We all know that, however the world of work evolves in the years to come, technology will increasingly lead the way. But technology is such a broad term, and there are so many different solutions available, that it can be difficult to understand which kinds of tech will deliver the biggest benefits.
Ultimately, the most fundamental change that businesses are experiencing right now is the long-term shift in where and when people work. This has enormous ramifications across a business, from how employees collaborate to how physical workspaces are funded and equipped. But making this even more complicated is that this shift towards flexible working isn’t uniform: it means every employee will work to their own schedules and arrangements, adding a further layer of complexity around adapting to change.
This means that technology that can make it as easy as possible for employers and employees to work flexibly, without compromising how a business operates, is becoming essential in how many businesses will operate.
This article outlines exactly how this technology works in practice, and the scale of the difference it can make at a time of great change within business.
What does the technology do?
The best workspace booking software bring the schedules of every individual worker and every shared workspace together into a single, highly accessible platform. From this platform, employees can plan out their days in the office by searching for and booking every type of resource they require: desk spaces, meeting rooms and associated audio-visual equipment, breakout zones, parking spaces, lockers and more.
This solution can be accessed from a variety of different ways: through the Web, using a mobile app, or for some functions like space booking, through an employee’s Microsoft Outlook add-in via a plug-in. That way, employees can react to even the most urgent of workspace requirements, wherever they are, book their required space straight away, and have the confidence that the space will be ready and waiting for them when they arrive.
Where will it make a difference?
At face value, a workspace booking solution sounds like an effective way to solve the difficult issue of supporting flexible working models. But the benefits to the business as a whole spread much further than it may originally seem, underlining why this technology is so important to the future of business:
1. Seamless transitioning between office and home:
Flexible working can only be practical if employees can be just as productive working in the office as they can be at home. If getting the spaces they need on their days in the office proves to be difficult, employees will avoid making the journey and will work from home more often. By being able to book ahead, this uncertainty is removed and employees can be sure that their office visits will be worthwhile.
2. Better management of spaces and layouts:
As demands on different types of workspaces change, employers can adjust layouts and the quantities of different workspaces to respond to any fluctuations in demand. Good workspace management solutions will encompass the possibility to analyze booking and utilization data to gain the insights that can guide the right decisions on workspace provision. This data can also help employers scale office space up or down as required, and ensure that their real estate cost is constantly optimized.
3. Attract new employees with innovation:
In the current recruitment market, talented employees hold all the cards. To a certain extent, they want to work where they want, when they want, and will be far more receptive to offers from employers willing to deliver on their expectations. Workspace management technology that’s already in place and making the lives of existing employees easier can therefore be used as a significant selling point to attract top-quality recruits.
4. Help keep workers safe:
In the shorter term, health concerns remain at the forefront of how companies are shaping their working models and their workplaces. Not only will employees want to be kept as physically safe as possible, but they will also want the mental confidence that they will be safe when they travel into the office. A workspace booking platform can be used to demonstrate this security by showing that layouts are socially distanced, that contact tracing can be enabled through booking data, and that sanitization time is built in between bookings – all important considerations when developing post-COVID workplaces.