Advanced Workplace Strategies

Enabling today’s mobile workforce

Work is now “what we do”, not “a place where we go”. Today’s workforce is virtually mobile, agile, and collaborative. Employees use space differently, but organizations frequently still provide workspaces that sit empty when the workforce is in meetings, in the field, tele-working, or on vacation.

Organizations are paying significant sums for individual workspaces they are not using, while the demand for collaborative spaces is at an all time high and growing.

An efficient advanced workplace strategy (AWS) integrates the key elements of physical space design, information technology (both infrastructure and devices), and effective HR policies to better enable work and increase operational efficiency. Properly deployed, AWS can be a significant driver of real estate portfolio savings and contribute to talent recruitment and retention programs.

An effective AWS program can offer:

  • Efficiency and flexibility in the use of office space that is traditionally dedicated, expensive, and often unoccupied, typically leading to a 20-50 percent improvement in asset performance
  • Mobile technology tools that enable access and collaboration on demand – anytime, anywhere
  • Flexibility and choice for employees to be productive from a variety of work settings, including corporate sites, customer locations, at home, etc.
  • Increased opportunities for virtual and face-to-face collaboration, fostering the belief that the role of the “office” is to enable interactions that enable key business priorities such as innovation, knowledge sharing and speed-to-market
  • Significant cost savings associated with the real estate portfolio, through the identification of space-reduction opportunities and changing workspace standards

An overall approach to AWS

Deloitte’s approach to AWS often starts with an initial assessment of current AWS, mobility and work-from-home programs, but can be tailored to different situations. While each client situation has its own balance of priorities and constraints, below are a number of typical AWS activities:

  • Analyze current demand for space: review internal utilization data from real estate, HR and IT, identify trends, compare against leading practices and identify gaps/opportunities; and develop baseline financial model to support AWS business case
  • Develop future workplace scenarios: define different work styles to form the basis allocation practices; refine space allocation approach and technology allocation; project high level cost savings estimates based on portfolio level metrics
  • Develop integrated solution set to support workforce across in real estate, HR and IT; develop, governance structure; model financial impact of proposed solution set and apply to initial pilot locations; develop implementation plan and roadmap to impact the entire real estate portfolio
  • Develop change management strategy, supporting communications, training, and integration across the program team and business unit leadership

Selected client experience

Deloitte helped a large financial institution implement an AWS program that offered a range of solutions, including: conventional offices, shared/hybrid work space, hoteling, free address, satellite offices, and telecommuting/virtual office practices to enhance employee work/life balance and achieve a more cost-efficient use of space. As a result, the client forecasted an annual run-rate cost reduction of $400 million. Additionally, workspace utilization was improved from 1.22 seats per person to 0.86 seats per person for the targeted population of 160,000 employees. As part of this effort, the team delivered AWS training to over 300 enabling function staff across the globe. The client expects to achieve additional benefits in terms of anticipated reduction in carbon foot print and an increase in overall employee satisfaction.

Over the past 2-3 years, a large technology company had experienced the migration of many business processes to lower cost off-shore and on-shore locations. As a result, there was excess real estate capacity in the portfolio, but business units were beginning to anticipate growth. The client wanted to increase efficiency of space use to realize cost savings, effectively enable growth, and embed flexibility. Our findings and recommendations helped the client in its efforts to socialize and embrace the benefits that an AWS program would bring to the organization in terms of real estate savings, employee and talent related benefits, and better enabled business activities. The project defined a program to achieve $25-30 million in recurring savings over 3-5 years.

About Deloitte’s Real Estate & Location Strategy practice

Deloitte is proud to have one of the industry’s largest consulting practices dedicated to real estate transformation and location strategy. We bring a particular blend of business-focused management consulting experience, real estate and facilities “know how” and cross-industry thought leadership. Our team of seasoned practitioners assists complex organizations in developing innovative strategies and executing complex programs that can add significant value while reducing risk and enhancing enterprise alignment.

With a nationwide presence, our practice is composed of over 200 professionals with management consulting, architecture, real estate, planning, site selection, engineering, operations, construction, technology enablement, and financial management experience. Our practitioners and capabilities are deployed globally, with field experience in over 60 countries and Deloitte offices in over 150 countries. 

Learn more about Advanced Workplace Strategies