The workplace as we know it changed immensely during the pandemic, and offices do not — and should not — look the same as they once did. It’s important to know how to manage these transformed spaces more safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Because when a hybrid work environment works, it can boost productivity, ensure health & safety, and help your company become more environmentally sustainable.
But how can office facilities managers do all this?
An easy first step is to adopt a workspace scheduling solution. Let’s take a closer look at what a workspace scheduling tool is and the main benefits of using workspace scheduling software to support both companies and employees within hybrid office environments.
What is a workspace scheduling solution?
The hybrid workplace is one that’s defined by constant flux: employees follow rostered days in and out of the office, half your team may be on-site and the other at home, and — during pandemic times — there’s likely a limit to how many people you can have in, and that limit is liable to change at short notice too!
It’s here that workspace scheduling becomes so useful. You can think of a workspace scheduling platform as the central hub for your office interactions: allow employees to book desks, create visitor passes, secure meeting spaces, grab a parking space and even order their on-site lunch! The best workspace scheduling solutions also integrate with other key workplace software, such as Outlook — providing teams with all the information they need, at their fingertips.
6 key benefits of using a workspace scheduling solution
1. Optimize space utilization and efficiency
Did you know that wasted space is one of the biggest money drains on offices? With the cost of dedicated offices soaring year after year, companies must ensure they put every inch of their leased space to good use.
A workplace scheduling solution can help businesses track room usage, determine which spaces are under-used, and plan activities more strategically and efficiently.
Facilities managers can use real-time data about office space usage to optimize different rooms for different usage patterns. This, in turn, lets employees know that their work area has been tailored to their requirements and preferences.
2. Improve employee productivity
How many times have your employees double-booked rooms or gotten confused about where a specific meeting was taking place? It happens far more often than it should! The frustration of finding a free and suitable space to work or conduct a meeting hampers productivity and motivation and wastes valuable billable time.
When a workspace scheduling solution is established in your office, employees gain real-time views of room availability and can book the slot they prefer at the simple touch of a button.
Similarly, in the event that a pre-booked room ends up being empty, a workspace scheduling solution will automatically free up that room for rebooking by someone else.
Thanks to this unprecedented accuracy — and these in-built real-time capabilities — workspace scheduling tools allow employees to plan and run meetings with minimal disruption. And when your workday runs more smoothly, you get more done with your time.
3. Empower employees to manage their working day
Building on the point above, you’d be surprised how much your teams’ cognitive load can be lightened when the solutions around them get the job done. Knowing that they can head straight to one place — your workspace scheduling platform — to book ahead and monitor their existing bookings means they’ve got more energy to spend on high-value tasks.
What time is their guest arriving again? And then which meeting room are they taking them to? Rather than trawling through their email inbox, it’s all right there in front of them.
As a result, teams feel more in control of their workload. They can plan, arrange, and manage their working day in a way that further boosts their productivity, motivation, and overall satisfaction.
The ultimate result? A happier, more loyal, and more engaged workforce — with individual employees helping create a positive and encouraging working environment for everyone else.
It’s an improvement that translates directly to the bottom line as well. Multi-tasking costs the global economy $450 million a year: make life simple for your teams, and your ROI will see the results.
4. Foster better collaboration
Hybrid workplaces offer up so many benefits, but flexi ways of working present some challenges too — team collaboration being one of the most significant.
How many of your video meetings have started with audio issues? And how many hours do those lost minutes add up to? It isn’t easy bringing on-site and at-home workers together in conversation, but a workspace scheduling solution can help iron out the creases.
With an at-a-glance overview of which meetings are happening where, all the necessary audio and video equipment can be left in place. No more dashing out of the room at the last minute looking for HDMI or DVI cables! Instead, you get crystal clear connections for your hybrid teams — so better collaboration can follow.
5. Track energy usage and cut costs
Pivoting away from business and employee benefits for a moment, the CSR of your organization might just be strengthened when a workspace scheduling solution is established, too. Lights left on in empty rooms might not seem all that sinister, but over time this wasted energy adds up — for the environment and your overhead spend!
Facilities managers can use your scheduling tool to view which rooms are effectively used, when, and by how many people, fine-tuning everything accordingly: lighting systems, heating systems, A/V equipment, and more.
When rooms are not booked for meetings, or when desks are not allocated to a specific employee, facilities managers know that those particular areas will not need to have any electronic devices or heaters/coolers switched on. Together, this cuts costs and creates environmentally-friendly buildings.
6. Ensure compliance with COVID-19 restrictions
Last, but certainly not least, it’s imperative that your hybrid workspace complies with the (ever-changing) COVID regulations, specific to where you’re based.
Restrictions around social distancing and space occupancy, for example, are still in place in many countries around the world, including the UK and the US. This means that office managers must limit how many employees use certain spaces at a time, to prevent over-crowding and avoid dangerous outbreaks.
Room planning and space optimization become a cinch if companies use a workspace scheduling solution. With a tool like this, desk allocation, meeting room bookings, and overall office entry for employees and guests can be arranged, monitored, and limited according to the current restrictions.
Optimize, comply, save: move to a workspace scheduling solution today
From optimizing the use of your space to saving money on energy costs and staying compliant with coronavirus restrictions, a workspace scheduling platform can help your business in so many ways.