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In the current landscape, many of us are working with tighter budgets than we’re used to. As a result, it may not seem like the time to invest in anything new.
But, when it comes to running an office or workspace, it’s important to always be on the lookout for tools to help with growth, even amid an economic downturn. In fact, it’s more important during a recession to look for opportunities and to embrace the constraints – We go more in-depth into innovating in today’s economy here.
Investing your and your team’s time and resources in tech is ultimately an investment toward productivity as well as toward your organization’s future.
In the current hybrid work landscape, the ways we work have shifted entirely, and the definition of productivity from before pre-COVID times no longer fits the current workplace culture. Shifts like Quiet Quitting, The Great Resignation, and a change in employee expectations are all realities we need to reckon with – all the while also maintaining our own expectations for the way our organizations are run in this economy.
So, how can we use tech to ensure that despite these shifts and amid this economic climate, your organization can boost productivity levels and keep your employees fulfiled?
We’ve included a few tools and tips below.
When employees continue to work from home at varying capacities, technology has to play a part in making the constant back and forth from the office to the home space a smooth and beneficial one.
Some people tend to work better at home, and some have a more rewarding experience from working in an office environment. WIth technology, though, you can make sure that the work experience is a relatively stable and gratifying one regardless of physical context.
There are various technological tools that help with this. You’re probably already familiar with video conferencing software and other collaboration tools like Slack and Google Calendar. Some things we love about Slack, for example, include:
Project management software, including Asana, Monday.com and Trello, are all great tools to help you stay on top of tasks in and out of the workspace and help gauge the scope of various projects. Another piece of tech is VPN remote accessibility so that staff can access their same work desktop from their home computers.
These kinds of technologies create a balance between WFH and in-office work. The transition between either space becomes less clunky. And it also helps ensure that the same resources are available to all employees at all times, no matter where they are.
Just a refresher, a smart office is one that incorporates modern technology in order to optimize the office environment itself while also embracing environmentally friendly and cost-effective resources. And there are also many productivity benefits to transitioning your office space into a smart office space.
Smart offices use a combination of internet-connected devices, smart sensors, machine learning and communication tech to make employees more comfortable, boost productivity, and also reduce energy consumption. These tools include internet of things networks/sensors, automated lighting and temperature controls, machine learning intelligence, and even digital whiteboards and document storage management systems.
“A smart office will be a tech-heavy office that will leverage technology to automate routine and everyday tasks to really optimize how we do work,” explains Luke Birsa, co-founder and CTO of Visionect, a digital-signage company. “Smart offices will boost productivity by freeing up employee time to do real work — the work technology can’t do.”
Taking a step out of the office and into the parking lot, let’s use Parkable as an example here. Parkable can be integrated into a workspace, essentially creating a smart parking lot. The Parkable platform is flexible and can handle different needs for different workspaces, like casual (first first served) parking spots, individually allocated parking spots, visitor parking, EV charging spots, tandem parking, carpooling policies, and more, all through virtual booking.
The Parkable app can also integrate other tools, like garage remote access and digital parking payments, as well as deliver admin with transparent occupancy info.
VR and AR don’t just have to be for video games. They can actually be great work tools. XR, which refers to all of these types of extended realities, is a productivity jackpot.
According to IBM, According to IBM, XR enables real-world interactions with digital information so that people can see, hear, touch, and interact with the information in a reality-like situation. “Companies using AR have reported a 46 percent reduction in time to complete tasks, and average productivity improvements of 32 percent.”
XR seems to be best utilized in three key areas: training, workflows, and employee engagement. Organizations can depend on XR to boost performance and make for better employee experiences.For instance, a few different Fortune 500 companies, such as Boeing, UPS, and Walmart, using VR for their worker-education programs. UPS has started using VR headsets to help train its drivers, which has boosted its training retention rate by 75%. Using VR for this purpose makes training a faster and more worthwhile process, which also makes it more productive.
We’ve seen how popular AI is becoming all over the net. Chatbots, predictive analytics, and machine learning algorithms are already everywhere. And you can add them to your office, too. These tools contribute to productivity by providing convenience and efficiency to certain daily tasks that employees have to deal with every day, which may require a lot of time, but not necessarily a lot of brain power. For example, AI can generate email correspondence based on a few notes, making communication less of a headache. It can also fill out forms and paperwork so that bureaucratic chores are also easier to handle.
And automation can help with other tasks. An automated transcription service can transcribe what was said at a meeting for better record-keeping. And an email service provider can send out mass messages to a predetermined list of people. Parkable, for example, also has its own automated admin capabilities, which resolves parking issues, simplifies the management of multiple parking locations/groups, provides real-time occupancy tracking, generates comprehensive usage reports, integrates with access control and other hardware, and reports usage for your Fringe Benefits Tax.
Integrating AI into the workplace can help employees save time and energy on rote tasks so that they can complete them but also dedicate more of their drive towards complex, difficult, and important projects.
Technology isn’t just about what employees can do but what can be done for them. Keeping your employees happy and healthy boosts motivation decreases burnout, and encourages employee retention. Technology can definitely help with employee wellness.
Corporate wellness programs stand to benefit from tools that “can enable lifestyle coaches and dietitians to review employee progress towards their health goals in real time and provide remote feedback and support,” as explained by Corporate Wellness magazine. Connectivity and personalization are key here. And “technology can provide a platform for employees to work together, communicate with each other, and track their progress managing their health.”
So, think fitness apps, wellness trackers (like FitBit), and ergonomic and comfortable furniture. Even implementing software to control the blue light emitting from computer screens is a step in the right direction. Apps like Headspace are a favorite, focusing on stress management, meditation, improving quality of sleep, aiding teamwork, and measuring success within the workplace.
But it’s not just about making the jobs of employees easier, it’s also important to consider the activities that staff members undertake in order to prepare for work. Specifically, their commute. According to Psychology Today, the commute to and from work “has significant psychological and social costs. It can be a major cause of stress, due to its unpredictability and a sense of loss of control. Commuters can experience boredom, social isolation, anger, and frustration from problems like traffic or delays.”
Technology like Parkable is a step toward reducing employee stress. It enables employees to reserve spaces up to a week in advance so that they can plan their commutes knowing they already have a spot, every day already accounted for. And there’s no frustration with driving around and around looking for somewhere to park in an already full parking lot.
Having a more secure workplace means ensuring that employees’ and organizational information is safe, which makes coming to work easier for everyone involved and promotes an anxiety-free organization.
“Until recently, financial firms and governments were the primary targets of cyberattacks. Today, with every company hooking up more and more of their business to the Internet, the threat is now universal,” writes McKinsey & Company. But the report also states that while awareness around cybersecurity and its importance is building, so is confusion around the topic. “Only 16 percent [of executives] say their companies are well prepared to deal with cyberrisk. The threat is only getting worse, as growth in most industries depends on new technology, such as artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT)...”
Cybersecurity tech enhances security measures like encryption, biometric authentication, and network monitoring tools. Time and energy are saved in the long run when proper cybersecurity measures are taken.
Technology can be used to enhance workplace accessibility, making working processes easier for all employees, regardless of who or where they are. We mentioned WFH technology, which also contributes to better accessibility in the workplace. Other assistive technologies can make working more straightforward and uncomplicated for those with disabilities, injuries, illnesses, or who are dealing with any other concern that may limit their ability to do certain tasks at any given time.
Accessibility is also a question of workplace morale, as it is vital to make sure that all employees feel appreciated and included by their organizations. According to the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN), “In today’s workplace, technology is one of the central drivers of productivity and success, for all workers. But when workplace technology isn’t accessible, it excludes and becomes a barrier to employment.” These tech tools include screen readers, subtitles for video meetings, AI-powered applications, and more.
While productivity and efficiency are two different metrics, they go hand-in-hand. With the different types of technology mentioned above, the time, energy, and costs saved lend themselves to a more dynamic and efficient workspace.
To figure out the best technology for your workplace’s needs, compare the current technological tools that you have against your circumstances and requirements. What inefficiencies already exist in your operations? How can you maintain relevant information in the most simple, time-efficient way, ensure a logical workflow, avoid duplication, and address technological challenges?
For example, if you found that challenges facing workplace productivity require a focus on worker satisfaction, WFH and remote working issues, smart office spaces, and/or accessibility, you may want to invest in a tech tool like Parkable.
A parking management platform like ours makes parking a more efficient process, allows for spot booking and allocation depending on who is in the office and who’s WFH, eliminates part of the stress associated with a driving commute, and also automates much of the parking admin work through automation. It’s technological tools like Parkable that fall into multiple categories of enhancing productivity in your workspace.
Once you’re able to properly assess and implement technology, it’s important to take on the process step by step. Begin by creating a business case pitch for your technology plan, customizing it for different department heads. Within the pitch, identify the needs of your organization, gauge possible effects of the tech that you think would best address these needs, lay out the costs and risks of adopting this tool, and then build the actual adoption plan for it.
While there are so many great pieces of tech out there that can enable more productivity in the workplace, it’s important to look towards your individual workspace and identify what would work for it. There is no need to get overwhelmed; just take this process as an opportunity to engage and enable employees to work to their fullest potential.
To learn more about how technology enhances productivity in the workspace, check out Byron Tudors webinar on Wednesday the 7th of June.
Over the past 18 months, hotels have struggled with fewer guests. For hotels like Stamford Plaza Brisbane, this is partly solved by becoming an MIQ facility. But while hotel rooms are filled, the guest car parks often remain underutilised.
Commercial leasing agents are going above and beyond to help their clients to boost revenue between leases or when there's commercial excess.
Savills' multi-tenant commercial property in Sydney had 40 unleased parks. Using Parkable, Savills’ tenants can pay to park on a casual basis, and instead of sitting vacant, the parks are now 85% occupied.
If you have workplace parking spots and want to...
...feel free to get in touch!