Through the years, we’ve all survived life-altering milestones: transitioning to high school, moving out on our own, changing jobs, moving to a new city. To some, these experiences may have been quite positive, but to others, the going through these same life changes may have been outright frightening.

To some, transitioning to an activities-based work environment – where team members’ personal desk is replaced by a functional workspace they use temporarily – is a radical departure from a traditional work environment. Before the move, those affected will have plenty of concerns about what it will be like “on the other side.” To some team members, the thought of giving up their desk could conjure up some those frightening, familiar fears of past life-altering milestones.

Answering questions before they are asked

Realizing that making this transition will require radical new ways of working, what if you could reduce those fears by helping team members clearly visualize details of the new experience before they move? Consider how useful it would be to set expectations on the new workplace by providing everyone with answers to these questions before they moved:

  • Why are we making all these changes and what will I get out of it?
  • What’s it going to be like to work in this new workplace?
  • What are the different new workspace types and their functionalities?
  • How will I select and reserve a space?
  • Where will I put all my ‘stuff’?
  • What are the protocols for working in these new workspaces?
  • What support services are available and how will I access them?
  • How will I use the new furniture and equipment?

Before your first visit, how useful would a pre-move visual preview be?

What if everyone could clearly visualize details of the new experience before the move? Imagine how different the experience would be if all employees – whether there are 200 or 20,000 – were to receive a 10-to-15-minute orientation with a visual preview on exactly how everything is going to be before they got there. Imagine how valuable it will be for each team member to have the same set of instructions at the same time on how to act in certain situations, and how to access and use everything they’ll routinely need in the new environment.

–How important is it to show team members how to use their new work environment before they get there?  Do you really want them to make it up as they go?–

When individuals are able to quickly learn their way around and adapt to how work is now done, teams tend to simultaneously learn from each other and begin adjusting to their new workplace more quickly, and the new normal arrives before you know it.

And those life-altering event fear factors? If you do this right, you will see it dwindle down to moderate anxiety, and after the move, everyone will go right back to work.


See the Evolving Workplace e-Learning Series: Technology-enabled workplace change can only be successful if the people change too. The Evolving Workplace e-Learning Series modules accelerate workplace change through a deliberate mindshift in individuals, teams and the enterprise to work together in new ways.

Register to see the Exploring Workspace Types and Functionality course outline.