Lara Owen of NetApp

How do you create a cultural transformation in the office? Lara Owen explores this question as Vice President of Workplace Experience at NetApp. It requires an intimate understanding of the legacy culture of an organization and what programs and expectations are already in place.

“How synchronous versus asynchronous are we? What kind of educational programs do we have for our management team?” she says. “How do people feel about the culture right now? What metrics do we have around our office space, and how are we using it? What's [the] real estate portfolio philosophy and strategy?”

Asking leadership and employees these questions helps her establish a foundation for building a new, hybrid-aligned workplace.

Many companies are expanding facilities and real estate managers’ positions to include workplace experience, and questions like these will help them understand and improve office policies and culture. These positions are becoming “more employee-centric. It's more experiential than it is about cost centers and real estate footprints. It's a balance of both,” she says.

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