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​​People and change

​It’s easy to underestimate the impact a new workplace can have on how people function in a space.

Property projects mean changes for your employees, particularly when it comes to:

  • the physical environment
  • technology
  • operations
  • culture, and
  • behaviour.

A co-location’s success depends on making sure the right processes and policies are in place. These will help people embrace the idea of sharing and working with other agencies to create a collective culture.

A change management toolkit is available on the Public Sector Intranet (PSI) to help you develop a change programme for a workplace or co-location project. It focuses on how to engage your employees to increase their investment in the final outcome, and help people make meaningful changes to how they work. It provides a framework for creating your workplace programme and defining your change and communication plan, as well as useful templates and tools to help you along the way.

Project responsibilities

Project activities should be set up to support people working together to address the challenges and opportunities that co-location may present to the way they and their teams will work. During the project initiation phase, the project team will scope the level of change management and supporting communications the project team will provide and what each agency is expected to manage.

We recommend that the project team take responsibility for developing and coordinating:

  • a cross-agency change impact assessment, and working with agencies to agree and distribute actions from it
  • a change programme that includes activities and messaging supporting the objectives of the co-location
  • cross-agency engagement sessions for different levels of local stakeholders to actively participate in the project. This could include managers information sessions or staff sessions, for example
  • cross-agency communication channels for local stakeholders to engage with building and move information.

We also recommend that each co-locating agency take responsibility for:

  • additional communication channels specific to their agency, like the agency intranet, leadership forums, and internal alerts or newsletters
  • any unique change initiatives that are being run in tandem with the relocation, such as moving to activity-based working or major individual technology changes
  • resource changes as a result of the lead agency taking over building support activities. This includes job description changes for business or building support staff as a result of the co-location.

Change considerations for co-locations

Co-location projects share similar change characteristics to single agency workplace projects. Both focus on:

  • the flexibility to work anywhere in the workplace
  • choice and diversity of workspaces
  • tools to better fit with the range of activities people undertake
  • supporting desired organisation cultural attributes.

Specific concerns that will impact people who are co-locating centre around sharing space and resources with other agencies, and how that impacts:

  • resource availability
  • security of information, and
  • expectations around more cooperative working.

Co-location change process

As with any workplace project, it’s important to define the objectives of the co-location for the participating agencies.

Define the change Create change strategy Build awareness and desire Develop knowledge and ability Reinforce and sustain
1. What NWoW means in a government context and why its beneficial 1. Understand change impact 1. Communicate vision 1. Detailed solution 1. Exploration
2. Develop your agency NWoW plan 2. Establish stakeholder engagement structure 2. Communicate benefits 2. New behaviour experiences 2. Evaluation
  3. Develop change plan 3. Introduce the solution 3. Protocols and working arrangements 3. Transition to BAU
Workplace selection and Business Case and project established
Concept + Design Development
Frozen Layouts
Soft Fitout
Detailed design
Team adjacencies
Relocation + settling in

Co-location engagement structures

The change management for a co-location project will follow a similar structure to that of a standard workplace project. Roles and responsibilities for the various groups involved can be found in the change management toolkit on the Public Sector Intranet (PSI).

Public Sector Intranet (PSI)