The decision on how and where to work is really about turning your office from just a place to sit into a space with a purpose.
Helping prevent the “Great Resign” with a Great Design
Redesigning your office as a hybrid workplace may help your organization retain and attract the best talent.
Maptician, as its name suggests, is best known for its map-base approach to space management software. Its founding mission was to help organizations visualize their floorplans and determine the best layout for employee efficiency and space utilization. But did you also know that Maptician has been increasingly playing a significant role in helping companies keep their talented, hardworking employees?
Prior to COVID-19, organizations had experienced a surge in growth and many were quickly outgrowing their office spaces. Facility Managers were challenged with predicting growth and determining the right space to meet those needs.
Spreadsheets were the usual internal tool of choice, or outsourcing to architecture firms who produced floorplan options for comparison and selection. But business needs often changed so quickly that by the time they received the new floorplans, they would need to be updated again. This cycle could take months, cost thousands, and tied-up valuable time and resources.
Along comes the pandemic and most organizations found themselves with vacant office space for the first time in a decade or more. Yet, unlike previous gluts in space, employers still needed their employees to work despite not being physically in their offices.
It is a testament to employee resiliency that so many organizations continued operating and providing important services without missing a beat from the COVID restrictions. For better or worse, employees often found themselves working longer hours remotely than when they were regulars in their offices. Time saved not commuting was often spent as longer hours on the job.
Fast forward and restrictions began to gradually be lifted throughout the country. Employers wanted their employees back to the office, with those who had made the investment to expand their office space pre-pandemic feeling the pressure to get their employees back to the office.
Employers who expected employees to return to pre-COVID normalcy often didn’t appreciate the changed needs and preferences of their employees who had worked remotely with often surprising levels of diligence for the previous 18 months. Employees had grown to appreciate the flexibility and break from traffic and commutes, and the prospect of returning to the status quo was frequently not well received.
A poll conducted by the Insider in June 2021 found that, “nearly 40% of workers would consider quitting if their bosses made them return to the office full time”.
Maptician has been helping companies adapt to the challenges of the pandemic since started in early 2020. Maptician’s space planning, desk booking, and interactive mapping capabilities have been put to effective use with features that help promote health and safety within an office, and more frequently in helping organizations who want to establish a true hybrid workplace.
While simply setting-up reservable workstations and setting some days-per-week in office targets can seem like all it ought to take to operate a hybrid office, the reality is that it takes much more planning, tools, and attention. A hybrid office, by definition, is much more dynamic than a traditional workplace, and injecting that much instability without providing some underlying structure is a recipe for frustrated employees and potentially resignations.
We have seen that the best hybrid offices use a mixed approach to employee office use. Some employees will want or need traditional fixed workstations, and it doesn’t make sense to have them book a desk each day. While other employees may want some element of predictability to their schedules, and others are better suited to identifying which dates and times each week work best for them. Managing all these variables and trying to make sure employees are happy, positioned for reasonable effective work schedules, and that the office is being used efficiently is no easy task.
Maptician has identified three general steps to establishing a hybrid office 1) Planning, 2) Enabling, and 3) Evaluating. Organizations should have a firm grasp of what kind of hybrid office they are establishing, how their people will use the space, and how much and what kind of space is required. This is the planning phase, which Maptician’s software facilitates using simple drag and drop tools and easy to understand and configure occupancy strategies.
Enablement is more than allowing employees to book a desk or a room, but provides insight for employees as to what days and times would be best for them to come in. It helps teams to maximize their time together and helps employees plan and engage with co-workers even when people are coming in at different times and different locations. Hybrid enablement involves helping people have the right space when they need it, as well as ensuring that their time in the office is productive by being around or able to find the right co-workers.
While we’ve all learned a lot about hybrid, there is no doubt that there is still much more to learn, and organizations’ experiences today will shape how they plan and manage their workplaces in the future. To learn from these experiences, you need tools that allow you to measure how your hybrid office performed, what worked well, what didn’t, and how reality differed from planned expectations. Maptician provides the ability to incorporate real time occupancy data and evaluate it against detailed space analytics and occupancy strategies. Based on even short-term data, models and plans can be adjusted and improved.
Maptician is constantly listening to the needs of its clients to make a hybrid office the perfect environment for keeping everyone happy and productive. Hybrid is one of those rare instances where people can have the best of both worlds, and where employees’ interests in flexibility dovetail with business goals of controlling costs and improving productivity.
Let Maptician show you all the benefits of what a great hybrid redesign of your space can do for your entire organization and its employees.