While the office may not be dead, its purpose is changing drastically as hybrid working and employee needs continue to evolve.
As a workplace leader, you need to make sure your workers remain engaged in the office no matter how remotely they work, and you need to put in place the technological toolkit to support their working experience.
While the traditional corporate office was adequate for worker’s needs, if they were considered at all, it’s not a great fit for hybrid workers. You need to put the employee experience center stage to ensure future corporate success.
Research from Gartner backs this up:
“Forty percent of workers would prefer to work from a combination of locations, rather than working exclusively at a corporate office or from home. Failure to accommodate worker preferences is a threat to employee productivity and engagement and could lead to attrition.”
What’s needed going forward?
The employee experience and the digital employee experience are inextricably intertwined.
For example, when planning their new digital workplace rollout, Microsoft put employees first and developed new experiences that were not available pre-pandemic. Technology was key in this. A key objective is that the remote meeting experience is comparable with the in-person experience.
Creating the ideal “smart office” of the future begins with an integrated workplace management solution. These smart offices create the right environment for collaboration while fostering wellness and promoting that all-important talent retention.
Post-pandemic, offices are being redesigned with safety and collaboration in mind. You may need a more bespoke office, and technology can help increase efficiency, safety and collaboration. It also provides the accurate space utilization data you need to take the corporate office forward.
Your technological toolkit
What does the ideal toolkit for a great employee experience look like? It should include:
For most visits to the office, a desk is essential whether for quiet focus time or for collaborative work.
Booking is important. The new breed of desking booking software solutions has an easy-to-use mobile interface that saves time and frustration. Staff can book in advance using their mobile device at a time that suits them.
With ease of use and wellness in mind, the best booking solutions include floorplan booking with physical distancing of desks built into the experience – great for peace of mind.
The new breed of desk booking solutions are taking this one stage further.
Thanks to the floorplan it is easy to see where your team members are sitting and this has been developed further so staff can see their colleagues’ schedules at a glance.
It’s vital information when planning a trip to the office.
Touchless check in/out
For safety and efficiency, staff need to be able to check-in and out of their desks quickly and with the minimum of touch.
Integrating the desk booking with QR codes on desks – read by their mobile device – or RFID cards which also grant access to the building are the way to go.
For larger offices, sensor technology offers an even easier process – staff simply select a free desk from a digital signage panel, walk up to the desk and sit down to check in. To check out – they just leave.
For extra peace of mind, workplace management software solutions now include extra time allowances built-in before and after a desk booking or meeting for cleaning.
But how do staff know that the desk is sanitised? Thanks to integration with desk panels – they can see at a glance whether a desk is free, occupied or being cleaned thanks to an easy-to-understand color-coding.
Digital signage outside meeting rooms performs a similar function – color coding letting staff know when it is safe to enter once the cleaning team have checked out.
Integration With Teams and Zoom
Meetings are no longer just face to face. In this hybrid world they are highly likely to involve at least some attendees on the other end of a web cam.
Thanks to integration between the meeting room booking system and Teams/Zoom it has never been easier to book a videoconference that reaches across multiple time zones and offices. The system ensures meetings always start on time and in-person attendees can book catering and car parking with ease using the app.
Integration between the desk booking and meeting room booking software and visitor management is vital and creates another opportunity for ruthless efficiency.
Once a booking is made, the visitor and/or employee are sent health questionnaires. On successful pre-screening they are issued with QR codes enabling their access to the building. All part of the process of touchless entry and maintaining a safe flow of people.
For managers, access to a wealth of data is vital when evaluating how staff are interacting with the building so they can make solid decisions about office design and configuration.
Using technology such as occupancy sensors you can see how and when the space is being used. The room and desk booking solution give accurate information around demand.
Triangulating these data sources provides managers all the information they need to create a bespoke employee experience.
In two short years, the way the world works work has radically changed, and there are many business advantages to be found in implementing successful hybrid working practices.
Forward-thinking employers have recognized that providing a good digital employee experience is key to worker wellbeing and productivity – and for those reasons it makes great business sense too. Implementing a full workplace management toolkit is the key to make it work, now and for the future.
Watch our video to find out more about how technology can drive collaboration.