How workplace technologies are improving users experiences

Using technology to put information at peoples fingertips, and equip them with the tools to navigate their experience of your workspace, not only streamlines their day, but also ensures numerous other benefits, such as improved productivity, quality and wellbeing.

Workspace technology, chosen and integrated correctly, holds the key to enabling maximum productivity and maximum efficiency, while also improving stakeholder experience. Whether organisations are looking to attract or retain staff, impress partners, or fulfil their customers’ expectations, the right tech is an important part of the puzzle.

Simple technology for maximum impact

What can sometimes get overlooked – when attention-grabbing solutions such as huge videowalls, holographic displays or dedicated Zoom rooms capture people’s imaginations – is the important role played by any technology, however simple, that puts information and control at the fingertips of all stakeholders. This has the effect of streamlining their experiences and removing niggles, so they can focus on their main objectives.

Consider these two scenarios:

Employee A drives to work – not at their usual office, but another site – parks in their pre-booked space, and sweeps effortlessly through the door thanks to contactless entry. Using the wayfinding capability on their mobile, they’re able to easily find their pre-booked hot desk, despite never having visited this particular office before. They take out their laptop, and immediately connect wirelessly to the company’s digital workspace using details provided via their employee app. With a clear mind and having had a smooth start to the day, they’re able to hit the ground running and immediately be productive, checking emails for any last-minute urgent priorities, before heading into a client Zoom call just 20 minutes later, fully prepared and confident.

Employee B drives to work. It’s not their usual office, and they’re already a little bit stressed before arriving as they’re not sure how big the car park is. When they arrive, all the spaces are full, so they have to find an awkward space on the street outside, and squeeze into it with parallel parking, while a queue of traffic forms. Hoping that they’ve understood the parking restriction sign correctly, they dash to the door to make it in without being too much later than planned, and sign in at the front desk. There’s a bit of a delay while they wait for a pass, and then – under pressure, thanks to the day’s meeting schedule – there’s the challenge of finding their way to the right place within the office, and setting up at one of the hot desks. Thankfully people are helpful in giving directions, but when they arrive at the hot desking area there’s only one seat left, and it’s close to a breakout zone so the noise of people chatting makes it harder to focus. Flustered, they realise they haven’t got the WIFI password, and have to head back to reception to ask for details. With just five minutes before the team video call, they finally manage to get connected, before being launched straight into a strategy meeting pretty much unprepared, and not knowing whether there’s anything urgent lurking in their inbox to surprise them afterwards.

Set the workforce up for success

Poor Employee B doesn’t really stand a chance of bringing their best self to work when they’ve had all that to deal with before even logging on in the morning, whereas Employee A’s employer has enabled their maximum wellbeing, focus and productivity by removing speedbumps from their working day before it even begins. It’s pretty obvious who’s going to get the most volume and quality of work done that day, and also who’s more likely to be considering looking around for another job.

But in fact, the difference between these two scenarios is quite simple. Employer A has implemented a number of simple tech solutions which empower their employees with information at their fingertips, and also tools for autonomous control over their working day. In contrast, Employer B hasn’t considered the detrimental effect of the challenges that their employee has had to go through before they’ve even logged on at the beginning of the working day. 

What solutions can streamline the stakeholder experience?

By facilitating a smoother experience of an organisation’s digital and physical workspaces, it’s possible to better set stakeholders up for success – whether that’s improved quality, productivity and wellbeing for employees; making the right impression and building relationships with business partners; or delivering an on-point customer experience. The building blocks of this can be fairly simple tools, integrated together with consideration for the workday journey:

Contactless entry became particularly popular during the pandemic for obvious reasons, but hygiene is not the only significant benefit. This system offers fast, secure access to buildings or spaces, without the need to remember codes or to touch screens or buttons, and removing the risk posed by lost keys or cards. It’s also easy to grant or revoke access when staff changes occur or visitors are due. In addition, occupancy data is captured, so it’s possible to have real-time insight into exactly who is on site – and connected to a building management system this can control comfort levels accordingly.

Wayfinding technology helps to guide people to where they need to be, even if they’re completely unfamiliar with the campus they can still confidently and efficiently get to the right place on time and with minimal stress. A bit like Google Maps for a specific building, wayfinding apps can help people with indoor navigation, and even in locating colleagues within the space.

Booking systems offer certainty and choice to stakeholders – whether they want to book a parking space to smooth their arrival, a favourite hot desk (or one close to team members), the right size of room for a meeting, or even a locker for storing personal belongings securely, it’s possible to plan the day ahead. This ensures everything runs smoothly, meaning that the majority of their energy and focus goes on the job in hand, rather than problem-solving niggles.

Wireless connection to the digital workspace avoids issues around compatibility of cables, and with the right choice of software and systems, it’s possible to be device agnostic. Importantly, with a digital workspace that is cloud-based, it’s possible to log in from anywhere, enabling agile working and ensuring that the mobile workforce enjoys a consistent experience.

Employee apps have tremendous power, by providing access to all the individual tools that staff need for their day-to-day, including all the ones mentioned above, and others too – such as sick day reporting, holiday requests, booking training, team chat functions, instant messaging, content sharing, contact directories and more. It’s also the ideal channel for internal communications; keeping everything they need to know in one place simplifies things for everyone, and ensures maximum awareness of the latest updates.

If you’d like to find out more about how technology can help put information and control in the hands of employees, visitors and customers – with myriad benefits – please drop us a line at info@aurafutures.com

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