The uncertainty caused by the pandemic has fundamentally transformed the workplace. In just two years, the culture of work underwent three distinct eras: First fully in-office work, then fully remote, and now a hybrid model.Hybrid work is fast becoming the new workplace norm. Many employees enjoy the flexibility that hybrid work provides. And now many companies are scrambling to adopt new workplace technologies to make hybrid work. To ensure that your new technology stays successful for the long haul, here are four questions to ask to future-proof your workplace.
1. Is the technology suitable for the modern hybrid workplace?
Before thinking too far into the future, first, consider if the new workplace tool solves today's problems. For example, if your company is providing employees with more flexibility through a hybrid work model, then you want to be sure the new technology supports both in-office and remote folks. In hybrid work environments, employees in the office are often on Zoom calls with employees, clients, and partners working at home. Are your meeting rooms and other workspace infrastructure set up for seamless hybrid meetings? Then you have to consider other challenges to solve when it comes to hybrid work. Coordinating on-site schedules, meeting rooms, and desk resources are common frustrations in the new hybrid work world. Do your tools empower your employees to collaborate on-site with ease? Aim for a tool that combines the power of hybrid scheduling, hot desking, and room booking so employees can manage everything they need in the workplace from one intuitive app.
2. Is it a mobile-first solution?
Smartphones have become an essential part of our everyday lives—even replacing the need to carry keys or a wallet. Since almost all office employees rely on a mobile device, it's apparent why your workplace needs to be mobile-friendly too. Not only is it future-proof, it's also what people expect nowadays. Uplifting your workplace with a mobile-first solution can make employees' day-to-day more seamless. Instead of physical badges to access the workplace, imagine employees using their mobile device instead. They can use their phone as an all-in-one badge to access the building, rooms, and amenities, like parking, AV equipment, smart lockers, and more. The mobile solution should also help employees succeed in a hybrid work environment. Instead of making employees manage their hot desk and room reservations on a computer, aim for a tool that lets them do it on the go right on their smartphone.
3. Is it an open platform?
Having an open workplace platform is essential to future-proofing your workplace tech stack. Unlike closed platforms, open platforms allow components of their software to be edited, modified, and adapted to different functionalities. Software tools come and go, and there's no telling what software your company will need down the line. You don't want to risk being stuck with legacy tools that you'll have to eventually replace. It's imperative to work with an open platform that lets you modify it as your company’s tech needs evolve. Workplace technologies are becoming more and more connected. With an open workplace platform, you should be able to integrate with tools your company already uses and ones you may need to use in the future. Take your building's access control as an example. Most companies with building access controls have already invested money in those hardware systems. Rather than replacing your entire access control system, look for a workplace platform that can connect with it. Not all open workplace platforms are created equal though. For maximum connectivity, dive into their webhooks and API capabilities. See if they can connect to IoT devices and workplace hardware using sensors. And see how easy it would be for your developer team to adapt the open platform to your company's specific needs.
4. Does it provide workplace analytics?
The final question you should be asking to future-proof your tech is “what analytics does this tool offer?” Without good data, you won’t know what’s working and what’s not. Having workplace analytics gives you a birds-eye view of where you can improve workplace areas, such as security, collaboration, and infrastructure. In the new hybrid era, understanding office usage is essential. For example, you can use data on when employees are coming into the workplace and where they tend to sit to optimize your layout. You can then use this insight to downsize the office for cost-saving. Alternatively, you can use this insight to stagger the days your employees work on-site. Many fast-growing companies are opting for this hybrid approach so they can continue hiring more while saving costs on space. Real-time workplace analytics can also help you solve workplace issues proactively. If you see that meetings rooms are completely booked on a given day, you can prompt those that booked one to see if they really need it. In the hybrid environment, it’s common for attendees to end up working from home. Freeing up unnecessary room reservations so folks who need one can get one creates a more seamless and productive workplace experience.
It's all about the employee experience
When it comes to finding a future-proof workplace platform, keep in mind that it all comes down to the employee experience. If the technology is easy to use and convenient for employees, then you’re bound to see more success getting your folks to use it long-term.What is certain nowadays is uncertainty. Expect more changes to come. Center your workplace technology around the employee experience and you will future-proof it with success.Considering an all-in-one workplace platform to create a thriving, future-proof hybrid workplace? Start a free trial of Envoy’s workplace platform today.