Return To Work
November 20th, 2020

RELATED GUIDE

13 Workplace Analytics Every IT Leader Should Track

It’s clear the future of work won’t be the same as years past. Employees expect to have more flexible working arrangements after the pandemic, spending part of the week working remotely and part in the office.

That can get complicated quickly if you can’t identify discrepancies in availability and demand. Here’s how you can use an office space booking system to resolve space discrepancies before they lead to bigger problems.

There are various ways to approach your return to work. Most of these include changing assumptions about the nature of the workplace, moving away from more traditional ways of working, and looking at the fundamental changes in employee expectations, such as having more flexibility in their schedules, stricter cleaning and sanitization protocols, and greater options in their workspaces.

If you’re not prepared, demand for desks and meeting rooms could reach a point where your workplace isn’t able to stretch to safely meet it, particularly if you're limiting capacity.

Now is the time to get ahead of those obstacles.

Flexibility and fluctuating office space demand

The rise of the hybrid workforce

It wasn’t long ago when employees saw remote work as a perk, rather than a requirement. After months without being able to come into the office, sit at their workstation, or collaborate in person, 49% of responders in an international survey said they enjoyed working from home less than they did before the pandemic and 60% said they felt less connected to their coworkers due to a lack of in-person communication.

Though many employees are thriving at home, PwC’s research shows that not everyone has taken well to remote work. Some employees feel more distracted, unprepared without their usual tools, or frustrated by a slow Internet connection. Results from that survey paint a picture of a workforce desperate to return to the workplace.

However, accommodating distancing recommendations presents a challenge for employers tasked with reopening the workplace, especially for hybrid workforces. When work arrangements are flexible and schedules vary, accommodating everyone will be even more challenging.

New health and safety measures

In order to bring employees back safely, you’ll need to keep a watchful eye on your data to mitigate risk as much as possible.

You'll likely need to implement new policies to balance potential health, safety, and liability risks with supporting the workforce wherever they’re working. Employees are looking to leadership to manage and monitor what’s going on in real time, gauge how things are changing, and use that data to forecast what’s ahead.

Before the pandemic, there was already a need to reduce the amount of unused space and to maximize the efficiency of the workforce. After the onset of COVID-19, data from CoreNet showed almost 70% of organizations were planning to reduce their office space to account for the increase in remote work.

With new safety requirements in place, it’s never been more important to get a clear picture of your space.

Using an office space booking system to help identify gaps

Space reservation software can help you spend less time tracking down data and more time focused on strategy and performance. It makes it easy to explore the correlation between what’s in demand, what spaces are underutilized, and how employees choose to use your available workspace. Space reservation software allows you to see all your spaces at a glance, learn where you’re losing money, and connect the dots.

For example, if one department of your company plans to work remotely three days of the week, you may want to allow them to reserve desks when they come into the office, rather than assigning them a dedicated desk or workstation.

Here are some other examples of how you can use reservation software to manage your office space demand:

  • Compare how often conference rooms are used based on real-time check-ins to see your true room utilization
  • Make sure you have enough flexible space to accommodate your workforce based on the number of desks booked on a typical day
  • Adjust meeting rooms by looking at the average size of meetings
  • Get a better understanding of meeting habits by finding the average meeting length
  • Balance office space occupancy rates based on peak utilization for each day of the week

 



 

 

With an office space booking system and insights like Teem's Workplace Analytics, you can reevaluate your data frequently, get a good look at trends, and understand how employee needs are changing. 

By understanding what's going on in your workplace, you can respond quickly and plan ahead. That way when employees return to the office, you can spend less time checking for the number of occupants and more time focused on supporting their health and wellbeing, keeping them engaged, and enabling more opportunities for collaboration.

Keeping a pulse on office space demand

Equip your workforce with the tools they need to return confidently, like Teem's user-friendly reservation software.

With Teem, they'll be able to book a room or desk of their choice, search for spaces and view from the visual map of the office, and see all of the room information they need to create a reservation.  

Instead of spending hours, days, or weeks to get a meaningful view of your space utilization — just to respond based on a partial picture — Teem makes it easy with Workplace Analytics.

Before bringing employees back to the workplace, learn how we can improve your return to work. Arrange a free consultation with someone on our team.

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