News bulletins the world over have been filled with stories of how private-sector enterprises have struggled to respond to a world that has been fundamentally changed by COVID-19.
Amid evolving ways of working, new requirements around service delivery, and budgetary pressure that may well increase in the months and years ahead, the public sector must too look towards agility to maintain their operations. This includes agility into workspaces and how people use them, and only a technology-driven approach can realize the benefits of this to the fullest potential.
Easier collaboration means greater productivity
Flexible working may be a more popular proposition for many companies now (and has become a necessity for many during the pandemic). However, it’s only truly viable if employees can still communicate and collaborate with each other just as easily as they could in the office. This applies whether employees are working in the office from shared workstations or meeting rooms, remotely from home, or through a ‘hybrid’ mix of the two.
To facilitate this, employees should be able to book a meeting room in advance that is correctly sized for the number of physical attendees, ensure that the right video conferencing equipment is in place for virtual attendees, and select a time that is suitable for everyone. A workspace management and scheduling tool can fulfil all three of these functions, from a single cloud-based platform in a matter of seconds, with full visibility of the arrangements and information for every attendee, however they’re taking part.
Refreshed employees mean quality delivery
Mental health in the workplace was an important area of focus even before the stress and difficulty posed by the pandemic. Deloitte research found that presenteeism among employees in the UK’s public sector was costing £5.9 billion a year. Teams who aren’t happy and healthy are highly unlikely to be as productive as they can be, and so they need to feel that they have the freedom to do their jobs how, where and when they want to, and that they’re trusted to do so.
This is where workplace scheduling can make a big difference in letting employees set their own schedules, with full visibility for all other employees so that they can plan ahead with minimal disruption. Top-quality security standards, along with customisable rules and permissions, mean that when employees book an office space and the resources to go with them, they can always deliver on their goals in an efficient, compliant way.
Improved perceptions mean stronger talent acquisition
Inter-connected to the previous point is the positive impact that the mental well-being of the workforce can have on recruitment. The power of social media means that organizations that have a strong culture for satisfied, productive employees can quickly gain a good reputation among prospective new recruits. In a climate where attracting and retaining talent is perhaps more challenging than ever, this can be extremely valuable in delivering quality services to the public.
The flexible working models that workspace scheduling software enables are a key part of breeding this positivity. Being able to demonstrate the simplicity with which successful candidates can define their own work-life balance can therefore act as a major selling point within the recruitment marketplace.
Greater flexibility means maximized real-estate
Public sector bodies are always expected to deliver the best possible value for money to the taxpayer. This means that when flexible working changes the way office environments are used, it’s vital that organizations repurpose and reshape the workspaces within them so that they remain useful and make for an effective use of floorspace.
By deploying a workspace technology solutions, offices can be as flexible as an organization wants or needs them to be. Data insights can shed light on which types of workstation or meeting room are under-utilized or which can’t keep up with demand. Changes can then be made to scale different types of space up or down, and the system for reservations and scheduling can easily be updated to suit the new layout. This doesn’t have to be an occasional endeavor, either: given the fast-moving nature of the world around us, modifications can easily be made on a regular basis to constantly respond to new demands.