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Workplace Experience App Solves Back-to-work Challenges

A memorandum, jointly issued by the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management and the General Services Administration provide agencies with guidance for planning for the safe return of employees to their workplaces.

The memo notes that leadership expects many agencies will implement policies that support a hybrid work environment. Individual agency management teams that are planning for a mix of on-site and remote workers, often with flexible work schedules, now must determine how they will actualise those hybrid workplace plans.

On a practical level, for mid- to large-sized agencies, it may be impossible to implement and manage multi-location work and flex scheduling without leveraging indoor intelligence technologies. Fortunately, a relatively new breed of technology solutions referred to as workplace experience apps have emerged to enable these new workplace models.

Using an agency-branded app with advanced mapping and positioning plus third-party integrations, agencies can offer their employees, contractors and visitors the seamless experience that is critical to the success of the hybrid office model.

With employees working in a variety of locations and varying their location day-to-day in some instances, simplifying their work experience and tools is critical. The goal is to give employees a great work experience regardless of their location . Hence, a workplace experience app does this and more by serving as a centralised hub to nearly all information and services employees need to do their job effectively.

Employees can use the app to reserve socially distanced desks, search for and book rooms that meet their spatial and audio/visual requirements, find and book seats near colleagues, navigate to colleagues and key destinations, order food, interact with news feeds and notifications, and submit a work order.

Agency management can monitor occupancy metrics, send targeted communications to employees or groups of employees based on their geographic location or user role, perform space and flow planning and review and manage visitation patterns. Organisations can also host hybrid on-site/virtual events, with registration, streaming or on-demand video, content sharing and post-event analysis.

While the app implementation considerations are many, below are three tips for implementing a workplace experience app and navigating a successful back-to-office transition:

  • Optimise for employees and their phones

By engaging staff with innovative technology that empowers employees to do a good job, productivity will increase, turnover will drop and recruitment efforts will thrive. Agencies should deliver those tools in a single app, not only because the younger generations demand the mobile-first experience but also because a smartphone is the only device employees have on their person at all times. In the agile workplace, employees may be working in the office, at home, at a coffee shop or in transit.

  • Prioritise desk-booking capabilities

Permanent desk assignments are a thing of the past for many agencies. Hot-desking and hoteling are key features of the hybrid work model, which means agencies will need a solution with robust desk booking capabilities. Workspace-booking tools enable administrators to address the varying number of employees each day and to facilitate teammates meeting with one another. Identifying and booking a workspace with the desired attributes (time, area and amenities, such as an adjustable height desktop) is a standard capability. More capable space reservation solutions should support advanced business rules and know if employees showed up to their reserved space and when they vacated it using technology. 

  • Integrate and automate

An effective workplace experience app brings together nearly everything an employee needs and makes it all available in a single smartphone app. It is a purpose-built, centralised gateway to all business-related digital touchpoints presented in a unified, employee-friendly experience. Having a single app can improve productivity and relieve app fatigue. Employees in large agencies may have 10 or more work-related apps, each with a different user interface and operating characteristics, which can waste time, impede workflow and productivity and deliver a poor experience. Conversely, the all-in-one workplace experience app integrates a wide range of office and worker productivity functions into a single mobile app utilising application programming interfaces and software development kits that interact with specialised functions from other services, delivering a more streamlined and productive experience.

A workplace experience app may be the right solution at the right time to engage and empower employees. The app will enable their effectiveness regardless of location and to give management personnel the appropriate situational awareness and decision-making data.

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