insight and make recommendations to manage that?
Many of our clients have vastly different needs across their organizations. Our recommendation is to allow as much flexibility and freedom of choice as is possible, within the guard rails of the larger organizational business goals and drivers. Create a strategic roadmap, and follow through with transparent communications to the employee base, in partnership with peer stakeholders. Implement the roadmap, tracking pre-determined KPIs, and planning for quick wins with test pilots or projects already in flight. Finally, be sure to listen to employees, and gather feedback to enable a continuous improvement plan.
Can you share one prediction for the Future of Work that you’d strongly bet on?
"Stay flexible! The Future of Work is an evolution; although it may have been accelerated by the pandemic, we have barely scratched the surface!"