June 29th, 2021

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The State of Workplace Tech

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The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted nearly every aspect of our lives, and workplace technology is no exception. As remote work became the new norm, many organizations struggled to maintain collaboration, productivity, and security with their existing tech solutions.

CIOs and IT leaders accelerated digital transformation initiatives, including implementing new cloud solutions and cybersecurity protections. As their companies reopen offices and welcome employees back, many of the changes they made will be permanent. Leaders hired top talent from more geographically diverse locations, and they’ve come to rely on those individuals. Employees enjoyed having the flexibility to work anywhere and adjusted their lives accordingly. Research shows the majority want to split their time between home and the office.

Now, as we all reimagine the workplace with a hybrid model in mind, we’ve become more focused on finding technology that improves collaboration between remote employees and those in the office.

Here’s a closer look at what that will likely include.

What emerging technologies are workplace leaders considering?

Teem’s own research shows company leaders are looking for solutions that support a safe return to the office and improve employees’ overall experience there.

That includes:

1. Augmented reality solutions

In our State of Workplace Tech survey, half of all IT leaders said they’re considering technology that bridges the gap between virtual and in-person meeting attendees.

They are particularly interested in augmented reality solutions, which add virtual elements to the physical world. Rather than having in-person attendees crowd behind a single camera, they can use their smartphones and virtual reality headsets to interact with each other in a more collaborative and meaningful way, no matter their physical proximity.

Augmented reality solutions like Spatial enable employees across the world to feel like they’re sitting right next to each other. Virtual meetings feel more like face-to-face meetings, which reduces “Zoom fatigue” and improves collaboration. These solutions will help to usher in the future of work, where there will be more harmony between the virtual and physical environment.

2. Mobile desk and room booking solutions

In a hybrid workplace where employees are free to come and go, assigned seating no longer makes sense. On some days, you may only have half of your workforce in the office. On other days, you could have the majority of your workforce as well as some independent consultants, clients, and visitors. No one wants to spend their first 15 minutes searching for a place to sit or a quiet place where they can meet with the people they came in to see.

A desk booking and room scheduling app makes it easy for employees to reserve space ahead of time or as soon as they arrive. With a few taps on their smartphone, they can see which desks or rooms are available and reserve one. In addition to giving employees more freedom, this essential workplace technology helps your company use space more efficiently while reducing clutter.

3. Digital personal assistants

At home, most people use personal assistants every day. Whenever you ask Siri or Alexa a question, you are actively seeking advice from a digital assistant. Given their ease of use and efficiency, workplace leaders are also looking into digital personal assistants for their employees.

From submitting an IT help request to ordering lunch, personal assistants help employees focus on more creative and meaningful work. They can also integrate with existing workplace technology, including desk booking and augmented reality solutions.

Have you ever referenced an important document during a meeting only to forget where you stored it? With the help of a digital personal assistant, you can easily access it and keep the meeting on track.

4. Visitor management software

As employees continue to work both remotely and in person, workplace leaders need a solution for managing visitors. In a recent CoreNet Global survey, 31% of corporate real estate leaders said they were considering more stringent policies for building entry, including establishing visitor management processes and implementing health screenings.

A visitor management system streamlines check-in so you can minimize bottlenecks and wait times in your reception area.

In addition to ensuring everyone in your workplace follows health and safety guidelines, visitor management solutions can also help you manage capacity and resources.

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5. Wayfinding software

With increased foot traffic and a workplace that may look less familiar even to longtime employees, workplace leaders are also looking for ways to make their office easier to navigate. Wayfinding software makes it easy for employees to find rooms, desks, and other important destinations. Having wayfinding signage in your office can also help everyone find resources to keep themselves healthy and safe, including sanitizing stations and personal protective equipment.

The future of workplace technology looks nothing like the past

In the immediate future, most business leaders are focused on protecting their employees’ physical safety and health. Visitor management, wayfinding, and desk booking solutions make it easier for employees to maintain an appropriate physical distance and make the most of their time in the office.

These solutions also provide valuable workplace analytics that help leaders plan ahead. Once employees become more comfortable working in the office again, we will likely see greater adoption of solutions that bridge the gap between virtual employees and those meeting in person.

Teem’s return-to-work technology makes it easy to manage a safe reopening and support your hybrid workplace well into the future. With visitor management, wayfinding, and mobile room and desk booking, it’s everything you need to give employees the flexibility they’ve come to expect while giving you the insights you need to plan ahead.

Unlike some software solutions with an extensive onboarding process, Teem takes just a few minutes to implement and is so intuitive your workforce can start using it immediately.

If you’re ready to implement new workplace technology but struggling to get your executive team on board, download our State of Workplace Tech report for data on how leading organizations are prioritizing their investments. You’ll also get recommendations for building an airtight business case for business leaders. 

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