Implementing an Alternative Workplace Strategy – Philips Electronics North America: Client Success Story

Many organizations seeking to implement an alternative workplace strategy (AWS), such as setting up a shared-space environment, intensely focus the vast majority of their efforts on the physical space environment.  While the office environment is the most tangible piece of the puzzle, smart facilities and corporate real estate professionals realize it is just one of many components that need to be critically examined for an organization to reap the intended rewards of an AWS.


Often times, we’ve had clients approach us with a beautifully crafted and well planned workplace design wondering why employees haven’t embraced their new workplace, why collaboration and productivity are actually down, or why employee turnover has increased.  Almost always, the client neglected to engage a workplace change management firm to assess the current state of the organization to unearth and address the top areas of resistance, to conduct pre-occupancy surveys for establishing base-line metrics to delve into what is and isn’t working for employees, and to train employees (and managers on how to supervise their employees) on ways of working in the new environment.

Many times, in an attempt to save money, companies will attempt to go it alone instead of hiring workplace consultants like Stegmeier Consulting Group; while the decision-makers may not realize it, apparent upfront cost savings quickly evaporate.

HR and facilities professionals are taken away from critical job functions and are burdened with tasks they are unprepared to carry out.  Out of fear, employees contend that everything is OK, yet true buy-in has not been achieved.  Productivity and collaboration are stymied as untrained employees are blindly expected to achieve success in a foreign work environment.  Middle management, angry that they were ‘this close’ to a corner office, but now moved to an open environment, engage in ‘silent sabotage’ praising the “great workplace idea” to upper management while undermining the success of the project to their direct reports.  Unhappy employees soon look elsewhere, saddling the organization with the cost of recruiting and training expensive replacements.

Very soon, a seemingly thoughtful attempt to save the organization money is proven to be short sighted.  While no company would ever ask their real estate or facilities team to swing a hammer and physically build out their new workspace, many organizations are still foolishly expecting an internal team to serve in the role of workplace change management consultants.

One such organization that wisely saw the value of working with an independent workplace change management firm is Philips.  When they were looking to implement an AWS to move to a more open office environment on their Andover, Massachussetts corporate campus, Philips Electronics North America engaged Stegmeier Consulting Group early on in the process to lead the workplace change management efforts.  Working closely with Margulies Peruzzi Architects and with Cresa Partners, we ensured a smooth transition for Philips employees. The following video gives you a glimpse into their new workspace:

Let’s talk about how we can help your organization reap the rewards of a successful alternative workplace strategy. Head over to our contact page and briefly tell us your plan. We will be in touch with you shortly.