OK, we get it – everything has changed in the world of work, with organizations everywhere chewing over huge decisions designed to keep their workers happy and productive.
You’re dealing with big stuff including agile working, new employee demands and extra requirements for safety – but your new operating model mustn’t leave out the vital services that oil the wheels of a productive environment.
So how do you plan your new corporate services model for the evolved workplace?
Don’t hesitate to apply new thinking to these 4 rapidly-developing areas:
- Servicing meetings
- Desking strategy
- Collaboration space
- The visitor experience
This is one of the most changed areas of our working lives, and needs some serious thought and planning when designing your new corporate services model.
Increased agile working means you a need for more small meetings requiring less face-to-face space – you might already be reconfiguring your meeting spaces.
In the meantime, meeting organizers are dealing with social distancing requirements that reducing room capacity, and hybrid meetings with a mix of in-house and remote attendees are becoming far more common.
Employees need to be able to organize their meeting easily via an app on their mobile or laptop, choosing available locations even across time zones and inviting attendees in the same transaction.
Discover more about meeting room management
Then there are the services that add the finishing touches that make your meeting perfect.
These include catering, video conferencing and AV, and even parking.
A food and beverage service helps meeting attendees stay focused and engaged, but if it’s badly organized it can create unnecessary cost and wasted food.
Corporate catering is generally provided in two different ways:
- In-house catering
- Online ordering and delivery from external providers.
Incorporating technology into your new corporate service model can bring ease and efficiency. You can order in-house catering can be ordered via your meeting scheduling software at the same time as you book the meeting, even across multiple locations.
The caterers (like the rest of your attendees) are automatically updated if any details change such as the number of guests – a good way to avoid waste.
Online ordering and delivery – a big hit of lockdown – can be enormously useful in the corporate environment. Using a system such as Aloha Now, employees can make their selection and have it delivered to the meeting space or even to their desk. Great for events and for agile workers, too
Video conferencing and AV
Your new corporate service model should definitely include the technology that makes it easy to book these – along with parking for guests – in the same easy transaction when you book the meeting spaces.
Your meeting booking system keeps an up-to-the-minute inventory of equipment so you never arrive at a meeting to find crucial technology is missing.
With home working levels propelled into the stratosphere during the crisis, agile working has never been so popular.
So most workplace leaders are therefore adapting their desking strategy to take advantage of the efficiencies, improved wellbeing and potential cost savings that can result.
Staff visiting the office for the day should be able to order food or have technology support easily available. If they roam the office – not following social distancing or other hygiene policies – it is both time wasting and introduces risks. Your new service model needs to embrace the use of technology to enhance the service experience.
Add QR power
When designing your new corporate services model, include a desk booking system where employees can book a desk online via an app, providing safe and guaranteed workspace when they do come into the office.
The software provides them with a QR code for touchless login and logout, and the software will also make the desk automatically available if for some reason they do not show up.
Your desk booking software must be able to automatically show when a desk has been cleaned, and notify your services team when it is vacated so they can move in and sanitize it.
The desk booking system should also integrate with desk panels so staff can see at a glance if the space is available.
With this kind of desk booking software, reverse hoteling is also possible– a fixed desk can be reallocated to the hot desking pool if, for instance, its usual occupant is on holiday.
The data the system captures provides valuable information to support effective real estate decisions and to constantly improve your corporate services model to match the real-time circumstances.
How to make hot desking really work
Remove the barriers to great collaboration by giving staff the ability to make rapid decisions on the space where they get together.
All space should be bookable – it’s not just about desks and meeting rooms but also perhaps a place on a sofa, or a stool at a collaboration table; mobile workers require the ability to gather and collaborate quickly and easily.
Ensure that you develop a new corporate services model that can adapt easily to this extremely flexible environment.
For instance, employees should be able to order food and other services they need online, or on a self-service basis. Every collaborative event is individual, and staff need their workplace experience to reflect and respond to this.
The visitor experience
Safety and security are particularly high on the list of priorities when visitors and contractors arrive at your premises, and a warm welcome is also right up there.
But making people fill in a long form at a reception desk never creates a great guest experience, and your new corporate services model should take advantage of advances in visitor management technology to improve this situation.
Visitor management technology can capture much of the information you require before visitors even arrive. It also sends your guests QR codes so they can sign in and out touch-free – it’s a virtual reception facility.
Naturally, there are also occasions when you want a more personal experience for a VIP guest. Deploying the automated processes above frees up your reception staff to provide a concierge-level welcome for special visitors.
Let’s face it – it’s too early to predict exactly how returning workers will feel about the way they operate, or what the requirements of the workplace may turn out to be.
The truth is the office they return to work in this September may feel very different to the same place next September.
So as a workplace leader, be sure to take a fully holistic approach to technology when creating your new corporate services model, which will need to be able to flex in response to further changes in your workplace.
As-yet unseen challenges and opportunities most certainly lie ahead as we move towards the future workplace. To deal with them successfully, your corporate services model needs to rest firmly on technology that is equally responsive and flexible.