Right size, Right fit
Ravi Bhatnagar, account director at Anabas, discusses the power of workplace experiences and how adapting to new working behaviours and creating appealing and engaging workplaces can attract employees into the office.
Hybrid working has become a feature of everyday life for so many people. Research shows that office attendance has increased significantly since the pandemic, to an average of 3.5 days per week, and further research shows how CEOs expect their hybrid employees to return fully to the office by 2026.
Nevertheless, as the workforce evolves, organisations must adapt to the changing needs of their hybrid working employees to encourage them in the office more frequently, starting now. For office occupiers, there is an opportunity here to remodel office spaces to build a future-proof hybrid workplace.
Embracing the Internet of Things in the workplace and using it to better understand the needs and requirements of occupiers, can help drive positive change and transform it into a productive and useful place to be.
Specialist technology, like desk booking software and check-in apps, can enable businesses to modify and adjust the workplace configuration and set up for employees and visitors based on their specific requirements. More advanced technology like occupancy sensors and analytical software gathers insight and data on how employees interact with the office, which can inform decision-making and drive changes in the workplace to accommodate and appeal to all types of workers.
Smart workplace technology also goes beyond measuring footfall and tracking behaviours. Using it to monitor environmental factors like air quality and pollutants enables businesses and their facilities teams to make the necessary improvements that create healthy and productive workplace experiences for employees.
Collecting and gathering data on employees’ habits and behaviours can help when remodelling and refurbishing the workplace for their evolving needs, too. This could mean implementing flexible workspaces, creating more spaces for informal catch-ups and collaborative work, or introducing sound-proofed rooms or pods to provide focus workstations. There are even businesses that create specific relaxation zones to encourage employees to have downtime.
Adjusting and redesigning the office to make it fit for purpose for all kinds of activity, ensures that it can be used by anyone at any time, and gives employees a reason to make the journey into the office.
Research shows that collaboration and creative work is often better suited to take place in the office than at home. Realising the value of remodelling and transforming workplaces into destinations that foster connection and encourage collaboration is appealing to hybrid workers who may struggle when working remotely. Additionally, providing the resources and tools that further support collaboration is equally important, like video conferencing software, larger screens and other pieces of technology that are not always available in the home office.
Supporting the connections between employees and facilitating collaborative work is a way to ensure that your people realise the value of the office and encourage them to use it more frequently.
As businesses begin to understand the links between wellness, productivity, attraction, and retention, there is a bigger focus on health and wellbeing at work.
Providing wellbeing-focused incentives gives hybrid employees even more reason to attend the office. This could be yoga classes, a quiet place to take a break and relax or fitness facilities to destress after a long day. Future-proofing and creating spaces and opportunities in this way makes the office a place to be enjoyed, where people want to be, rather than somewhere that they have to be.
We no longer just deliver FM services; our role as facilities managers has evolved to the creation of in-office experiences.
We launched a new role at Anabas to aid this change. Our workplace experience managers rethink the employee experience for our clients, focussing on how spaces are used and implementing initiatives, events and procedures to help aid collaboration and boost engagement for hybrid employees in the workplace.
Additionally, our dedicated floor captains integrate into our clients’ workplaces and take complete ownership of maintaining and managing the workplace to create fantastic guest experiences. They keep the office floor and all its facilities running smoothly and are the main point of contact for all FM needs. We even provide further training to our floor captains who can then support employees and guests in other areas, such as technical and AV support, to increase productivity for hybrid employees who choose to come into the workplace.
We realise that the requirements and working patterns of employees will likely develop and change again in the future, and futureproofing will, once again, be a point of discussion. However, one thing we can be certain will not change will be the need for the workplace experience to be memorable and first-class, from the moment an employee enters your building to when they log off and leave at the end of the day.
Find out more about our total facilities management services here and how our approach can help your business create a five-star workplace for your employees.