Rapid technological change, cost reduction and labour force demands are just some of the factors driving organisations within the banking and finance sector to consider their workplace strategy. However, the degree and scope alternative workplace strategy (AWS) programmes vary widely across the sector.
Traditionally companies have implemented AWS purely as a cost saving initiative, but increasingly corporate real estate (CRE) functions are looking to drive a broader culture change agenda. There is a significant "hearts and minds" component to this challenge, and a need to persuade colleagues of the benefits across a diverse range of functions and working practices. There is also a widespread need for more and better data with which to gauge the scale of the exercise.
Key challenges include repositioning the CRE function itself, engaging different levels of the business and taking steps to demonstrate the benefitsof such programmes. Experience indicates that success often hinges on leadership and sponsorship from the very top of the company. Perhaps unsurprisingly, where a chairman or CEO is a technophile, adoption of AWS across the company can be very rapid.
Whatever the challenges, there are key lessons that CRE within the sector can learn from each other. Prominent among these is need for effective communication, and avoiding a "one size fits all" mindset. Adaptability and responsiveness are crucial, and can be the key differenciator of successful implementation.
Source : CBRE