From map books to mobile GPS, navigation tools have evolved in a major way. Anyone remember printing directions and bringing them into the car? Maps are essential in helping us navigate our surroundings. They also help us to navigate the workplace.
Many offices are spread across floors, buildings, and headquarters. For new employees, visitors, and even current employees, it can be overwhelming to navigate a large, complex office space.
Employees need to be able to easily navigate their workplace to feel the benefits of being back in the office. So companies are investing in office wayfinding tools to help employees find their way around the office. In this post, we’ll walk you through a few ways an office wayfinding plan can improve your workplace. But first, let’s define office wayfinding.
What is office wayfinding
Office wayfinding is literally finding your way around an office. It encompasses the systems that guide people through a physical workspace. It can be as simple as a static map displayed at the lobby of an office or as complex as a mobile, GPS-enabled office map.
There are many different forms of wayfinding that companies are using, such as mobile apps, interactive floorplans, wayfinding kiosks, physical and digital signage, and more.
Office wayfinding not only helps employees navigate a physical office but it also helps workplace managers or facility managers better support their employees.
Here are 4 ways office wayfinding can improve your workplace:
#1. Find workstations easily
With hot desking being the norm for hybrid offices, employees come into work and are switching up where they sit each day. Hot desking means that instead of only permanent desks, there are bookable desks that employees can reserve for a specific day or days on-site. A new desk each day could mean a new location each day.
You can provide office wayfinding with a desk booking tool that has an interactive map of the office. This helps employees book a desk for the day, based on location in the office or proximity to teammates. The best part of having an integrated desk booking system with your workplace map is that your employees can come into the office, pull out their phones, check which desk they’re sitting at, and quickly find where it is using the map view.
Employees won’t have to worry about running circles around the office (unless they’re looking for a cardio workout) to find their desk. Plus, they’ll be able to see who else is on-site. Employees can find teammates, work friends, visitors and navigate to where they are sitting.
#2. Help visitors navigate the workplace
Visitors are up 300% in the workplace, which means visitor expectations are also on the rise. Workplace guests want to be wowed and excited about how seamless their visit was and how easily they found their way around the office.
A great check-in experience, a host meeting them at the lobby, and an interactive office map to are ways that you can help visitors feel comfortable. Investing in digital signage and mobile apps can take your office wayfinding a step further and impress visitors by how tech-forward and advanced your organization is.
#3. Find meeting rooms quicker
Another way office wayfinding can help improve your workplace is by making it easier for your employees to find meeting rooms. If you have a workplace with several meeting rooms in different sizes, styles, and locations throughout the office, your employees can get confused looking for the right room.
Whether you have a static map in the front of your office or an interactive map through a desk booking tool, or an office wayfinding kiosk, be sure to include meeting rooms in your map.
Plus, digital signage at the door of each meeting room can help employees quickly identify the room and see if it’s available to book. For example, if you have conference room scheduling software that syncs up with an iPad, you can place that iPad at the entryway of the room. Give the room a fun name and sync it with your employees’ calendars to easily book in advance or standing outside of the room.
Pro tip: Name your meeting rooms something related to your company culture or the location of your headquarters. For example, if you have an office in New York, you can name a room Liberty. Plus, consider naming rooms alphabetically so that your employees can easily find the room they need if they’re walking down the hallway.
#4. Make your workplace standout
Office wayfinding doesn’t have to be boring placards and arrows hung along the hallways. When done creatively, office wayfinding signs that can represent your office culture and help your workplace standout.
For example, you can break your workplace into team neighborhoods where members of the same team can sit near each other. You can put up posters or street signs with a unique name for each neighborhood, giving the office a little extra fun while still providing directional support.
You can also use your company’s brand colors throughout the office on signs, arrows, and display cards. Small design details can help your workplace feel brighter, welcoming, and inviting while still providing useful information for employees.
Office wayfinding isn’t a new concept, but it’s received a lot more attention lately as companies figure out how to bring employees back into the office and create a workplace they enjoy. Office wayfinding is just one of many hybrid workplace tools that can help employees feel confident and comfortable at work.