The Future is Now: 4 Ways Organizations Can Prepare for the Future of Workspaces
With the rise of hybrid work, the definition of the traditional workspace has expanded — while it used to exclusively mean the office, the conference room, or your desk, a workspace is now wherever an employee can focus and get their work done, whether it’s at home, in the office, or somewhere in between.
And as technology continues to advance and our work styles continue to evolve, organizations need to be adequately prepared for the future of these workspaces. In our recent webinar with Propmodo and ROOM, we discussed with industry experts how organizations can prepare their workspaces for the future, best practices they should follow, and how organizations can measure the success of their workspace enhancements.
Here are some of the key insights from our session:
Dynamic, purpose-built spaces are essential
While the traditional conference room that hosts larger meetings still plays a valuable role in the office, employees need other meeting spaces that more closely fit their diverse needs. Otherwise, employees may end up using large meeting spaces for individual meetings or brainstorming sessions or vice versa, which can create friction in the workspace and lead to inefficient use of meeting rooms.
By creating purpose-built spaces within your office, you can help ensure your employees have the spaces they need to collaborate and are using meeting spaces effectively. Here are a few examples of dynamic spaces you can include in your office:
- Entry spaces – Here, on-site personnel can ask the receptionist questions, view or book available spaces, or complete important sign-in procedures.
- Individual spaces – These are perfect for one-to-one meetings with external stakeholders, small brainstorming sessions, or even for getting a quiet space where employees can record content and presentations.
- Team spaces – Much like the traditional conference room, these are spaces where teams can meet, collaborate, and brainstorm with remote or off-site personnel, or for when a group needs to host a more professional and organized meeting.
- Common spaces – These spaces, such as a kitchen, break room, or game room, serve as a place where people can brainstorm, ideate, and share their thoughts in an informal area — they also serve as great spaces for all-hands calls and large team events!
Empower the remote workspace
The office provides an excellent environment for collaboration with access to high-quality hardware and spaces that were purpose-built for meetings and collaboration.
However, the office isn’t the only workspace anymore, and remote workers often don’t have access to the same purpose-built spaces. They may find it difficult to be as efficient or have the same professional experience as their counterparts in the office. By providing furniture such as desks and chairs that encourage productivity and protect workers’ health, you can help ensure that your employees feel their best while working from home. A high-quality desk and chair can also help prevent long-term injuries from incorrect body positioning!
Another important consideration is lighting, as sunlight from a window or single light source can create harsh shadows and saturated lighting that can be mentally fatiguing to look at for long periods of time. Providing effective lighting equipment to remote employees that helps them address their lighting issues will empower your organization to ensure that meeting attendees can enjoy a professional meeting experience.
Implement unified communications for consistency and flexibility
The workspace is no longer where the office is — it’s wherever your workforce is. And with hybrid employees working from home, the office, and everywhere in between, they need features and resources to be successful wherever they are.
One of the most effective ways for you to prepare your employees to be successful and efficient, both in the office and remotely, is to implement a unified communications solution. An enterprise-grade unified communications solution can help create a consistent technology experience and build flexibility right into the backbone of your workspace philosophy.
With a unified communications platform like Zoom, employees can enjoy:
- Streamlined hotdesking – Hybrid employees can easily see and book resources in the office when they’re not in the office, as well as sign in to on-site resources such as conference rooms, desks, and other equipment.
- Consistent and device-agnostic experience – An enterprise-grade solution empowers employees to communicate and collaborate with almost any device employees are using, while the consistency of the user interface ensures that employees get the same experience, regardless of where they are.
- Enhanced flexibility – With access to the same features and functionality whether they are at home, at the office, or somewhere in between, hybrid workers can be productive regardless of their location. .
Metrics are the ultimate measuring stick
Once you incorporate new technologies and solutions to empower your organization, how can you tell if it actually has the desired effect?
Data is the best way to measure how impactful your solutions are and can indicate the areas that need the most improvement. Here are a few ways you can use metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your changes:
- Use old data as a reference – Although your historical data, such as how many rooms and desks you have or prior employee engagement scores, might not be particularly insightful, it can be a good indicator of how things have changed.
- Collect new metrics – Collecting new data points surrounding room usage, how many people are in rooms at a time, how many remote participants attended meetings in conference spaces, and more can provide useful insights into how your spaces are being used and how you can enhance that experience.
- The best data is the data you ask for – Employee surveys are perfect for filling in the gaps of where you should improve. They can provide specific pain points, common hardware or feature requests, indicate some missed opportunities, and point out ineffective processes or technologies.