Today we wanted to dive in a little bit and discuss what companies are doing physically and digitally to re-open offices and what we can expect in the short term plans and long term strategies.
A lot has changed in the past year, and it’s been quite a whirlwind for many of us. But when it comes to the workplace - as it stands today and what we’re looking for tomorrow - what shifts have you seen take place since March of 2020?
What is the current state of work?
We've gone through a cultural shift in what it means and what it looks like to 'go to work'. Expectations have changed. Employees realize that they *can be productive at home and companies have accepted that. Managers have also transformed the way they think about daily workday schedules and routines and have embraced, by default, managing remote work teams.
Employees and teams were forced to use different types of technologies, which sped up digital transformation timelines. Something that may have naturally taken 3 years to adopt (video collaboration, virtual meeting platforms, remote employee engagement tools etc.), was accomplished in just mere months. Now granted, there is/was some fine-tuning to take place around processes and tools, but digital transformation for most companies was accelerated, which ultimately has completely pivoted the way we think about the future of work.
How will back to work timelines progress now that offices are re-opening?
For certain, widespread vaccine availability has aided in brining realistic back-to-work timelines to the forefront for most enterprise organizations. Employees will feel slightly more comfortable coming back into densely populated offices, and in fact are looking forward to it.
There is still caution to be heeded and everyone's comfort level will vary by personal, demographic, and even geographic needs.
But we're seeing is offices now will be used as a hub for collaboration, creativity, and networking. Employees still want to work remotely and have the option to do so.
Companies like Service Now, Salesforce, and Spotify have made public commitments to maintaining a hybrid workforce, where employees can work with their managers to decide on a in-office/remote work balance. Even Google has noted that 60% of Googlers will come together a few days a week in the office, 20% will be working for other office locations, and 20% will be working from home.
The one thing we've noticed however, during this time of transformation, is that the experiences and connection points for employees are weak. And that is the main area of focus for many organizations - improved and consistent employee experiences regardless of where they are working from.
So, if less people are going into the office, what will happen to all of the corporate real estate?
So, what we're really seeing is a rise in flexible seating and a flexible workforce that comes and goes with purpose.
If there are less desks available, how will companies allocate seats for employees that do come in?
So, how does desk booking technology help with phased re-entry?
What are the biggest advantages desk booking software can bring to the post-COVID workplace?
- Advanced reservation rules are a backend functionality that any good desk management software should have baked into their software. Managing seats can be quite complex. But with a sophisticated rules engine - seat allocation becomes easier to manage across variable criteria that is necessary for phased scheduling, managing flow, limiting capacities, and maintaining physical distancing.
- Using location-aware technology like bluetooth, beacons, and sensors - users can navigate directly to their desk when they arrive on campus, automatically reserve, release, and validate desk usage based on their activity. This makes desk booking easily accessible in-app regardless of where you’re located.
Workplace ecosystems are bringing more devices and tools together to create better employee experiences and smarter workplace journeys.