Smart technology in the workplace
As more companies adapt to a hybrid working model, and we start to reintroduce more locations to the workplace mix, technology will become even more prominent to keep us all connected.
Dan Pilling, our Workplace Consultant, explores how our relationship with technology will change as more organisations transition to a hybrid-working model.
Dan specialises in helping organisations define and implement new workplace design strategies through a combination of evidence-based data capture and interview techniques. His knowledge and experience has been essential on projects for global companies such as Coca Cola, Rolls Royce, and Northern Trains.
Dan explores how our relationship with technology will change as more organisations transition to a hybrid working model.
Transitioning from remote working to hybrid working
Technology has enabled organisations from all over the world to work effectively across an increasingly dispersed workforce. As more companies adapt to a hybrid working model, and we start to reintroduce more locations to the workplace mix, our reliance on technology will become even more prominent to keep us all connected.
The biggest shift in our working lives is best represented by our attempts to recreate the functions of our office workspace at home. Recent data shows that this enforced change hasn’t had the negative effect on productivity that we may have once feared. Research from PWC states that 83% of employers now say the shift to remote working has been a success. Employees agree, with 84% saying they can perform their role just as effectively from home.
It’s no coincidence that the implementation of digital tools, automation, and artificial intelligence has accelerated alongside this shift – as the graph from a recent McKinsey survey illustrates.
As more offices reopen for business, we need to embed technology solutions that ensure the next transition from remote to hybrid working is effective.
As always, user adoption and education will be the key to the success of this change. The workforce has proven how resilient and adaptable they are over the course of the pandemic – they now need the right technology to support them in the next steps towards a new working normal.
Making tech user-friendly
The increasing reliance on smart technology devices and apps in recent years has caused a great leap in user experience (UX) design.
In our personal lives, we’re used to apps that are user-friendly with single-touch interfaces and constant connectivity. We can video call, purchase, update our status and communicate with simple keycode sign-in, or through fingerprint and face recognition.
Organisations will need to make sure technology that connects work locations is similarly easy-to-use. Employees should be able to book a desk with a few clicks, find a colleague, and interact with them, just as you can on a social media app.
Desk and meeting room booking technology has significantly transformed in the past year. Previously, its functions were seen as non-essential and often limited to occupancy status and displaying key meeting information. As many organisations now struggle to manage reduced occupancy strategies, they need platforms that meet these demands with enhanced features, delivered in a simple and intuitive way.
Desk booking systems such as Condeco can match employees’ schedules with the spaces they need in an intelligent way, integrating with Outlook calendars for ease of use. And innovations such as GoSpace will amplify existing booking systems with analytics technology for the most sophisticated supply and demand hybrid working solution.
As businesses begin to truly embrace these work patterns – and employees decide their own office attendance in a more flexible way – platforms like these will be integral to business success.
Technology that’s booked into the future
With an eye to the future, this humble yet intelligent technology has the power to enable the kind of ‘workplace experience’ that employees now expect. It will deliver seamless access to office facilities and colleagues, whilst providing intelligent responses through machine learning and behaviour pattern analysis, providing what we need for our ‘best day at work’.
Most importantly, the market has responded through a pay to play subscription model with the platforms being delivered through software apps and digital check-ins. This means the deployment of these systems can be fast and cost-effective (and work straight out of the box).
Buildings and offices were once viewed as the hub of all business activity. Now, through the evolution of work patterns and workspaces, smart technology can empower people to work from multiple locations whilst staying connected.
Beware of the power of technology!
Technology should always be viewed as a tool to empower people to do their best work. Introducing too many different tools could create confusion amongst teams and prevent people from using them.
It’s important to remember that the purpose of technology is to make life easier through increased communication, productivity and creativity. Putting people at the heart of every decision you make will help you choose technology that not only works for your people but for your organisation too. What do your people need to do their job effectively?
Workplace [R]Evolution: Issue 2
With dispersed workforces set to remain, organisations are adopting hybrid working models at a rapid pace, taking learnings from activity based working, utilising technology and empowering employees to choose how and where they want to work. In the second edition of our publication, we’ve explored the challenges and solutions of managing a hybrid workplace, how technology is helping bring people back to the office and the evolution of office design.