The COVID-19 pandemic has taught the world that being together matters. There is intrinsic value in gathering in person.
The workplace has more meaning than we gave it credit for. For employees, it’s not just a place to work. The workplace is an environment to be productive, collaborate in person, build relationships, socialize with coworkers, make friends, and entertain clients and guests.
For businesses, the workplace can drive knowledge sharing, improved collaboration, wild creativity, breakthrough innovation, and outsized results. It also creates team and company culture, which is hard to replicate virtually, and will be a reason why companies that bring people together will be more successful than companies that are fully remote.
Work-from-home (WFH) does have its benefits. It provides a better work-life balance for employees and can save big on real-estate costs for businesses. But the long-term impacts that WFH could have are daunting: loss of connection, weakened company culture, frayed social fabric. That’s why the future of work is hybrid.
Now’s the time to reinvent the workplace for hybrid work
As we shift to hybrid work, employees will have more flexibility in where they work. That means it will be up to employers to reinvent the workplace and make people feel safe and confident enough to return.
How do you reinvent the workplace for a hybrid workforce? With technology. The pandemic forced businesses to do this to meet the needs of a WFH workforce by investing in Zoom, Slack, and the like. Now, with the vaccine roll-out underway, smart workplace leaders are preparing the physical workplace for the future of flexible work by evaluating the systems that once helped manage it. They’re replacing dated, ineffective, and disconnected technologies with a platform of connected tools that will enable hybrid work.
Now’s the opportunity to address the challenges of the old workplace experience
Workplace leaders are in a unique moment in time. With a nearly empty physical office, there’s an opportunity to test new technologies, like smart lockers, occupancy sensing, and access control with a small group of employees. As more employees return to the workplace, leaders can ramp up the roll out, confident it will work with more employees in the workplace.
One solution can’t do it all. Especially not when there’s heightened importance on health, safety, and security in the workplace. That’s why workplace leaders are taking advantage of this time to modernize their entire workplace tech stack. A key piece of this: integrating the different technologies and systems that they rely on so they can operate out of one platform. They know that integrations must work together to enable productivity, security, safety, and compliance.
Envoy’s platform is bringing technology partners together to get people back to the workplace faster and safer
We’ve had a unique opportunity to witness this change at Envoy. Our customers are relying on new products, like Envoy Protect, to facilitate more than four million safe employee sign-ins. They are preparing for the future by investing in technology that will enable the shift to hybrid work, like Envoy Desks. But like we mentioned before—one solution can’t do it all. To successfully make the shift to hybrid work, companies will need all the different products in the workplace to work together.
With more partners than any other workplace platform, in new categories like door access and thermal cameras, companies can connect Envoy with over 65 out-of-the-box integrations. Since the pandemic began, we’ve seen record demand, nearly 200% growth, from our customers wanting to integrate with new tools. And our developer team has seen 300% growth in demand from technology partners wanting to help companies make returning to work safer and easier through seamless integrations.
To make it easier for third party developers to build on Envoy and shape the workplace of the future, we’ve launched a developer platform. Bindle, a digital wallet system built for COVID, is currently using the developer platform to help companies confirm that their employees and visitors have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine before coming on-site. This is another piece of the multi-layered approach to keeping employees safe and healthy. The Envoy platform enables developers to build new technologies and innovations for hybrid workplaces. This will drive value to Envoy’s customers while pioneering a better, brighter future for work.
Hybrid is here and this is what it looks like
That may all sound good, but what does a connected, hybrid workplace look like in practice? Let us paint a picture for you…
Your team has a big project coming up so you decide to work from the office next week to brainstorm. You register through Protect and invite the creative agency you’ve been working with via Envoy Visitors. You reserve a block of desks for your team for two days next week with Desks. Because your admin synced your team through Active Directory, you can invite your teammates directly within the app or your Outlook calendar. After you sign-in on the Envoy app when you arrive, you have your temperature checked by Flir.
With your approved sign-in synced to Openpath, your building’s access control system, you can unlock doors and walk into the building easily. When your guests from the agency register to come in, they get guest Wi-Fi access via Aruba and sign an NDA through DocuSign, which is then stored in Google Drive.
You get a Slack notification that your visitors are here so you let the front desk team know you’re on the way. You realize you forgot to reserve a space for your brainstorm, so you book the nearest meeting room through Envoy Rooms in the app. You see on your workplace map within the Envoy app exactly how to get to the meeting room and when you place your phone on the charger in the room, Chargifi detects it and starts your meeting.
At the end of the day, as you walk out, all the lights turn off because you built an integration using Envoy’s developer platform to save energy when no one is in the building.
For admins, there are even more integrations that provide you with data and automation throughout your workplace. Pair Density’s accurate occupancy data with Envoy’s real-time employee and visitor log to always know who is on-site; bring your Envoy capacity management data into your Salesforce’s work.com command center to assess return readiness; combine Everbridge’s mass emergency notification system with your Envoy logs to communicate directly to those on site during an emergency.
The experience is seamless—for employees, visitors, and administrators.
The future of work, even in the near term, is going to be brighter
The pandemic disrupted our lives last year. Most companies sent their employees to work from home. We realized that, while we can be productive from home, there’s intrinsic value in the human experience of being together. There’s value in the workplace.
Now, hybrid work is here. It will bring teams together again. It will allow employees to be intentional about where they work. They will get to choose when they want to enjoy the office and where they get our best work done.
Whether your employees are working from home, HQ, or a remote location, they will have more flexibility than ever before to do their best work. It will be up to you as employers to get the workplace ready now, to make it easy and get them excited to return.
Companies will need a connected workplace platform to make the workplace better than ever. Learn more about Envoy’s workplace platform and the integrations that help companies get back to work faster and safer.