header ENG

 2019 Forum on the Workplace
Shaw Centre, 55 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON 
May 14-15, 2019

Who Moved My Workplace 

In this version of the story, Who Moved My Workplace, four colleagues, Frick, Frack, Hem and Haw, work in an office building. Each morning the colleagues enter the building and travel the maze of corridors in search of their workstation.

One day, they happened upon Workplace C. It had walls and doors, filing cabinets and storage space, landlines and desktop computers. Frick, Frank, Hem and Haw quickly settled into the routine of closing the door, filling the cabinets with paper and essentially never leaving their seats all day. They became oblivious to what was going on around them.

On a beautiful Monday morning, Frick and Frack arrived at Workplace C to find there was no office left. They were not surprised as they had noticed the changes happening on the floor and had mentally prepared to find a new place to do their work. The pair picked up their laptops and set off in search of a new workstation.

An hour later, Hem and Haw strolled in and also discovered that their office was gone. Angered and annoyed, Hem demands “Who moved my workplace?!” The pair had ignored the tide of change so were unprepared for the traditional office disappearance. Haw suggested searching for a new workstation, but Hem couldn’t keep an open mind to open concepts and dismissed the idea. The blame game began and productivity ground to a standstill.

Meanwhile, Frick and Frack found Workplace N – a wide-open space with windows, desks, couches, treadmills, fascinating new technology and people working in groups, on their own and by videoconference.

Back at Workplace C, Hem and Haw pouted and remained unproductive. Haw again suggested searching for a new workstation, but Hem only wanted the old familiar office and was frightened by the unknown. Haw eventually realized that Hem’s negativity was not healthy for either of them and made the decision to turn this uncomfortable situation into an opportunity to discover something new. Before venturing out of the maze Haw emailed Hem “If you do not change, you’ll never find the best place to work” along with a dancing mouse gif.

Haw, still fearful about what lay ahead, wrote, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid” on a whiteboard in the corridor. Haw wandered the corridors and found an empty workstation under construction. Haw realized that the office had not suddenly vanished, rather was being adapted to how people worked not where. Brushing aside fears changed Haw’s mindset and positivity flowed. On a writable wall, Haw scribed “When you move beyond your fear, you feel free”.

Haw returned to Hem with this newfound attitude, but Hem refused to engage.

Haw headed back into the corridors and continued the search. Getting deeper into the building, inspired by the glimpses of new construction along the way, Haw left a trail of notes on whiteboards and writable walls with the hopes that Hem would find them while searching for new workstations.

Haw soon found Workplace N, and was reunited with Frick. Haw was in awe of the open workspace and new technology. “Where’s Frack?” he asked. Frick said “Frack rode his bike in to the east end today, and is working at the Government of co-working space.” Reflecting on all of this, Haw realized that this was exactly how they worked.

On the largest whiteboard in Workplace N, Haw wrote:

Anticipate that Change Happens – They Keep Moving My Workplace so get ready

Monitor Change – Smell Your Workplace Often So You Know When it’s Getting Old

Adapt to Change – The Quicker Your Let Go of Old Workplaces, the Sooner You Can Enjoy New Workplaces

Change Management – Move with and Enjoy the Workplace

Be Ready to Change Quickly and Enjoy It Again

Cautious from past experience, Haw regularly sits in different areas within Workplace N and explores the corridors watching for signs of change and opportunities to contribute to the evolution of the workplace. 


Questions en

fb icon   Twitter icon   linkedIn icon