The Covid-19 pandemic came with a thin silver lining for business: it proved our ability to adjust on the fly. Businesses quickly shifted to meet the moment, embracing hybrid workplace technology and remote models without skipping a beat. But as we shift out of the pandemic, it’s time for many organizations to reevaluate their “return to work” strategies. While many offices may simply want to rewind the clock to the pre-Covid years, is that a sound or viable solution?
A recent Gallup survey should help steer them in the right direction. According to Gallup, 37% of employers want to continue working from home, and 54% prefer a hybrid model. Only 9% want to return to the office full time—and 48% of those who’ve never worked remotely wish to try.
Companies leaning toward hybrid workspaces must embrace modern technologies to ease the transition. With proper planning and implementation, organizations can streamline their hybrid workspace to attract new employees while setting their current staff up for success.
The Return to the Office Is Here—What Can Employers Do?
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, remote work simplified many employees’ lives. Considering all the perks of working at home, it’s no wonder why so many are hesitant or even opposed to returning to the office. Not to mention that the so-called “Great Resignation” has turned the tables of the labor market, giving employees more power. Companies must adapt with in-office perks and benefits if they want to entice their employees back to the office.
Many companies have adopted free in-office perks to make work feel more like home. They offer free coffee and food, workout and yoga equipment, massage tables, and even movie screenings! These perks may pique a few employees’ interests, but they aren’t enough to win the whole workforce back.
The problem with these “perks” is that employees can enjoy all of the same things from home. Instead, companies should consider the pitfalls of remote work, such as a lack of collaboration, teamwork, and camaraderie. Collaborative Zoom meetings can be productive, but they don’t stand up to in-office sessions.
Instead, shift the purpose of your office to serve as a meeting point for these collaborative periods. For example, employees can reserve in-office meeting times like hotel rooms by leveraging hybrid workplace technology like Smarten Spaces. This ensures that all (or most) team members are present for in-office collaboration without playing “tag” on Slack or Microsoft Teams.
Back to Office, but Hybrid Is Here to Stay
As companies call their employees back to the office, the consensus is that remote work and the hybrid model aren’t going away. The disruption of Covid-19 set work-life balance at the forefront of many employees’ minds. Meanwhile, employers discovered new ways to save money on in-office expenses. In the end, the pandemic forced modern businesses to take drastic risks—risks that ultimately worked out for the better.
According to a World Economic Forum study, everyone from entry-level employees to C-suite executives agrees on the benefits of hybrid workplaces. Employees point to more schedule control and less stress, while executives believe the approach increases productivity and engagement. Working from home has its advantages—though both parties agreed that available in-office space still remains critical to company success.
In short, employees want in-office space when they need it—they don’t want to be forced into it. This desire has paved the way for online solutions explicitly tailored to meet the workplace’s evolving needs. Hybrid workplace technology may be the answer employers are looking for.
How About an Automated Hybrid Workplace Booking System?
The need to invest in desk booking software continues to grow as hybrid workplaces become the new normal. Hybrid workplace technology makes it easy for your workforce to coordinate dates/times to come into the office. As an example, consider this scenario:
Five hybrid team members must meet up to collaborate on an ongoing project. The project’s scope is relatively large, and Zoom’s limitations make it nearly impossible to collaborate effectively. Unfortunately, they’re having difficulty lining up their schedules so that they’re all in the office on the same day. The team can use an AI-powered booking system to simply reserve a conference room at whatever date and time they agree on, rather than negotiating around workdays.
Benefits of an AI-Powered Hybrid Workplace Booking System
A recent Salesforce survey highlights the benefits of in-office automative technologies, finding that 79% of employees believe automated tools contributed to increased productivity. If the hybrid office is in fact here to stay, then you need the tools to navigate it effectively—tools like Smarten Spaces.
Hybrid workplace technology makes it easier for employees to reserve in-office workspace for better collaboration. From the convenience of their phones, employees and employers alike can leverage the power of automation. Automated desk booking makes it easier for employees to reserve space near each other, so they can see where and when their team members are in the office. Meanwhile, the AI compares your team’s preferences and schedules and makes the best booking recommendations.
When it comes to larger gatherings, like meetings, hybrid workplace technology allows employees to use advanced search filters to find open meeting rooms that suit their needs. Then they can set a date and time and book the room, like a hotel. While most helpful for employees, employers can also leverage real-time data to see which meeting rooms employees utilize most often, and which could benefit from more amenities.
Automation also works to manage your physical in-office space. Employers understand the dollar value of every square meter and can lean on AI to make the best suggestions for rearrangement. Automation can relocate your employees with automatic desk assignments if you plan on moving or reconfiguring.
Get Smart With Your Hybrid Workplace With Smarten Spaces
As companies come to understand that the future of work is hybrid, they must implement the most, intuitive modern software available to make this model work for them. Hybrid workplace technology like Smarten Spaces takes collaboration to the next level with streamlined workspace bookings and real-time data analytics.
Smarten Spaces’ AI-powered software shines a new light on your workspaces, showing how every square inch is utilized day-to-day. Get in touch with Smarten Spaces today to learn how AI-powered hybrid workplace technology can increase productivity, engagement, and collaboration in your office.