How to make every visit to the office an efficient, collaborative experience

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Organizations today are increasingly looking to improve the digital workplace experience for their employees.

It makes good business sense – with talent retention and employee wellness high on the agenda, creating a great workplace experience enables your workers to do their best work in an environment that feels custom-made for them.

The evolving workplace

New technologies and an upswell of digital natives were already having a profound impact on the way workers collaborated before Covid.

Covid is accelerating and solidifying these trends as companies have been forced to adopt digital technology at a rapid rate. For their part, workers have had to adapt to working remotely. By necessity, the virus has also thrust worker health and well- being into the spotlight.

Once the pandemic is over it may not be possible for business leaders to return to their previous norms. However, it is premature to suggest that the office is dead – but its form and function are changing.

While collaborative technology is necessary, physical face to face communication is still important.

A new era of trust

The changes workers have undertaken go beyond a shift to remote working. A study by Deloitte found that workers’ schedules have become more flexible with 60 percent of remote workers reporting that they have enjoyed greater autonomy in how they perform their day-to-day tasks. This is also true for 20% of the workers who have continued working on site.

As business leaders return to recovery, they need to think about how to best capitalize on this increased autonomy and adapt leadership styles for monitoring and mentoring staff.

Leaders will need to adapt sooner rather than later as many workers will not be returning to the office or may only be there part of the time.

According to a Deloitte survey, CEOs expect 36% of their employees will still be working remotely as late as January 2022. This is a significant minority of the workforce and is three times as many as before the pandemic. Deloitte forecasts that by 2024, around 30% of all employees currently working remotely will permanently work at home.

Organizations are going to need effective tools that foster collaboration and save precious time.

Discover the shape of #workplace2021.

Key trends for a great digital experience

One of the key trends in workplace experience is the rise in touchless technology – it is safer and provides a faster transactional experience for workers who, once they are in the office, just want to get on with their work.

Supporting this overarching trend are a number of key technologies:

Sensor and IoT technology – Ideal for large space occupancy, sensor technology is ideal in offices which encourage unallocated seating and collaborative working.

The process is easy – workers can see at glance on a digital sign which desks and collaborative areas are available, and simply occupy that space – the sensor takes care of checking them in or out anonymously.

On average each employee saves 5 minutes a day looking for a desk – time better spent on billable work.

The sensors give real estate managers a wealth of 100% accurate data – ideal for making future configuration decisions.

Other examples of IoT technology, such as beacons, detect presence so, for example, using the beacon and a mobile app staff can quickly locate members of their team. Beacons in conference rooms can quickly help staff find an empty space when they need it. They can even be used as a replacement for traditional access passes.

Hoteling – Rather than having a free-for-all for desks, a hoteling policy requires that workers pre-book their desks prior to arrival in the office. This makes sense where supply of desks is outstripped by demand. Thanks to mobile desk booking systems – available as an app – this is a straightforward process for agile workers to use and with full integration with Outlook their bookings are always at hand.

It is also a flexible solution, as the desk booking system has rules for desk “no shows” so they can be auto-released for someone else to use so you get accurate utilization data of desks and you can ensure that expensive desks are fully occupied.

Desk panels – as part of a hoteling strategy, desk panels are an ideal solution for maintaining a calm and orderly touch free check-in process. These work with both QR codes scanned on a mobile device or can be used with an RFID card reader.

The desk panels show key information such as availability, cleaning in progress or if the desk is blocked for use, say, due to social distancing policies. The worker just needs to scan the QR code or tap the RFID reader with their card to check-in or out of the desk. Full integration with the desk booking system ensures that any “no shows” are automatically released for booking by someone else who needs the
desk.

As a fully automated and touch-free process it saves time for your workers as well – they can just come in, get on with their work and leave.

Learn more about implementing a desk sharing policy.

Digital signage – another great time saver. See at a glance which meeting rooms are occupied and which are free. Integration with meeting room booking software ensures that all currently scheduled and future meetings can be viewed quickly at a glance without disturbing meeting room occupants. Colour coding alerts staff to which rooms are currently occupied.

Video conferencing – while the technology has been around for some time it is undeniable that 2020 is the year that has seen the greatest uptake in videoconferences. With more people choosing to work from home this is a trend that will continue. Integration with in-room meeting panels and enabled rooms gives the best of both worlds – a seamless experience for both virtual and physical attendees.

Integration of the panels with voice assistant technology keeps touch to the bare minimum.

Full end-point management ensures that video meetings happen without a hitch.

Staff can schedule meetings back to back safe in the knowledge that a frustrating 2 minutes won’t be wasted setting up the connection.

Visitor management – as we mentioned earlier, employee well-being is a critical component of a company’s success. Visitor management systems not only create a seamless experience for your visitors but they are increasingly being used to ensure staff safety as well. Vetting of staff and visitors’ health is a top priority in the prevention of further Covid transmission and this technology greatly simplifies both the process of proactive prevention and tracing as well.

Check out our new video for an easy-to-follow explanation of the process and how it protects both staff and visitors by creating a safe non-touch access procedure as all transactions take place on personal mobile devices.

The User Journey

A typical journey for your staff starts by gaining access to the building using an RFID card. They get to their desk and use the same card to check-in. Using the beacon technology, they can access their schedule using an app. This same beacon technology can be used to find their team members on another floor and to find a free meeting room for an impromptu meeting with video conferencing and catering, that can be booked using a mobile device in seconds.

If a client needs to visit for a meeting at the office – a request is sent for a health questionnaire to be completed by the visitor. After a productive day at the office, staff check out instantly using the RFID card and the service team is immediately alerted to clean the space.

At no point is time wasted speaking to anyone – the whole process is seamlessly interconnected, touch-free and autonomous.

Conclusion

Technology is going to be driving force of the world of work in the not-so-distant future.

Whether workers are working from home or the office or both, technology makes collaboration easy, with scheduling video calls, desks, and rooms as easy as requesting an Uber. And like Uber, the whole transactional process is driven from a mobile device – simple, quick, and convenient.

Post-pandemic, being simply ‘present’ is so 2019 – from now on, every visit to the office will need to deliver an efficient and meaningful collaborative experience. The time is ripe for using technology to support every stage of your staff’s work journey.