A change of this magnitude, however, is never straightforward and the CCEP team was immediately presented with a number of obstacles. According to the Leesman survey, for example, the largest respondent group by time served was ‘12+ years’. This shows that once people join CCEP’s business in Sweden they tend to stay, but it is these long-serving members of staff who often struggle to embrace changes to working environments, practices and expectation the most.
Meanwhile, the Swedish head office is one of the only corporate CCEP sites in Europe to be attached to the organisation’s production and distribution facilities. Ståhl explains that in one of the first iterations of the workplace transformation project, the production and supply chain offices were excluded from the research limit the scope of data collected. But this created some resentment among adjoining staff, so the decision was eventually made to investigate the state of all administrative facilities throughout the facility, including the production and logistics offices. According to Ståhl, a large proportion of the supply chain staff wear different clothes (bright orange), so it was imperative not to create any further divisions between the teams and see the entirety of CCEP European Partners in one location.
So Ståhl and Ljung developed a plan to make the transition as fluid and as easy as possible for every single employee. Ståhl led a series of meetings and lunch & learn sessions where the different teams could find out about the project. This included lessons on how ABW would work as well as special workshops that invited employees to analyse and discuss the data from Leesman’s pre-occupancy survey. “From day one their feedback was used to develop the content of the workplace brief and the change management programme,” says Ljung. “[Employees] were able to impact how we put the plans together, not only for the building and designing of the new space but also the ways of working.”
Together with this consultation, CCEP appointed “champions” to act as ambassadors for the project. These staff members were not managers but employees who had significant influence and impact over the working environment. Perhaps the most notable of these ambassadors, however, was CCEP European Partners Sweden CEO Pierre Decroix, who Ljung describes as a role model for ABW. He threw all his support behind the new way of working by quickly adapting to his new office-less role while encouraging others to follow suit. “He was very brave when he did that, and we couldn’t have made the change without him,” says Ljung.
Decroix, Ljung adds, was clear about the agenda with his management team from the beginning, though some of his executive colleagues were a little more reluctant to buy into the change at first. Nevertheless, a series of serious discussions about the long-term ambitions of the organisation followed and eventually everyone understood the aims behind the workplace brief.
Once development began on the new workplace in August 2016, employees were moved into temporary accommodation such as bungalows and additional desks in the visitor centre onsite. “It was really tight because we didn’t have that much space,” says Ljung. “We didn’t have desks for everybody, so we were activity-based in this period too. But it worked really well.”
In a moment that had the potential to be very unsettling for staff, Ljung ensured that she was always attentive to people’s needs. “I shared the map [of the new space] with sandwiches, cinnamon buns and all kinds of good fruit to cheer them up every Thursday,” she explains. “I started to serve breakfast, too, so they had something to look forward to — and it was really popular.”