The world has changed, and the business world is changing with it. The old model of centralized offices and 9-5 work shifts simply doesn’t apply when technology can connect us from anywhere in the world. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, “hybrid work represents the biggest shift to how we work in our generation.”
While not every job can be done full-time from home, the flexibility provided by a hybrid work model can be the differentiator in employee productivity and job satisfaction. As a result, hybrid workplaces are rapidly becoming the new normal, and businesses that are quick to make the transition will reap huge time and cost savings as well as see a healthier work-life balance among their workforce. More importantly, companies will find themselves better able to attract and retain the kind of talent they require: a recent survey by Accenture found a colossal 83% of workers polled preferred a hybrid work model over a traditional model.
Making the transition to a hybrid workplace requires planning and forethought, as well as the expertise to know how to take advantage of the benefits. An innovative, AI-driven solution, like the kind offered by Smarten Spaces, can make the job much easier.
Empowering Employees: Driving Performance Via Flexibility
“Flexibility”—that is, an employee’s ability to meet work goals and deadlines in a work environment best suited to their lives—is a vital part of attracting and retaining good workers. As Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently noted: “The future of work is flexibility… more flexibility for your workweek, more choice around where you work, and more flexibility for your life.”
A recent study by Slack, meanwhile, has found that flexibility was a key part of the appeal of a hybrid work model for employees. Far from reducing productivity, such flexibility improves it, as team members save time and energy while feeling as if their personal needs are being met.
A hybrid workplace thus begins by forging deeper connections with employees: asking questions, listening to their needs, and finding ways to support them, especially across the following five key areas.
- Productivity: Completing tasks on time and with a high quality of work.
- Work-life balance: Ability to prioritize one’s personal life over work when needed.
- Managing work-related stress: Mitigate pressure and anxiety connected to work.
- Connection: Whether employees feel valued and accepted by both the company and their coworkers.
- Satisfaction with working arrangements: Sufficient support for employees’ remote work options, along with the tools to do so without a hitch.
At Smarten Spaces, our goal is to facilitate productivity and encourage flexibility with the creation of an ideal hybrid workspace. With user-friendly, but powerful technology, we can help you develop a centralized digital space designed to connect workers in the office with those doing their jobs remotely: leaving your company primed to face the future. Here’s how Smarten Spaces can help:
- THE WORLD’S FIRST HYBRID SCHEDULER – Empower employees to build work-from-home and work-from-office flexible schedules with AI-based recommendations for the best days and times.
- DESK BOOKING – Reserve desk space in real-time. Navigate to a desk and search for a colleague or team. View colleagues’ in-office or WFH locations.
- AMENITY BOOKING – Secure parking spaces, gym time, lockers, in-house doctors, and more from the workplace app or integrated workplace scheduling solutions.
- WORKPLACE EXPERIENCE APP – Employees can give feedback on their experience and recommend improvements.
- SERVICE REQUESTS – Create and monitor service requests from the App including IT, Help Desk, emergency services, catering, and more. Automatically generate requests to sanitize used space.
- SMART CAFETERIA – Order food services through the workplace app. View live menus and wait times. Purchase food with multiple payment options. Receive status updates and notifications.
Empowering Managers: How Leaders Must Evolve in the Hybrid Work Model
The biggest challenge to establishing a hybrid workspace actually lies with management, and specifically the notion of face-to-face interaction. The traditional standard 9-5 work model, with everyone coming to a central location to work during set hours, has become obsolete. And yet, it was such a pillar of business for so long that letting go of it can be difficult. Making the adjustment to a hybrid workplace often takes a conscious effort.
For managers leading hybrid teams, there are five essentials to consider:
- Transparency: Allowing employees to see how the business operates and know who is responsible for decisions.
- Communication and Feedback: Allowing employees to voice their concerns about work and engage in open discussions accordingly.
- Inclusivity: Giving workers or their representatives a hand in decision-making, as well as enjoying the benefits.
- Commitment: Offering support to employees’ entire life experience, while making work duties fit within that framework.
- Empathy and Empowerment: Making workers feel like they are part of the process, and that their contributions are valued.
With 80+ out-of-the-box integrations, Smarten Spaces can help. Our prebuilt software integrates with existing systems and devices including Active Directory, Okta, SSO, Outlook, Gmail, Zoom, Teams, people counting, environment monitoring, IoT, BMS, and more. Our comprehensive workplace analytics empower you to analyze space trends in real-time to ensure optimal space utilization. By tracking space occupancy and utilization, you have the ability to reconfigure office spaces for hybrid work to create the best environment to support your workforce—matching supply and demand. Get a view on the split between who’s back to the office, who’s remote, as well as the forecasts and selections for the next 30-60 days.
Our hybrid scheduler allows for smooth integration of employee needs into the schedule, using AI algorithms to find the best and safest fit for everyone. Contactless access control and health screenings improve the health and safety of employees and visitors alike. Digital social distancing, occupancy control, and sanitization schedules can easily be handled, while Community Feed and Survey & Feedback options let you share updates and conduct surveys.
Empowering Teams: Maintaining Harmony via Collaboration
A hybrid workspace often means different schedules for different team members, regardless of how often they work from home. But the office culture should be the same, regardless. Collaboration is the key: giving your team the leeway to take positive risks and address potential conflicts with equitable solutions. By providing a stable environment, a sense of connection, and—above all—value and integrity to their contributions, your employees will respond positively. That means higher engagement rates, raised productivity levels, and better health and happiness for your team.
Smarten Spaces can provide the tools needed for a strong collaborative atmosphere. Our cloud-based tools can be accessed from any location, letting you sync team members from multiple locations without a hitch. AI recommendations enable managers to find the best collaborative schedules, while the Smart Booking feature allows for real-time reservations of meeting rooms and similar environments. Remote employees can check-in and stay updated with the Workplace Community Feed, reinforcing communication and making sure everyone is on the same page!
The New Hybrid Workplace – REIMAGINED
Hybrid workplaces are the future of business, and the steps you take now to transition your company can give you the edge you need to stay competitive in the future.
As hybrid and digital workplaces become more prevalent, Smarten Spaces offers an AI-driven solution to assist with the transition and to enhance the way people experience spaces in a changing world. We do this by leveraging our award-winning and powerful AI technology innovation: Jumpree 3.5.
For a cohesive and connected experience, Smarten Spaces solutions integrate with business applications and IoT-powered tools from our partners, including Google, Apple, Microsoft, Skype, and Zoom. With over a million users in 100 cities across 20 countries, Smarten Spaces can help you shift to the workplace of the future and do it fast. We are global leaders in digital workplace solutions, connecting the workplace and the workforce for the ultimate collaborative experience.