Watch Caroline Rombout, the Head of People & Organizational Development of Metro/Makro explain, how their headquarters in Antwerp Belgium embraced COVID as a real opportunity to create more freedom, more choice and a New Way of Working together, while reducing and re-designing their office space and their working processes.
NWOW - New Way of Working
As a result of the corona crisis Marko Antwerp decided to formalize the “new normal!” and reduce their headquarters from 2 floors to 1 floor, resulting in numerous questions and challenges on:
- how enable people to continue to do their job in the most effective way
- how to align the different needs and expectations of management, departments, teams and individuals
- how to enable the right level of privacy
- how allow the transfer and storage of goods and documents
- how to align with governmental rules and regulations
- And of course, how to create a new way of working together as a team
Caroline and her team used ADT Accelerated Design Thinking as a systematic tool:
- to involve and align all relevant stakeholder expectations (teams, functions, departments, management, unions, rules and regulations, etc.)
- to develop fast and target ideas on all aspects of a new usage of the drastically reduced space
- to select and combine relevant ideas into three alternative desirable, viable and feasible concepts
- to inspire and convince the larger organization with the right level of visualization and assumption verification.
The Makro team created and implemented their vision of a new way of working within 6 month during one of the biggest crises in history:
- They reduced their space from 2 floors to 1 Floor
- 480 desks to 120 desks
- Reusing exiting resources (furniture, equipment, installations)
- Adding real value adding elements (silent space, multiuse kitchen, amphitheater)
- Integrating stores and other existing facilities as satellite offices
- Changing and enabling the balance of working from home and office (booking tools, documents sharing and storage)
- Ultimately leading to more freedom, more choice and a new way of working together
Creating a new way of working
In 2021, in the middle of the COVID crisis, Metro Makro decided to embrace the “new normality” as an opportunity to change the way of working together as a team. Due to the limited number of employees, that were willing and able to work in the office, the decision was taken to reduce the number of floors of their headquarters from two full floors to the ground floor only.
In order to adapt the physical office space as well as the related working processes, Caroline Rombout, the Head of People & Organizational Development of Metro/Makro was assigned, to conduct a project, called “NWOW” – The new way of working.
The challenge was to enable, allow and secure, the ability off all employees, to continue to do their job in the most effective way, while aligning the different needs and expectations of the management, departments, teams, individuals, as well as the unions, rules and regulations.
While some stakeholders were not able work at home and needed the office as a quite space to work, others needed the office as a space to meet, collaborate and interact. This did not only require different levels of discretion and privacy but also new processes to transfer and store goods and documents.. All with limited resources and a 6-month deadline.
As innovation instigators, we had the honor to support Caroline and her team with our systematic approach to developing new ideas and solutions as well as the visualization and concept development as a basis for implementation:
How we got there...
Understanding the challenge
We started the process of developing a new way of working with series of interviews with all the main stakeholders involved, in order to incorporate all the needs and expectations of the management, departments, teams, individuals, unions, rules and regulations.
While gathering the core insights regarding the needs as well as the given circumstances, we started to apply one of the core Principle of Accelerated Design Thinking. By deconstructing the existing space as well as related working processes, we created an overview over all resources available for solution development.
Systematic, fast and targeted ideation with ADT
Instead of the conventional empathy phase, with extensive research Caroline and her team decided to take an accelerated approach. During a cross-functional workshop, we used the existing Makro expert knowledge to systematically develop targeted ideas based on existing resources. The team developed numerous ideas on all aspects of the given challenge like: Ideas reading the space, working processes, digitalization, privacy, motivation and many others.
Combining ideas into concepts
In order to align all stakeholder needs, and expectations as well as the given rules regulations and business realities, the team selected and combined the relevant ideas into a desirable, viable and feasible concepts for decision making. As a result, they developed 3 final concepts with a different level of disruptiveness to the current way of working.
Tangible and convincing results
Using the right level of visualization and detail during the concept development phase, not only enabled the team to envision their concepts, but also allowed them to verify their assumptions in order to select and implement the final concept.
While the live illustrations during the workshops are mainly used to create a common understanding about the essence off an individual idea. 3D floor plans and object renderings are used to complement the final concepts as a solid base and briefing for the implementation phase.
We thank you for your trust...
”If I had to do it again, I would again do it with Accelerated Design Thinking.Caroline RombautHead of People and Organizational Development