We all know that the ways in which we work are changing like never before. But behind the headlines, how does that affect the individual employee on a day-to-day basis?
They want to work more flexibly, not only in terms of when and where they work, but also in the devices and technology available to them. Indeed, technology will continue to play an increasingly important role in our working lives in the months and years ahead.
However, technology isn’t always considered a positive within the workplace. Research conducted in 2020 by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that 40 percent of UK employees feel that changes in technology use has made their jobs more complex. That’s why it’s important for businesses to assess ways to make technology a force for good.
Businesses that can use technology to make working lives simpler for their employees will benefit in a number of areas: increased productivity, happier employees, a stronger company culture, and better talent retention and acquisition. In this article, we’ll take a look at three areas where technology can take the strain away from employees and create enjoyable experiences on the days when they’re working from the office:
More flexible working means that shared workstations are becoming the norm. Instead of each employee having their own designated workspace, it’s far more efficient to create non-personal desk spaces that can be reserved and used by different employees.
Deploying this can make flexible working extremely efficient, but it requires careful management. The last thing an employee needs is to travel all the way into the office one morning, only to find that there are no desks available for them, or that the space that they thought had been reserved for them has been taken by someone else.
Technology can prevent these issues from occurring in the form of workspace scheduling software, from which employees can search for and book the workspaces they need for whenever they need them. Employees can make these bookings at any time, either through a mobile app, a web portal or through Microsoft Outlook, and can travel to the office safe in the knowledge that their preferred workspace is ready and waiting for them.
When different people are working in different places at different times, keeping everyone informed is critical. Knowing who is working where and when is vital for enabling collaboration, ensuring the office environment runs efficiently, and making the booking and use of shared workspaces as fair and transparent as possible.
There are a number of technological solutions that can deliver important information to employees. At an individual desk or meeting room level, this can take the form of screens and traffic-light indicators that enable employees to check the status of a particular workspace at a glance. These screens can also be used to make bookings in the future, and to check in and out of the space at the start and end of a particular booking.
From a wider perspective, larger offices in particular can benefit from wayfinding solutions, which can help employees and visitors alike make sense of confusing or maze-like office layouts. From reception, display screens can show the way to particular meeting rooms, so that everyone can get to the right place with ease and start collaborating without delay.
Data-driven decision making
There is another way to approach beneficial workspace technology, but it’s one that the average employee is unlikely to experience directly. It’s the kind of technology that can better inform decisions about what the office environment is for, how it’s used and what types of workspaces it needs.
Integrating analytics with workspace scheduling software can reveal exactly how an office is operating. This includes which workspaces are used more than others, when and where peaks in demand take place, and which types of employees favour certain spaces.
This is particularly important as the business world continues to evolve and as employee desires and expectations continue to change. Workspaces that fulfil the needs of the business and the workforce today may not do so in the future, and so businesses must take a constant approach to reviewing their office layouts and workspace provision, and making changes as and when required.