Thoughts from Our Leadership
The Intentional Office
Getting back to work: The big picture.
Every day there is a new article, a new post, or some commentary about getting back
How and when companies bring employees back into the office comes with a variety of
opinions and approaches.
As workplace management experts, Maptician believes the decision on how to work
and where to work is really about something bigger – it’s about turning your office
from just a place to sit into a space with a purpose.
For many, switching from remote work to in office work is nothing more than a location
change. But, if companies are asking employees to leave the comforts of their “work
from home” experience, there needs to be a bigger reason. At Maptician, we call this
creating an Intentional Office.
The Intentional Office
What is an “intentional" office and how do you create one for your company?
First, we must talk about what it is not. It’s not picking a seat, showing up, working,
and then leaving at 5 pm to head home. That’s just a change of location.
An intentional office focuses on the “why” of coming back to the office: collaboration,
brainstorming, and team time. The intentional office also considers the entire office
space and how to leverage to create meaningful interactions, and a better, more
efficient use of the square footage.
To create this type of highly functional, purposeful space, technology like Maptician’s is
the essential backbone. With the right tools, companies empower their people to
know who is in the office and when. Schedules for employees can be developed that
Let’s look at an example from an employee point of view… Meet Carol… Carol is the
accounting manager for a company with 1,000 employees and 2 office locations. Carol
is part of team of 50 that ultimately reports to the CFO. Carol’s direct manager comes
to the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Her manager has a dedicated workspace
that only she occupies.
Carol’s colleagues have been asked to return to the office as well – some days in the
office and some remote.
Going from a work from home only routine to an in-office routine or even a hybrid
routine, can be a tough sell. Companies like Carol’s must make the office “people”
centric to create the value proposition and the true reason of coming into the office.
But how do you do this?
Carol’s manager uses the Maptician app to create a variety of dedicated seats for the
entire team. The accounting team meets in the office every Tuesday and Thursday.
The individual team members can log in to the Maptician app and see this schedule
and book their hybrid days in the office accordingly.
So now, instead of just showing up, working, and leaving, the entire department can
schedule a working lunch in a large conference room to connect, chat and brainstorm.
Individuals can also meet with their manager, or book in person meeting with
Now, Carol’s time in the office is more interactive and more productive. She and her
teammates use these in office days to collaborate and their work from home days for
heads down work.
And for those times Carol or one of her colleagues might like to escape the routine of
home, they can still book a “hot” desk and show up. No problem.
Getting back to work: The big picture.
As your company evaluates a way back to in person or maybe refines the strategy you
already have in place, Maptician can help. Our intentional office approach can help
you maximize your space and energize your workforce to be more collaborative, more
productive, and more engaged.
Meet our new Workplace Solution Expert, Greg Willis. He joins Maptician after a successful career in IT Consulting. He's worked with companies of all shapes and sizes, including large retailers, government agencies and a few startups.
Q: Hi Greg, welcome! Tell us, what brings you to Maptician?
A: While consulting with other companies after the height of the pandemic, I continued to hear an underlying theme of wanting to get back to some normalcy by getting people back into the office. I was happy to find that there was a solution out there like Maptician that helps companies get employees back to work, whether in person, at home, or a mix of both – what many are calling the new “Hybrid Work Model”.
Q: Tell us a little about your background?
A: My career started in the food production industry. Since then, my journey has allowed me to work with some great companies over the years. I’m happy to continue my technology career with Maptician, talking to companies about the importance of a return to office strategy and a space management solution.
Q: What do you find the most appealing about Maptician’s technology?
A: I’m impressed Maptician started as an idea to help organizations maximize their valuable real estate space to the fullest potential. The fact that the company was able to pivot so quickly at the onset of COVID says a lot about Maptician’s ability to adapt to the needs of its customers. Now Maptician is helping companies and their employees with a hybrid approach, blending remote work with in-office time.
Q: After spending a few weeks talking to Maptician clients and prospects, what is your key takeaway?
A: Many companies are uncertain how to develop a return to office strategy that benefits both employer and employee. Employers recognize their employees have continued to work hard outside the office during COVID; however, they don’t want to lose the company culture they’ve worked hard to achieve. Additionally, employers don’t want good employees to leave if forced back to the office. Maptician gives both the employer and the employee the best of both worlds with a solution that allows a “Hybrid” approach - that means scheduling both time in the office and from home.
Now for some of our standard “Get to Know You Questions”…
Q: Who’s your technology/business mentor?
A: Napoleon Hill. His book, Laws of Success, became a great foundation as I entered the business world. I find myself picking this book back up re-reading it often.
Q: What career advice would you give to someone just starting out in the business world?
A: Do what you love and are passionate about and it won’t seem like work!
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: My father was in the military, so I’ve lived from Florida to Hawaii, with a few stops in between. I graduated high school in Savannah, Georgia, and have spent most of my professional career in Georgia.
Q: Favorite movie?
A: The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen. I had a chance to meet the character Steve McQueen plays, Captain Virgil Hilts. He came to speak to my school when I as in the 7th grade in Enterprise, Alabama.
Q: Favorite concert?
A: Was there an “s” at the end of concert? Ha! It’s tough to narrow it down to just one. It would have to be a mix of James Taylor, Kool and the Gang, Hall & Oates, Def Leppard and Chris Stapleton.
Q: Best trip?
A: This would have to be either the many places I visited while stationed in United States Navy or the various islands of Hawaii I visited as a civilian.
Q: Is there any technology you couldn’t live without?
A: I am huge fan of my iPhone. I’m also a bit of a spreadsheet geek. I used to think there wasn’t anything I couldn’t accomplish on a spreadsheet. However, I have since learned that there are some great technology programs and platforms out there, like Maptician, that you just can’t manage within a spreadsheet.
Q: What are the top 5 apps on your phone right now?
A: Waze, Uber, DoorDash, HuntWise, and the MyRadar Weather app.
Thanks for your time, Greg. It’s great getting to know you and welcome to Maptician.
Want to learn more about Maptician? Sign up for a free demo with Greg today!
Are You Ready?
Kelly Buday, July, 2021
The past year has been interesting, to say the least. Offices closing, working from home - all with an uncertain end…but now that our world is opening again, it’s time to think about how we return to work. Companies understand employees want to maintain the flexibility they’ve come to enjoy, and many are implementing a hybrid work environment, with some days in the office, and some working remotely. The problem is managing everything.
I was talking last week with a VP of Human Resources at a small tech company, and he shared with me that they need a strategy for bringing employees back to the office but are unsure where to begin. It all just seems like a complex web of people, desks and schedules with no clear-cut way to manage or communicate where everyone should be and when. He noted that he’d like a platform where management can plan, while employees are able to make reservations and schedule team time in the office.
If you are the owner of a return-to-work strategy, it’s tough to know where to start, but here are few things to consider as you mount your back to work strategy.
Determine how you will manage reservations, supports flex shifts, open seating, and private seating options
Understand when employees are working in the office and when they are working from home
Confirm if you will use health and wellness prescreen surveys and social distancing rings
Incorporate a tool to map out floor plans including conference rooms, private offices, and general areas as well as specific seating locations
Don’t wait to finalize your back to the office plans. Be ready.
Technology like Maptician’s can help.
Schedule a free demo today:
Will a 3-2-2 be the new work-week?
Paul Eurek, January 1, 2021
It is a remarkably familiar phrase, “our employees are greatest asset”. And as seasoned entrepreneurs and executives will readily attest, it is a phrase grounded in truth. Which is the reason why companies today are taking particular care as they make decisions about when and how they will bring their employees back to their offices amid the COVID 19 pandemic and its unprecedented challenges to traditional workplaces.
What approaches are business owners and corporate executives contemplating to bring their employees back safely and with a sense of organizational structure? Answers range from embracing a structured and meticulously planned “back to the office” scenario with detailed safety and social distancing policies, to those organizations who have abandoned and shuttered their offices indefinitely. Whichever approach works best, one thing is certain, every single company is trying to find the best solution to give their employees a safe work environment, while at the same time maintain their company culture and promote personal development, innovation, and productivity.
Industry thought leaders have started to embrace the notion that the current five-day, 8-to-5 office workweek will no longer be the norm. Ashley Whillans, a Harvard Business School professor, recently predicted that a growing number of companies may formally adopt a 3-2-2 work week. Professor Whillans suggested that employees could work remote (home or satellite facility) two or more days per week, then schedule themselves into an office for three days to collaborate with their teams and clients, followed by the traditional two-day weekend. This new hybrid approach would allow employees the work-life balance and flexibility many have experienced as a positive while working from home during the pandemic. This is just one of the ideas battered around of what an updated workweek would look like, post vaccine and post pandemic.
Companies, large and small, will face challenges in adapting to this new workplace paradigm. Long term success will depend on them establishing systems and processes that make the process predictable and transparent so that collaboration and culture does not take a back seat to flexibility. Technology solutions that help create and manage these schedules can reduce the risk that employees become disconnected from each other and help managers to know where each team member will be working each day.
Giving employees the continued flexibility to work from home at least part of the time is an investment that has the potential to pay dividends in terms of employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity. Time will tell whether the 3-2-2 schedule can become the standard in 2021 and beyond.