If your organization operates in the financial sector, you’ll already be aware that this is a time of great change. Even before the pandemic, digital transformation and automation were gathering pace, especially among the ambitious FinTech start-ups that have shaken up the marketplace and grabbed market share from established players.
But the impact of COVID-19 has only served to ramp up the pressure. So much so that The CFO Survey found that only a quarter of US finance executives think their businesses will get back to pre-pandemic employment or revenue numbers by this summer. Many have therefore recognized that things will be very different in the months and years ahead, and that a change of strategy may well prove essential.
A critical part of this change will be how your workforce operates, and how technology can support them in this endeavor. While work is becoming increasingly flexible, the operations of the business and the experiences of your clients must not be compromised. To ensure you get the balance right, these four tech-driven ideas can help:
1. Digitize your workplaces
The pandemic has forced many businesses to reshape and redesign their office environments, and to reconsider the purpose that real estate can serve. As a result, it also brings an opportunity to implement technology at the same time and make the physical workplace as agile and flexible as it possibly can be.
The ideal goal is an office where spaces are shared instead of being designated to a specific employee. Each individual workstation or meeting room is given its own schedule, and each employee can book the space they need for the period of time they need it. This gives everyone freedom to work when and where they wish, but get full office functionality as required. A cloud-based system that delivers full schedule flexibility and allows for reservations to be made remotely is the most user-friendly and transparent way of achieving this.
2. Create intelligent workspaces
Once this shared, bookable workspaces have been put in place, they don’t have to be set in stone. And now more than ever, business needs and employee demands are changing all the time. The number of meeting rooms or workstations you have available in a particular area or floor may be suitable now, but there’s no guarantee that demand may start to outstrip supply by next year or even next quarter.
An intelligent approach to workspaces means any compromise to operations that this might cause can be headed off at the pass. A good workspace management and scheduling solution will also feature integrated analytics that constantly assess space occupancy and utilization. The solution can then give you up-to-the-minute insights on where you are over-provisioned or under-provisioned, so that you can reshape your office layout, both physically and within the reservation system.
3. Enable easy global collaboration
Finance organizations have employees working all over the world, in a variety of different roles and time zones. Ensuring they can communicate and collaborate easily was already a tricky proposition, but moves towards ‘hybrid’ working models that blend office and remote work potentially add another layer of complexity.
Scheduling solutions can not only account for different time zones when meetings are booked, but can also encompass the video conferencing technology needed to bring everyone together. When a meeting room is booked, employees can quickly ensure that everyone is available to participate, that the timing isn’t inconvenient for anybody, and that the right conferencing tools are in place for those attending virtually to connect.
4. Develop seamless customer experiences
However you decide to move forward with your working model, the impact on clients must always be kept front of mind. They will still expect the high levels of service and professionalism that you’ve always delivered, including when attending your building for an important meeting that just can’t be done to the same standard virtually.
Workspace scheduling solutions comes to the fore here with a seamless process for meeting invitation and check-in. Any external visitor automatically receives an email notification when invited to a meeting, confirming details and providing directions to the meeting room. This information can then be reaffirmed to them when they self-check-in using a front-of-house kiosk that cuts the admin burden on your reception staff. This smooth process not only takes any stress or difficulty away from the client, but also projects a professional, forward-thinking perception of your business – a valuable asset to have in a highly competitive industry.