6 Workplace trends your company should say YES to

office technology trends

If you’re looking for ways to future-proof your workplace and keep up with emerging technology, here are 6 trends your company should say YES to in the year ahead.

Technology has come a long way in the past decade. Driverless cars are moving passengers from A to B. Robot waiters are taking lunch orders. And although we don’t all have cyborg office sidekicks just yet, workplace technology is evolving at breakneck speed.

From integrated sensors to facility management software, there has never been a better time for facility managers to leverage emerging workplace trends and improve the way their people connect and work as employees. 

1. Enhanced wayfinding and touchscreen kiosks

Remember how cassettes and VHS tapes were phased out shortly after the dawn of the internet? Well, the same thing is happening to printed floor plans in the workplace. 

Here’s how enhanced digital wayfinding and touchscreen kiosks are turning static floor plans into powerful workplace tools.

Enhanced wayfinding

Tools like Visual Directory® in OfficeSpace turn can turn your floor plan into a powerful, digital search engine. With enhanced wayfinding, anyone on your team can use a digital version of your facility floor plan to:

  • Locate and book desks or rooms in seconds
  • Submit and manage facility requests
  • Instantly locate resources like printers, medical supplies, and safety equipment
  • See where coworkers are sitting
  • Find and book meeting rooms and break-out rooms
  • View changes to seating availability in real time

Employees can access your floor plan on the go, using any device. And changes to your floor plan are reflected in real-time. Which means that if an employee switches seats, or if a printer is moved from one location to another, everyone on your team will be able to see the change instantly and act accordingly.

Touchscreen kiosks

Many companies are taking wayfinding to the next level by installing touchscreen wayfinding kiosks throughout their facilities.

Wayfinding kiosks give your employees instant, convenient access to your floor plan while they’re walking the floor. Dedicated wayfinding kiosks throughout your facility can bring huge improvements to employee efficiency and satisfaction. They can also help new hires and site visitors find their way around your facility with ease.

enhanced wayfinding

2. Activity-based workspaces

You might have heard that inspiration is more likely to strike while you're moving around. But did you know that activity-based workspaces that encourage movement throughout the workday can affect major improvements to employee productivity, engagement, and job satisfaction?

In a survey by Slumders and Clariji, over 60% of respondents said they had more energy in an activity-based working environment. And British utility company National Grid slashed operational costs and saw increases in employee productivity after introducing activity-based working.

Forward-thinking companies are acting on this data by creating activity-based workspaces that foster collaboration, inspiration, and engagement.

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At OfficeSpace we're seeing our clients set up activity-based workspaces for:

  • Collaboration
  • Ad-hoc meetings
  • Creativity
  • Private work
  • Concentration

A workplace management platform can help you designate and manage activity-based workspaces in your facility. Sensor technology can also help you monitor usage data and optimize your facility’s activity-based workspaces over time.

3. Fully integrated room booking software

Room booking software has been around for a while now. Until recently, though, it functioned as a standalone app, separate to a company’s workplace management platform. Now, room booking software is integrated with most major workplace management platforms.

When room booking software is fully integrated with your workplace management platform, it brings a new level of efficiency and ease to the room booking process by:

  • Displaying real-time room availability on your floor plan
  • Allowing employees to book rooms on your floor plan using any device, including mobile devices and room screens
  • Showing each meeting space’s size and amenities in room listings, which ensures that your people book the right room every time
  • Integrating with Google Calendar, Office365, and other workplace calendar providers
  • Automatically canceling no-show meetings
  • Improving meeting space visibility and availability

The benefits of implementing room booking software aren’t exclusive to employees. The fact that room booking software can improve business drivers is great news for facilities managers and workplace leaders, too.

meeting room

4. Desk booking software

Flexible working has been around for a long time now and, through plenty of trial and error, organizations have discovered that there really is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to desk sharing in the workplace. 

This is why we’re seeing major advancements in workplace management software—improvements that are helping facility managers create a fully customized approach to desk booking that works perfectly for their employees.

Workplace software tools like Desk Booking in OfficeSpace can help you offer any combination of hot desking (book desks on the spot) or hoteling (reserve desks in advance) in your facility.

If you have workplace sensors installed, you can also set up and automate the management of free addressing desks and neighborhoods. Sensors and your IWMS give your employees real-time access to available free addressing desks on your floor plan, so there’s no need for your facilities team to get involved with the booking process.

5. Workplace sensors

Workplace sensor technology is exploding in popularity. Installed throughout the workplace, sensors collect anonymous facility data that was impossible to track manually.

Workplace leaders in every industry are combining sensor technology and workplace management software to:

  • See how many employees are in their facility, using live presence detection
  • Collect data anonymously and preserve employee privacy
  • Identify underutilized spaces and maximize usage
  • Better understand occupancy trends, accurately forecast future space requirements, and keep real estate costs under control
  • Find ways to make the workplace better for employees
  • Maximize desk availability with free addressing and neighborhoods
  • Automate the management of facility tasks like trash removal, stock replenishment, and building maintenance
  • Automating climate control, lighting, building automation systems, and HVAC systems, to reduce energy consumption

We’ve partnered with leading providers like VergeSense and SenzoLive to help our clients leverage sensor technology and make improvements to the workplace.

If you’re new to workplace sensor technology, check out the 11 ways you can use sensors in the workplace.

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6. IoT Technology

Internet of Things (or “IoT” for short) technology is a catch-all term for devices that are equipped with sensors, software, and other connectivity capabilities that allow them to sync and exchange data.  

You’ve probably experienced IoT devices like smart home appliances and smartwatches in your personal life. And there’s a good chance that they’re already working away in the background at your workplace, too.

If you’re new to the idea of an IoT-powered facility, here are some of the ways our clients are using IoT technology to bring improvements and efficiency to the workplace.

Request management

If you could supervise different areas of your facility without having to walk the floor and check those areas manually, would you do it? IoT sensors are helping facilities managers do just that by automatically monitoring requests and other facility tasks. IoT devices can also monitor equipment and spaces and notify the right department if something needs to be restocked, fixed, or checked out.

The complete guide to Move Management

Security and building monitoring

IoT technology is also widely used for facility monitoring and building security. Devices like security cameras and fobs, motion-sensor lights, automated locks, and alarms are contributing to 24/7 workplace security.

Improving employee well-being

Integrating the following IoT devices and tech to your workplace can make huge improvements to employee satisfaction and well-being:

  • Smart desks that encourage employees to stay active during the workday
  • Apps that remind your team to hydrate
  • Software that encourages healthier food and diet choices

IoT technology can also optimize your space to improve air quality and reduce noise.

You’ll need a powerful IWMS to leverage these emerging trends

Combining workplace technology with a powerful workplace management platform like OfficeSpace means you’ll have the tools and features you need to transform the workplace and deliver an exceptional employee experience.

OfficeSpace integrates with the world’s leading workplace technology providers. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you create the workplace you’ve always wanted, book a demo with our team.

And if you’re still not sure where to start with emerging workplace technology and trends, Learn how to audit your current workplace tech and prioritize your future needs in our guide: Technology for your workplace, where to begin?

Photo Credits: Carlos Muza, Daria Shevtsova, Gerd Altmann