The limitations of a traditional workspace, and why you need to improve your Digital Employee Experience (DEX)

HomeResourcesBlogThe limitations of a traditional workspace, and why you need to improve your Digital Employee Experience (DEX)

Executive Summary

The evolution of workspaces
The key limitations of traditional workspaces
The challenges of limited collaboration
How Rendezvous improves the digital employee experience

Research for Robert Half’s Demand for Skilled Talent report found that 60% of U.S. job seekers would like a hybrid role, while 37% are interested in a fully remote position.

What constitutes a workplace in today’s corporate world is different from what it was even 5 years ago. This new drive towards hybrid working is prompting organizations to rethink how they view the office. New configurations require new technology focused on managing the real-world, and digital employee experience, to make them a success.

The evolution of workspaces

The modern office began to take shape in the 18th century. Traditional offices in this period featured private offices for senior executives and open bullpens for other employees.

The introduction of cubicles in the 1960s aimed to provide employees with privacy and personal space. However, cubicles soon became synonymous with monotonous and uninspiring work environments.

The shift towards open offices began in the late 20th century, aiming to foster collaboration, communication, and creativity amongst corporate workforces. However, this design also introduced challenges such as increased noise levels, lack of privacy, and distractions.

Key features of modern office design include:

  • Flexibility and adaptability to accommodate different work styles and tasks
  • Emphasis on employee comfort, well-being, and ergonomics
  • Designated collaborative zones and meeting spaces
  • Integration of digital employee and workplace management technology and sustainable practices
  • Personalization and reflection of brand identity
  • Hybrid workspaces catering to both in-office and remote employees

The key limitations of traditional workspaces

The limitations are:

  • Traditional offices usually have set operating hours (e.g. 9am-5pm) when employees are expected to be present
  • Employees generally work from a single, fixed location – the office itself
  • Traditional offices are designed for employees to work on-site, with limited support for remote work
  • Long-term leases for traditional offices make it difficult to quickly adapt to changing space needs, or efficiently manage your Corporate Real Estate (CRE)

Traditional office designs with cubicles, closed-off spaces, and lack of amenities can negatively impact your employee’s productivity, workplace experience and work-life balance in several ways:

  • Noise and distractions
  • Sedentary jobs and poor ergonomics
  • Lack of flexibility and balance
  • Uninspiring environment
  • Limited collaboration spaces within offices or corporate environments

To address these issues, modern office designs are incorporating key employee experience elements like:

  • Quiet zones and privacy pods for focused work
  • Ergonomic furniture and standing desks for better posture
  • Flexible work policies and remote working/hybrid options
  • Breakout areas and recreational spaces for relaxation
  • Office design with natural elements and greenery

By creating a more balanced and inspiring work environment, companies can improve employee productivity, well-being, and overall work-life balance.

The challenges of limited collaboration

Traditional workspaces with cubicles, private offices, and rigid layouts can limit spontaneous and cross-departmental collaboration in several ways:

Physical barriers: Cubicle walls, closed office doors, and compartmentalized layouts create physical barriers that discourage casual interactions and chance encounters between employees from different departments. This isolation can lead to silos and a lack of knowledge sharing across teams.

Lack of shared spaces: Traditional workspaces often lack communal areas or shared corporate spaces that facilitate informal gatherings, conversations, and idea exchanges between colleagues from various departments. Without these spaces, opportunities for spontaneous collaboration are limited.

Hierarchical design: Many traditional office layouts are designed around hierarchies and departmental divisions, with separate areas or floors for different teams or ranks. This segregation of employees and teams can reinforce silos and hinder cross-pollination of ideas and collaboration across departments.

Lack of mobility: Employees in traditional workspaces are often assigned to fixed desks or cubicles, limiting their ability to move around and interact with colleagues from other teams or departments. This lack of mobility can restrict spontaneous collaboration opportunities.

Cultural norms: Traditional workspaces can foster cultural norms that prioritize individual work over collaboration, discouraging employees from engaging in cross-departmental interactions or projects. This can create a siloed mindset and hinder the free flow of ideas across teams.

In contrast, modern collaborative workspaces aim to break down these barriers by incorporating open layouts, shared spaces, mobility-enabling designs, and cultural norms that encourage cross-departmental interactions and knowledge sharing.

How Rendezvous improves the digital employee experience

Technology, such as the Rendezvous workplace experience platform, help organizations and enterprises navigate the modern workplace and provide a wonderful digital employee experience.

Our workplace technology enables corporate leaders, the C-Suite, and enterprises to:

Make intelligent space decisions: utilizing historical room and desk booking data coupled with occupancy sensor data, corporate leaders get an accurate view of space usage so can make confident space reconfiguration decisions to support an improved employee experience.

Mitigate no shows: a bane of corporate life is the ghost meeting or desk no show – particularly when other people could use the meeting room. Thanks to Rendezvous’ meeting room booking features, room management applications and meeting scheduling tools these issues, which create a negative employee experience, can be easily mitigated against. If a meeting or desk booking does not start on time, the space is auto released by the software platform and can be booked by someone else.

Maximize return on digital and technology investments: thanks to Rendezvous’ open API, leaders can enhance the functionality and extend the lifespan of their workplace hardware. For example, we work seamlessly with leading digital signage screens to provide an enhanced user and employee experience.

Drive sustainability: thanks to integration with building management solutions such as Utelogy, Rendezvous software enables organizations to deliver on their ESG goals – a major concern for employers and employees alike. Thanks to proactive maintenance features you can extend the lifespan of your equipment – great for the environment and your bottom line.

Facilitate remote and hybrid working: with our easy-to-use meeting room booking platform, staff can book desks, meetings and rooms quickly from their mobile devices using our desk booking app or the desktop. Two-way integration with Outlook ensures that the calendars of service providers, attendees and guests are always up to date, and, in addition, as Rendezvous integrates fully with the full Microsoft Office suite, staff can book space straight from Outlook thanks to our new add-in. It all leads to a great digital employee experience, and helps you, as a corporate leader, manage the employee experience, whether your employees are hybrid, on-site, or working remotely.


The world of the workplace has moved on. Thankfully, workers no longer must work in the cubicle farms or open plan offices of the recent past. Hybrid and remote working options give staff and employees greater flexibility in terms of working time, productivity, location, and overall work life balance.

Considering, and managing, your digital employee experience is no longer a nice to have, it is a key part of effectively managing your corporate real estate, and a critical element of meeting your ESG goals.

Leaders need to be agile in terms of space configuration and meeting the needs of their workforce, whether their employees are working remotely, on-site, or are hybrid.

Workplace and digital employee experience tools and platforms like Rendezvous give you all the tools you need to negotiate the modern office, and a diverse digital workforce.

Our software is a vital component of your DEX strategy, and arms you with the data insights you need to make intelligent corporate space decisions for the future.

Ready to transform your workspace and ensure your employees experience great digital interactions with your organization? Contact us today to learn how Rendezvous software can help you create a modern, flexible, and efficient office environment.