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Workplace Questions

What is workplace culture?

Workplace culture is the combined beliefs, values and behaviours of a collective group at work.

Workplace culture is important as it defines the mindset, attitudes and outcomes achieved by a group at work.

How has new technology affected the modern workplace?

Technology has massively affected the way we work in terms of process, pace, and geographical location, most notably due to its increasingly mobile nature which allows staff to increasingly achieve outcomes in absentia from the traditional ‘office’.

How to boost morale in the workplace?

Morale at work is a physically intangible yet pervasive emotional climate identifying with a collective work group.

Morale is easily influenced by positive or negative factors and is able to be monitored through observation, interviews, engagement surveys or by measuring identified performance outcomes.

How to mediate noise in the workplace?

With the advent of the open-plan office and a subsequent increase in agile ways of working over the last few decades, noise pollution has become a significant issue for workers.

Human energy is fluid with natural peaks and troughs throughout the day.  In a heavily occupied space, these peaks are easily identifiable by almost insurmountable noise levels which counteract productivity targets.

Excessive workplace noise can be combated in one of three ways:

  1. Smart design: prevention is better than cure so integrating an acoustic management plan into your design from its inception will save you time, money and stress in the long run.
  2. Impact behaviours: create alternate spaces for noisy or long conversations and incentivise staff to use these spaces as required.
  3. Develop a culture: aligning certain spaces to certain behaviours can be extremely productive in influencing a new behavioural set i.e. people naturally comport themselves more quietly in a library.

A coordinated workplace strategy combines and aligns all the key elements including the physical, virtual, human and cultural aspects of your organisation.  Whether mitigating noise pollution or orchestrating any of a myriad of nuisance workplace issues, a strategic and collective approach is your best determinant of successful change.

How to create a happy workplace?

Happiness in the workplace can be aligned to meeting the human needs of the workers and the collective workgroup.

Happy workers are generally those experiencing the following:

  1. Acknowledged for positive performance
  2. Counselled and supported through poor performance
  3. Enjoy consistency in decision-making
  4. Possess a legitimate and actionable development plan
  5. Believe their work matters
  6. Undertake challenging work
  7. Access to employer-sponsored benefits (i.e. medical or financial planning)
  8. Professional training & development
  9. Work sponsored social events
  10. Work/life balance and wellness focus
  11. Flexible working arrangements
  12. Feel valued, trusted and of equal value
  13. Gamification and incentivisation
  14. Collegial comradery
  15. Job and financial security

There is no magic formula with which to quantify worker happiness, but implementing these top 15 items will certainly benefit your workforce and, in turn, your business.

How to facilitate change in the workplace?

Facilitating workplace change is complex and often met with a measure of resistance by those involved in the process.

Often stakeholders are overwhelmed by the nature and type of change: the ‘What’.  By taking the time to educate stakeholders on the ‘Why’ of the change, those affected will be more willing to invest in the process.  From this point, it becomes possible to collectively embark on a change pathway.

Workplace change often falls into one of the following 3 categories:

  1. Developmental change i.e. changes to procedures or policies
  2. Transitional change i.e. a merger or acquisition
  3. Transformational change i.e. a change in holistic workplace strategy

Success is largely dependent on the work that goes into the implementation plan.  Before any new process, technology, seating arrangement or organisational structure comes into effect, serious amounts of time and energy should be expended in the planning phase.  By considering the elements most likely to support the change process, instigators will better resource and communicate the implementation to achieve success.  Successful workplace change is usually synonymous with the following:

  1. Apportioning adequate time to facilitate the change
  2. Securing the funding to support the Human (staff) element through the change
  3. Gaining and maintaining Executive support
  4. Identifying a clear goal and desired outcome associated with successful change

For those tasked with facilitating workplace change, use these simple 10 steps to safeguard your success from the planning phase onward:

  1. Forecast a reasonable timeframe and budget to achieve the change
  2. Engage an experienced Change Manager or Workplace Strategist
  3. Articulate and communicate the ‘Why’ of the change to all stakeholders
  4. Develop a WIIFM (‘What’s In It for Me’) case for staff
  5. Stage a communication and change activation program
  6. Test the acquisition of the change through measurable parameters
  7. Secure feedback from different user groups
  8. Refine the change based on user feedback
  9. Implement the change
  10. Monitor and Review

How to encourage leadership in the workplace?

Some people are natural leaders, but for most of us, leadership is a skill that can be learned.

True leaders can unlock exponential productivity by identifying and leveraging the potential of the staff they manage.  A business full of empowered and enthusiastic workers will be on the fast track to success.

To identify whether those in authority are true leaders within your business, first assess these items:

  1. Do they encourage others to do their best work?
  2. Do they connect authentically with their team?
  3. Are they inspiring in the articulation of their vision?
  4. Are they good communicators?
  5. Do they always exercise good judgement?
  6. Do they act as a role model and hold themselves and others accountable?
  7. Are they fair?
  8. Do they demonstrate creativity?
  9. Are they innovators?
  10. Are they committed to the cause
  11. Are they honest?
  12. Do they have integrity?
  13. Do they use ‘I’ or ‘we’?
  14. Are they technically competent as related to their role?
  15. Do they care for and champion their team?

If there are any of the above which are answered with a resounding ‘No’, then a simple gap analysis will be all that is required to instigate a professional development and improvement plan.  With leadership largely a ‘taught’ skill, everyone has the ability to become a better leader with the right support and assistance.

How to measure productivity in the workplace?

Productivity in the workplace can be measured using simple metrics.

Although dependant on the specific ‘type’ of productivity you are seeking to measure, the following equation is generally sufficient:

Total volume of work completed

__________________________                x by the quality of work achieved = Total productivity

Total time to complete work

10 widgets made

________________                     x 90% quality achieved on 10 widgets = 4.5 widgets per hour

2 hours to make

$100,000 in sales

_________________                     x 90% quality (conversion)  = $4,500 sales per hour

20 hours spent

Once you identify your metrics and understand your results, you can then define a target to meet your financial needs i.e. ‘we need to achieve a productivity of 5 widgets an per hour to breakeven’.

How to promote wellness in the workplace?

Wellness has become a massive focus for organisations globally as research has uncovered the impact employee health and wellbeing has on their function and output.

Not only so, organisations are increasingly taking on more social responsibility for their employee’s wellbeing, with work consuming on average 60% of the modern employee’s conscious hours.  In Australia alone where presenteeism and absenteeism from work has been measured as costing organisations approximately $26 billion annually, integrating a wellness focus into your workplace strategy is critical.

The National Wellness Institute of America describes wellness as being ‘an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence’.

It is important to understand the multi-dimensional nature of wellness in order to tailor a best practise response to individual needs.  These dimensions include:

  1. Physical i.e. body health
  2. Occupational i.e. effect of the job and role
  3. Social i.e. relationships
  4. Intellectual i.e response to stimulation and challenge
  5. Mental i.e. psychological capacity and response
  6. Spiritual i.e. sense of self and meaning

Achieving satisfactory workplace wellness is not based on chance or ad hoc initiatives.  Instead, research should be conducted which identifies individual and collective stakeholder needs and then develops an authentic and meaningful response.

This response could take the shape of behaviours, activities, events or facilities which support and promote a culture of wellness in the workplace.  These could include:

  • Prayer rooms
  • Wellness rooms for practising mindfulness
  • Access to natural light
  • Sponsored health checks
  • Group exercise options
  • Professional development programs
  • Social activities

What impacts motivation in the workplace?

Most people want to succeed and contribute through their role at work.

However, that sense of motivation can fade over time as staff become disillusioned, which can occur due to some or all of the following factors:

  • They feel their contribution isn’t noticed or valued
  • They begin to distrust the organisation or feel ‘used’ by the organisation
  • They are managed poorly, or not at all
  • There is no developmental pathway
  • They are affected by personal issues including relationships and financial matters

The time for resorting to the ‘big stick’ to improve outcomes is gone.

The most successful way to harness and improve the motivation of your staff is to seek to understand their issues, be empathetic and work together to develop a solution.

Simply providing staff with a job description and a pay packet is not enough.  To get the best results out of our staff, leaders will determine the success of the organisation by the quality of what we are putting into our team.

What really is a flexible workplace?

With the rise of agile and mobile technologies, there has been an increase in the capability of employees to work flexibly.

But what is flexible working?  Strategies like ABW (Activity Based Working) and Agile Working are sometimes referred to as flexible workplace strategies and are largely defined by their adherence to the 3 A’s.

  • Anywhere, through empowering staff with mobile technology and support
  • Anytime, to suit both the business and the worker’s needs
  • Any place, independent of the businesses fixed location

Allowing employees to work flexibly focuses on outcomes, not hours in the office.  This approach considers the staff as professionals who are committed to contributing to the organisation’s vision and will thus direct their own activity in order to achieve set goals.

Flexible working takes into consideration the needs of the whole person including their social, family, relational and wellness needs and empowers staff to balance competing demands.

Many organisations have successfully rolled out flexible working strategies, however, such a move should be planned and implemented in a holistic manner.

To get the best value out of any change to your workplace strategy, especially if you’re looking to add more flexible options for your staff, leverage the expertise of a skilled Workplace Strategist to develop a program that encompasses the Physical, Virtual, Human and Cultural elements and ensures success from planning through to implementation.

Get to know Wurkspace 7

How many registered architects do you employ?

Wurkspace7’s in-house team of passionate qualified professionals include:

  • Interior Architects
  • Workplace Space Planners
  • Workplace Strategists
  • Interior Designers

Wurkspace7 proudly partners with leading architects and engineers from Australia’s premier design firms dependant on the complexity of the particular project to best meet client needs.

What are other firms spending per m2?

The average cost for a commercial fitout project can vary greatly depending on the location, complexity and unique needs of the particular project.

On average, a commercial design and construction project will total approximately $1,000-$1,200/m2, with this figure inclusive of all finishes, furniture and mechanical/hydraulic services.

This figure is variable, with totals for high-spec locations such as Sydney and Melbourne likely to go above $1,200/m2 and simple projects without mechanical/hydraulic service scope can fall under $1,000/m2.

Despite the location or the complexity of the project, the total sum per mof a design and construct model is considerably less than a traditional design/bid/build project model, with savings accrued not only in relation to budget, but also when comparing time to completion.

What do you mean by "technology" when you refer to it in an office environment?

Leading and progressive organisations globally understand the value of technology as an enabling tool that supports improved performance and outcomes.

Technology (as referred to in an office environment) covers three key areas:

  1. Hardware: Mobile items such as laptops and mobile phones.
  2. Software: Systems which optimise work process e.g. ERP systems.
  3. Building systems: Security, access control and facility management.

Any comprehensive workplace strategy should encompass each of these items.  Decision-makers and stakeholders will benefit from exposure to the efficiency optimisation capabilities these tools and systems provide.

How do I get started with Wurkspace 7?

The first step in your project journey is a tailored Vision & Strategy session facilitated by our expert project team.

This session is designed to introduce you to our 7-step project process and provide you with all the information you need to ensure your project succeeds.  View our gallery to see how past clients just like you have achieved their optimised workspace.

Are you a German Company?

This is a common question and the answer is no!  Our family company is 100% Australian owned and operated and now drawing on the talents of the third generation of professionals to maintain the high quality and customer experience you deserve.

We understand our name has a European feel to it.  Our purpose, however, is to put ‘U’ at the centre of your design and avoid a cookie-cutter approach in order to meet your needs and achieve your desired outcomes.

We need to present three quotes to our board. Can your process facilitate that?

Wurkspace7 is able to provide competitive tendering by trade, supplier or subcontractor for each project element.

Do you have other similar projects that I can refer to?

If you would like to understand the scope of our completed project range, please view our recently completed project page and search by your industry type.

What are the 7 elements to achieve an optimised office?


For a deeper understanding into these essential elements, view our eBooks

I've heard a lot of negatives about the open plan layout. What is Wurkspace 7's view on open plan design?

‘Open plan’ working is a European concept that was made popular in the 1960s and has since evolved in many ways.  Recent decades have seen the open play layout and workstyle addressing the spatial, task, and accommodation issues confronting modern organisations.

The most common concerns with open plan working are the effect of noise and the lack of personal space.  Open-plan offices however are still relevant as they facilitate strong communication and collaborative ways of working.

The key difference in modern open plan office design versus its original predecessor is the value assigned to the cultural and behavioural expectations governing the space, and not just the architectural element.  Wurkspace7 is committed to supporting organisation to discover, design and deliver an open plan environment that works for your organisation on a holistic level.  Find out more by booking an obligation free consultation here.


Explain your process and when you go to tender?

Wurkspace7 is a design and construction firm.  This model allows us to act as both the architect and the head building contractor on behalf of our clients, thus delivering projects faster, and more cost-effectively.

Our proprietary process is comprised of the 7 stages below:

  1. Strategic Consultation
  2. Concept design
  3. Detailed design and documentation
  4. Competitive tender and approvals
  5. Pre-site project management
  6. On-site project construction
  7. Handover and maintenance

Once construction plans are resolved, we then tender to our subcontracting trades and suppliers using a competitive process to achieve the best price for our clients.

Why is a design and construction project delivery model better than a traditional model?

From inception to completion, we have hard proof that our methods will result in your project being complete 30% faster and 10% cheaper than other methods, without any compromise on quality.  Through our hybrid approach, the design and build phases are facilitated concurrently, providing the opportunity for greater design awareness and quick response time throughout construction.

When you choose Wurkspace7, your architect, workplace designer, project manager, site manager, business analyst and construction team are included in that choice, with the entirety of the professional project team qualified and committed to delivering excellence.

Other benefits include:

  1. No conflicts between the ‘design’ and ‘build’ components as all processes occur concurrently and all stakeholders are on the same team.
  2. All parties agree to timelines prior to activation which protects from unexpected time lags and extensions.
  3. Budget accuracy is improved through the strong communication and pre-determined process agreed between team members regarding materials, time and costs.
  4. Our team has extensive experience and a vast network and can secure contractors and trades at the best prices.

Your peace of mind is assured by dealing with only ONE point of contact instead of multiple parties with often conflicting demands.

How does your tender system work?

We understand that optimal project pricing is achieved through observing the following critical elements:

  1. Timing
  2. Quality and accuracy of design
  3. Value engineering

Through our design and build model, information is shared equally throughout the team to ensure accuracy and remove ambiguity for trades and subcontractors.  These stakeholders can thus accurately tender for works with the savings achieved able to be passed onto our clients.

What project management systems do you use and how do you control costs?

Wurkpsace7’s system is modelled on leading PMBOK and Prince2 project delivery systems and has been adapted to best facilitate the design and construction of commercial fitout projects.

We control your project cost through regular PCG meetings which comprise budget management and monitoring to ensure transparency and maintenance.

What design capabilities do you have in-house?

All our projects are designed in-house through our expert interior architectural design team.

What does the name Wurkspace 7 mean?

Many people ask us why our name is spelt with a ‘u’ not an ‘o’.  The reason for this choice is that we want to put you (or ‘u’) in the centre of everything we do.

The ‘7’ refers to the 7 key phases inherent in our proprietary design and construction process. This process has been developed based on our years of experience in designing and delivering successful commercial projects for our clients.

Who will help me throughout the project?

Your project will be resourced with a dedicated team.  Your Project Manager is supported by a Designer, Project Executive and Site manager, with all party’s intent on bringing your vision to life.

Like to find out more about our process? Find out more here.

Do you have your own qualified team of installers or do you outsource?

Wurkspace7 has a number of registered builders and construction managers on our team.  This concentrated group of in-house professionals ensure the highest level of performance and optimal building outcomes.  In addition, local trades are valued to ensure continuity of supply and warranty of works.

Furthermore, we have a strong relationship with many installers who have worked with us throughout the years to establish high-quality offices for our clients.

Can you supply the designs for us to tender out to other suppliers?

Regrettably, our project process does not allow our designs to be tendered on by others, simply because we don’t charge you for your design until you accept it.

Can I use my own trades?

Wurkspace7 has an approved trades and contractors panel with acceptance to this panel based on stringent qualifications.  Therefore, trades will not be utilised unless they pass the approval process dictated by Company Policy and aligned with ISO accreditation standards.

Other questions? Ask away!

If you have a question about creating the best place to do your best work, do not hesitate to contact us or see our office interior design and commercial fitout service pages for more information.