Hybrid working is here to stay.
Organizations are now on a journey to optimize their employee experience. Real estate leaders must grasp the nettle when it comes to making changes that facilitate a harmonious and productive working environment.
Luckily, thanks to an integrated approach to technology, driving this necessary change for the workforce of today and tomorrow is a painless process.
The typical 9-5 has changed. Knowledge workers are now largely free to work from home, if not all, most of the time.
With workers typically working 60 percent of their time at home, then the need for traditional meeting rooms has diminished and the demand for unallocated desk space has changed.
Having a face-to-face meeting needs to have a more specific purpose and intent behind it. For mentoring and building customer relationships meeting in the flesh will still have an important place.
How staff navigate space will also change. Colleagues will meet to collaborate on specific projects with an emphasis on outcomes as opposed to presenteeism.
Real estate leaders need to manage and plan for this new and constantly evolving landscape. A recent McKinsey article suggests that 68% of organizations have no detailed plan for hybrid work in place. This is a great opportunity for those prepared to take it.
There are several key data sets which can drive new hybrid workplace:
Utilization data and metrics – leaders need to be able to evaluate just how and when their space is being used.
Managing occupancy – Leaders need to put in place rules which suit everyone and are fair. A negative side-effect of hybrid is workers avoiding the office on Mondays and Fridays
Creating a great employee experience – this needs to go beyond the four walls of the organization. Whether an employee is in the office or not they need access to the right tools to collaborate and get the job done.
Managing uncertainty – by its very nature, hybrid working involves a degree of uncertainty of who is going to be in the office and on what day. Getting together in the same room takes some extra planning that wasn’t required two years ago.
Technology – delivering the best of all worlds
Having an integrated approach to technology pays dividends in planning hybrid working.
Triangulating data from the meeting room booking system, desk booking software and occupancy sensors gives you all the data at your fingertips for making data-driven smart decisions:
Daily Peak Utilization by Space – this date metric tracks the maximum number of people coming into a space on any given day.
Average Peak Utilization – the average peak usage of a space over a specified period. This metric will tell you if you have enough seats in the space to meet your average demand.
Frequency of Peaks – This metric tells you how many times you reach peak utilization over a monthly period. Knowing this metric can drive adjustments to assigned desk ratios and drive alternative plans for peak utilization days.
Room Occupancy – combining booking data from the meeting room booking system and data from occupancy sensors you get a clear picture of real, as opposed to theoretical room usage.
Taking this data into account you can make some bold decisions and take decisive actions. If you notice patterns of usage, say, staff who are habitually using the meeting room booking system or desk booking software to book meetings from Tuesday to Thursday then you can mandate that they also come in on Mondays and Fridays.
Technology in action
Once you have done the analysis you need to take action. The meeting room booking system and desk booking software Technology can automate this process:
Implement business rules – with a meeting room booking system you can automatically optimize room usage. For example, when there is a meeting no show after a set period, say 15 minutes, the room can be released for someone who needs it – all automatically.
Integration with digital signage – communication of booked rooms and room availability is a seamless process thanks to integration between room panels and the meeting room booking system.
Seamless check in/out – no need for human intervention. Staff can easily check into desks using either RFID/in-app or desk panels.
A great digital employee experience– staff use an intuitive mobile app to book their time ahead of time. Integration with Outlook ensures that their diary is always up to date.
Find a colleague – the software removes any uncertainty. Staff can see at a glance when team members are in the office on a floor plan and organize their time accordingly. If the colleague is in the office the Staff member can book a desk nearby or, if not, organize a video call. A great feature for maximizing productivity.
Putting in place the right technology toolkit ensures that utilizing corporate real estate and navigating dynamic changes in the hybrid working model is a seamless process.
A combination of meeting room booking system, desk booking software and sensor technology coupled with a mobile-first approach delivers leaders with all the data they need to make change happen while providing a great booking experience.
We have produced a wealth of resources which will help any leader on their hybrid working journey: