Sep 28, 2022
By Kate Camerlin

Addressing Key Challenges When Creating Excellent Workplace Experiences

The recent increase in the number of remote and hybrid working scenarios has given employees more flexibility in where they work. It also leaves employers rethinking how and when they use their offices and facilities. Many executives managing workplace strategies within their organizations say they value an in-person experience. However, to get employees to return to the office, they need to give their workers solid reasons for going back in person, such as providing seamless collaborative experiences.

Plus, better workplace experiences lead to a more engaged, productive workforce.

“Companies with more engaged workforces tend to outperform those with less engaged employees on a number of key outcomes, including higher quality of work, fewer safety incidents, and lower employee turnover and absenteeism.” — Deloitte, Elevating the Workforce Experience: The Physical Lens

Organizations can drive engagement by providing excellent workplace experiences, which directly impacts work quality and productivity.

However, there are several key challenges that facilities and workplace management teams need to consider, including how to create better in-person experiences for employees, how to streamline space usage, and how to address sustainability needs.

Creating Better In-Person Facilities Experiences

In this new way of working, it’s important to give employees solid reasons for returning to the office, and it is also vital to ensure that employees have what they need to get their jobs done when they’re in the building.

So, how do facilities teams support this?

Creating a top-tier experience for employees involves rethinking building maintenance strategies. Facilities teams can take advantage of new technologies that help streamline processes and reduce asset downtime. For example, sensors directly connected to asset management solutions are one way facilities managers can create smoother in-person experiences.

Suppose a sensor detects a problem with air quality. In that case, it can automatically trigger a work order or alert that gets routed to a technician, so the issue gets addressed quickly and efficiently.

With real-time reporting, facilities teams can even spot maintenance trends in equipment and then adjust their schedules. If they see that one model or asset is consistently out of order, they can optimize how often they’re performing preventive maintenance to try and reduce the downtime associated with that asset. Plus, having this data at your fingertips makes evaluating the overall cost of that equipment easier, enabling you to make a business case to amend your capital plans and replace that asset entirely.

Additionally, sensor technology enables facilities teams to set up workflows so employees or customers can easily report problems at the touch of a button. They can set up an alert system so users can report a plumbing problem in a restroom or a broken monitor in a conference room. These automated workflows reduce downtime and ensure that employees have a more seamless experience when they’re in the office. This is incredibly important, as they spend less time dealing with (or reporting) problems and can focus more fully on their work.

Plus, it’s important to enable employees to easily submit work orders for items they need during in-person events—such as catered meals, coffee, whiteboards, and more. When workers can easily request what they need in-office, they can run meetings more smoothly and productively.

Streamlining Space Usage

Organizations can also use technology to optimize their spaces, which is especially relevant in today’s world of hybrid and remote work.

One example of this: Instead of having a dedicated office space, many hybrid workers use open, shared spaces. This is effective when workers are collaborating with their coworkers, but it is less efficient when they need to focus on individual work. That’s why employees need to be able to use space management technology to book and reserve the right kinds of working spaces—including individual working booths or any necessary equipment (such as monitors or laptops).

This is supported by sensor technology that ensures space is automatically released if a worker doesn’t end up utilizing the room or equipment, thus freeing it up for another employee to reserve as needed.

Plus, when thinking about creating stellar in-person experiences, facilities teams can begin to work with space management teams to rethink certain layouts. Tech solutions, such as sensors, can collect usage analytics, and teams can then use this to monitor traffic and continuously improve floorplans. If they see that a certain area or conference room gets little to no traffic, they can begin rethinking how it is being used. Conversely, they can see how and why highly trafficked spaces are being used and potentially plan to create additional, similar spaces.

Optimizing Energy Use Across Your Buildings

One last challenge when creating an excellent employee experience is ensuring your buildings are energy efficient and comfortable. Using sensors to track energy usage and waste, you can better understand how your facilities perform.

If you see that your buildings are mostly empty on certain days of the workweek (for example, if you have implemented a hybrid work model and employees are only mandated to be in the office on certain days), you can track exactly how your energy use fluctuates. You can review how your heating needs and lighting costs change and then forecast those needs accordingly.

When you’re able to optimize your energy usage, you can better meet regulations – and your employees can feel better that the organization is working towards being sustainable and energy-friendly.

Taking all of this one step further, you can compare space utilization data against energy costs—evaluating how much certain buildings cost to heat and run, and then analyzing how much employees use those buildings in order to decide whether to expand or reduce your real estate footprint.

Better Workplace Experiences

Creating better workplace experiences for your employees is vitally important. It leads to better productivity and engagement, and when workers see that their organization invests in creating positive experiences, they can feel confident that it invests in its employees’ well-being.

Plus, now that workers have more choice than ever before in where they work, it’s important to ensure that they have what they need to get their jobs done while they’re in the office—otherwise, they might wonder why they didn’t just stay home.

In order to create world-class facilities experiences, teams need to overcome several challenges, including rethinking how they manage building and asset maintenance and management, optimize their spaces, and think about sustainability and energy efficiency.

With Nuvolo Connected Workplace, you can address these challenges in one integrated platform. Connected Workplace enables you to track assets, maintenance workflows, space analytics, OT security, capital projects, and much more. When everything is in one solution, you get a clearer, holistic look into your business operations so that you can make better, more strategic decisions.

Interested in learning more? Check out Connected Workplace, or request a personalized demo.