My current client is a global manufacturer and we had some colleagues from from one of their European offices today. During the course of the day we (consultants) had to escort them (employees) around their own offices because they don’t have local passes. My company, a (much) smaller but still spread out organisation has managed to get it that my London issued card works in our Manchester office. I’ve not tried elsewhere but it got me to thinking, what are the ‘little’ things that “spread out” organisations can do to foster a sense of being part of a single company?
- Access / id cards work across all sites
- Same / similar approach to ‘labelling’ in different locations (e.g. all meeting rooms are product names / local rivers / towns, etc.)
- Same / similar approach to layout of office space & meeting rooms in different locations
- “Briefing pack” for each site with info on most important onsite (bathrooms, cafeteria) and offsite (hotels, restaurants, directions) amenities available on the intranet and, more importantly, via mobile devices
- Posters / photos of foreign offices (I saw this at a previous client, thought it was a nice idea)
This is obviously not an exhaustive list, just the ones that came to mind this morning – please go ahead and add some more in the comments. I guess it’s a matter of not having employees feel like visitors just because they’re not in their base office. It ‘felt’ crazy that we were escorting employees around their own building. Of course, some of these will be constrained by local considerations, different vendors, etc. But its food for thought.