In the ‘work-quake’ that has overtaken the world’s workplaces, the role of technology in optimizing management cannot be overstated.
It’s the steady bedrock that holds firm as everything about the way we work flexes, bends and – sometimes – breaks in these evolutionary times. In response, workplace management technology has undergone its own significant transformation, offering innovative solutions that enhance the employee experience, productivity and the way organizations plan and use their resources.
In this blog, we will explore six key ways in which workplace management systems transforms your company’s operations, boosts employee engagement and encourages great talent retention.
- Streamlined workspace reservations
- Enhanced employee engagement
- Optimized real estate utilization
- Better collaboration
- Improved communication
- Data-driven decision making
Streamlined workspace reservations
Hybrid working is embedding itself further and further into normalized working patterns, despite the efforts of some large organizations to pull their people back to the office full time. It’s popular with staff who enjoy the flexibility and reduced travel stress, but it can have its drawbacks.
One issue can be organizing those precious days in the office so work can proceed seamlessly and without frustration. This is where workplace management software can be an enormous help. Employees use a mobile app to locate and book the desk or meeting space they need in a few clicks, before they even come to the office.
This not only reduces conflicts and confusion on arrival, but also enhances employee satisfaction by giving people greater control over their workspace choices.
The best mobile app solutions incorporate features like real-time availability updates and integration with calendar applications, ensuring that employees have up-to-date information at their fingertips. This makes it easier for workplace leaders to plan and allocate resources.
Enhanced employee engagement
Today, your employee is a consumer of the workplace, demonstrating many of the behaviours familiar from hospitality and retail. Principally, if they find their needs are not being properly satisfied, they will vote with their feet and get a job elsewhere.
As all workplace managers know, recruitment and training are costly, so providing the conditions where good employee engagement can thrive are vital.
Cutting edge workplace management software plays a pivotal role in improving employee engagement by fostering a more flexible and accommodating working environment.
By allowing your employees to reserve workspaces that suit their needs and preferences, this technology promotes a powerful sense of ownership and autonomy. People can choose the workspace that helps them perform to their best ability, whether it’s a quiet corner for focused work or a collaborative area for team meetings. This choice and flexibility can significantly boost morale and engagement levels.
Workplace management software often provides tools for employees to provide feedback on their workplace experience, allowing organizations to make data-driven improvements and enhance overall satisfaction.
Optimized real estate utilization
As hybrid working goes from strength to strength, many organizations are taking the opportunity to rethink their workspace footprint. HSBC, for instance, are moving their London HQ from Canary Wharf to premises that are half the size. Many others are repurposing fixed desks as hot desking areas, and set meeting rooms as casual collaboration space.
But any efficient workspace rethink requires good data, or else it can be an expensive guess. Workplace management systems, coupled with hardware including sensors, provide insights into how workspace is used throughout your organization, allowing facilities managers to identify underutilized areas and make informed decisions about space allocation.
This can lead to downsizing unnecessary office space, reducing rental costs, and creating a more cost-effective work environment.
Just as importantly, it means leaders can be sure the environment they are providing matches closely to the changing needs of their employee consumers, making a seamless working day a certainty.
By tracking space utilization trends over time, workplace management software enables organizations to make informed decisions about future real estate investments, ensuring that they align with actual needs and usage patterns.
Collaboration and the innovation it brings are the lifeblood of any organization – and they can be severely impacted by badly organized hybrid working. This can be for three reasons:
- Spontaneous collaboration – ‘water cooler moments’ – are reduced when people are not physically together
- The collaboration sparked by mentoring needs to be properly organized. This is particularly valued by new or younger members of staff, who can feel isolated and unsupported when working remotely.
- People who need to work together simply find it difficult to get together.
The way technology helps is by tackling the issues behind these situations. Workplace management systems make it simple to organize collaborative events such as training, meetings and one-to-ones, either online or face to face.
Using the mobile app, managers can book collaborative space for the whole team – and individuals can use the same app’s colleague search facility to discover when workmates are in the office and where they will be sitting.
By making it simple and admin-free to book a meeting even across different locations and time zones, the issue of spontaneity can be eased because the opportunity to chat and collaborate is increased.
At one time, managers struggled with the thought: “How can I be sure people are working if they aren’t sitting near me?” The success of hybrid working, with its good productivity ratings, has largely wiped that concern away, but leaders now worry about how to stay closely in touch with their dispersed workforce and make sure working relationships are satisfactory.
The best workplace management solutions offer integration to video conferencing and messaging platforms, and this simplifies the process of scheduling meetings and communicating with colleagues, whether they are working in the office or remotely.
They make it easy to give and receive feedback, and make sure two-way communication is firmly in place no matter where a member of staff is working. And if an employee is clearly in need of face-to-face support, it’s simple for the manager to book a suitably confidential space for discussion or mentoring.
These platforms also integrate with digital signage and wayfinding features that help employees navigate the office and locate their colleagues easily. This can reduce the time wasted on searching for co-workers or meeting rooms, so your employees can focus on their tasks, collaborate more effectively and enjoy their in-office experience.
Data-driven decision making
The rapid transformation of the workplace took place at breathtaking speed, leaving lots of managers desperately trying to keep up. Now, though, the guesswork is over and workplace management systems are capturing and analysing data on how desks, meeting rooms and collaboration spaces are being used in real time.
This data and the insights drawn from it informs strategic decisions and helps optimize operations.
Workplace management software collects data on space utilization, employee preferences and resource allocation. This data can be analyzed to identify trends, bottlenecks and areas for improvement. For example, organizations can determine whether certain spaces are consistently underutilized, leading to potential cost savings by reallocating resources.
Savvy leaders are using data-supported decisions to plan for future growth or downsizing based on actual usage patterns, ensuring that the organization’s real estate portfolio aligns with the evolving needs of its people and its ambitions.
Workplace management technology can transform your company in several meaningful ways.
By streamlining workspace booking, enhancing employee engagement, optimizing real estate utilization, fostering collaboration and communication, and providing valuable data for decision-making, these technologies offer a comprehensive solution to the challenges faced by modern organizations.
With wellbeing now paramount, and workplace leaders keen to create a great employee experience that promotes talent retention, it makes sense to provide the technology tools that encourage a sense of autonomy and job satisfaction.
In short, workplace management software has become an indispensable tool for organizations seeking to create a more efficient, flexible and employee-centric work environment. Embracing these technologies and deploying them effectively leads to cost savings, improved productivity and higher employee satisfaction.
That all adds up to a competitive edge in today’s dynamic business landscape – and in the end that benefits employees, employers and their customers.