When industry influencers gather at the Modern Work Summit on May 23-24, they’ll be debating a big topic: in the hybrid working world, can you really achieve optimum space utilization while providing a great employee experience?
All the evidence confirms that hybrid working is here to stay, and delivering a great employee experience is the key to success. But real estate and facilities teams are also feeling the pressure to optimise the use of valuable space.
Seeking big solutions at the summit
- How can we achieve these potentially conflicting goals?
- What’s the best practical approach?
One of the panel speakers at the Madrid event is industry champion Luis De Souza, CEO of NFS Technology – a partner of summit organizers Crestron.
He said: “In the last two years both clients and our partners have challenged me to comment on what could be a dilemma for workplace leaders who are concerned about real estate costs and also keen to create a positive employee experience.
“It’s a challenge I have enjoyed taking on – and in some cases my original assumptions have proved wrong by experience and good practice.”
Real-life best practice tips
Speakers at the Modern Work Summit will draw on real-life experiences to highlight best practice.
Luis said: “Workplace leaders are in some instances struggling to balance the major advantages of hybrid working, such as talent retention and workforce wellness, with other demands.
“So it’s good to share practical tips drawn from stories of success.
“At the summit I’ll be describing how we helped one major corporate develop a data-centric space strategy, and how another started from scratch with our help in designing a people-centric environment that draws talented staff willingly back to the office.”
The secret of success, he says, starts with providing flexibility, building trust and developing a sense of shared purpose with a holistic management style.
How the frictionless office experience helps
“There is a very real issue today of staff asking: why come to the office when I am totally productive at home?
“The best ways to overcome this come from companies that identify tasks as needing collaboration and then encourage staff to appreciate that these tasks require a visit to the office.
“One NFS client did this well through great team leadership and making the office visit frictionless. This involved giving teams the flexibility to plan their week around collaboration activities, making it easy for the team leader to block book desks and meeting spaces and giving staff the opportunity for select how they engaged with colleagues in the office.
“We have found that deploying a workplace management system that provides staff with the ability to book space and organize meetings using a good mobile app with floorplan booking, colleague location, some messaging features can make the office experience far more positive and enticing.”
The essential toolbox for a great employee experience
- Good space design based on utilization data captured by sensors
- Space booking apps
- One touch collaboration access
- Seamless building entry
- For larger offices: IOT and wayfinding technologies that support the frictionless office experience
Reinventing the office as a venue
In addition, Luis argues that it’s crucial to offer further incentives to make a visit the office an even more attractive option.
“This could range from a food and beverage experience to a team event or a learning or leisure opportunity,” he said.
“Workplace leaders need to be more creative than we were pre-pandemic. A key point is that a single incentive will not work for all staff groups, so there is a need for different offerings and better targeting to individual profiles, very much like a hotel guest.
“In other words, treat your office as the new collaboration and experience venue.
“Your employees benefit from a valuable, enjoyable and collaborative day at work – and your organisation benefits in talent retention, a reduction in absence and a rise in the creativity that is at the heart of any successful business.”
Luis is sure the Summit will be a learning experience for everyone taking part – including the experts.
“I’ll be delighted to give my opinions and share my own experience at the Summit –but I’ll also be delighted to listen closely to the success stories of others,” he said.
“Because in today’s rapidly-evolving world, if I have one significant learning it is this: always be flexible, open and humble in developing your hybrid workplan.”
Register for your place at the Crestron Modern Work Summit, Madrid, 23-25 May: https://modernworksummit.com/
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