How Office Hoteling Software Helps Manage Workplace Change
You’ve read it before and you’ll read it again: the workplace is changing. Trends in office layout and workforce structure are attributed to multiple causes—the preferences of Millennials, the pursuit of innovation, and cold, hard, bottom-line concerns about the cost of premium office space in a competitive business environment. Each of these issues is having an impact, but no single factor offers a full explanation for the tidal wave of change sweeping across the corporate landscape.
Discussion of workplace change is often focused on the “human factors”—leadership commitment, employee engagement, and effective communication. However, technologies such as office hoteling software undeniably have a critical role to play in enabling successful change in the workplace.
Tracking Change and Anticipating the Future
Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital Trends report found that 88% of organizations say building the organization of the future is important—including 59% who rate it very important. However, only 11% of companies say they have a clear understanding of how to achieve this goal.
There’s no standard model—employers define the “organization of the future” in different ways, but the most common characteristics include increased flexibility and utilization of shared resources. Among organizations surveyed by Deloitte, 94% say agility and collaboration are critical to success today, while 32% are currently reworking their organization to be more adaptable and team-centric.
Increased use of mobile and contingent workers seems to be a key element of the organization of the future. A 2017 survey of U.S. hiring managers found that 48% of companies use some type of flexible workers, and 63% of managers have at least one team member working remotely. Only about 10% of respondents said that a new hire’s success depends on their physical presence in the office.
However, Deloitte found that organizations have not fully adapted to this shift in workforce structure. Asked to rank their organization’s management of contingent, outsourced, contracted, and part-time labor, 25% of respondents said their capabilities are “weak,” compared with 57% “adequate,” and only 19% “strong.”
Change Management: Confronting the Challenges
Gallup research indicates that more than 70% of change initiatives fail. Every organization faces its own unique challenges during times of change, but one of the most universal issues is the struggle to keep employee engaged at work. An analysis conducted by Aon found that the number of actively disengaged employees increased from a baseline of 13% to almost 20% when their organizations experienced a restructuring or business transformation.
This issue is especially concerning in an improving job market that affords a growing number of opportunities for the most talented employees. A recent Gallup survey found that 47% of the U.S. workforce says that now is a good time to find a quality job (a record level—up from 19% in 2012). More than half of current employees said they are actively searching for new jobs or watching for openings.
In this competitive climate, companies are focusing on improving their “workplace experience” as a way to differentiate their organization and retain talented employees. A strong majority (80%) of executives surveyed by Deloitte rated employee experience very important (42%) or important (38%)—but only 22% said their companies excel at providing a differentiated employee experience. Almost 60% reported they were “not ready” or only “somewhat ready” to address the employee experience challenge.
The Role of Hoteling Software
Despite the flood of headlines about the rise of mobile workers, many workers still consider the office the best place to work. A survey by BambooHR found that 79% of employees believe they accomplish their best work in office (down 5% since 2006). In contrast, 10% said their best work is done at home (unchanged). Only 9% cited remote locations like coffee shops as their most effective place to work, although this represents a significant increase from 3% in 2006.
However, employees’ belief in the productivity of the office environment does not mean they favor a “conventional” workspace divided up into assigned offices and desks. In fact, only 27% of employees said they develop their best ideas at their desks—down from 50%.
These findings—that workers perform at their best in the office, but not necessarily at their desk—strengthen the argument that organizations should be moving toward a flexible space with multiple types of workstations and meeting rooms. With employees coming and going more freely, and performance increasingly tied to results rather than time and attendance, companies have a growing need for workforce and workspace management tools that offer sophisticated scheduling capabilities through a simple, intuitive user interface.
Office hoteling software has a critical role to play, both as a bridge from conventional offices to a flexible work environment, and as an enduring component of the organizations of the future. Empowering workers with hoteling software that enables to choose when, where, and how they work can be a critical factor in maintaining employee engagement and performance levels as major changes continue to reshape the workplace.