Many organizations now realize that everything they thought they knew about the office environment is no longer true. As HR leaders and their employees discovered that work can be done just as easily at home as in a corporate building, companies started to question whether the long commutes, distracting open office spaces, and pricey real estate are truly in the best interest of workers and are worth the expense.
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But the demise of the traditional office has been greatly exaggerated. The office still has a critical role to play in the world of work; the only thing that's changed is how it plays that role. Modern organizations can leverage a workplace management system to help them determine the quality of the employee experience moving forward, which will impact their ability to attract top talent and reduce employee turnover.
The Benefits of a Workplace Management System
A workplace management system that lets employees engage with the physical office digitally makes it easier for every employee to get what they need out of a flexible office space, whether they work on-site five days a week, come into the office a couple of days a week, or come in only for special occasions like an important meeting.
Instead of arriving at the office and hoping there’s an available conference room or desk, or reserving rooms by signing up on a clipboard, employees should be able to book a meeting room, open desk, or any other space with just a tap of an app. By making a conference room as easy to book as it is to order a lunch, it encourages remote and hybrid workers to leverage the physical office more while ensuring on-site workers have access to the spaces they need without the risk of double-booking.
Making the process simple encourages employees to come into the office more frequently, increasing utilization. It also helps employers ensure they meet health and safety standards by collecting the data needed to ensure proper spacing and manage important health workflows like contact tracing, vaccine status tracking, and sanitization scheduling — as well as maximize mental health considerations like spaces for indoor and outdoor breaks and exercise.
A workplace management system also allows companies to gauge and operate the facilities their teams need without spending unnecessarily on high-cost office space. Employers get to leverage all the benefits of an improved employee experience — plus they get a critical source of data that their leaders can use to understand how the company’s physical space is being used. By analyzing patterns in occupancy, preferences, peaks, utilization, and even paths of movement, they can better design the flow of their office to optimize employee productivity.
Not only can they use it to adjust their current office layouts, but organizations can use this data to determine their future office space needs. This part is critical; as organizations embrace more remote and hybrid work, they may want to consider trading in their current office space for facilities that provide a better fit to their specific workforce.
By understanding which employees are using their current facilities and how they’re utilizing the space, operations decision-makers can plan for and select future office space that offers the location, size, and features to enable their employees while effectively managing facilities costs. This removes the guesswork from managing not just current workspaces, but also future workspaces as well.
What to Look for in a Workplace Management System
To provide your organization with the data and insights needed for decision-making and planning while ensuring ease of use for employees, a workplace management software solution should include three key features.
- 1. Mobile access: Because employees live and work on their phones, it can be inconvenient to make them log into a website on their computer to book a space. Make sure you can offer an employee mobile app that enables booking. Depending on your office and workforce, the app should also provide functionality like an employee directory, campus navigation aids, and the ability to automate check-in and check-out.
- 2. Back office data: For managers, make sure the solution collects data used to track real-time occupancy, along with daily and weekly occupancy. With this data, you can analyze how your space is being used so you can optimize your resources.
- 3. Integrations: Make sure you integrate your space utilization data with your human capital management (HCM) suite or other HR management systems so that you keep all your employee data within a single source of truth. Not only does this help you avoid data duplication, but it makes the data available for even more sophisticated analysis on an employee-by-employee basis.
OutSystems makes it simple to build a workplace management application that meets the exact needs of your business. Use our low-code development platform to quickly implement a mobile app and back-end systems based on our pre-existing Office Management System solution, and then customize the template to serve the unique needs of your organization and employees. Not only does this help make your workers’ lives easier and help you control real estate costs, but it can help you grow your reputation as an innovative, digitized employer.
To learn more, check out this quick demo video to see an example of a workplace management solution built with OutSystems: