As we settle into 2023, economic and industry-specific challenges continue to affect leaders in the workplace. And while we have made significant strides in overcoming the pandemic, workspace management remains an ongoing challenge.
Specifically, cost efficiency and recovery, operational efficiency, employee experience and satisfaction, and maintaining work culture are top concerns.
Let's dig into these issues a bit more and how technology can help workspace leaders.
Managing a workspace in today's rapidly evolving landscape can be an expensive undertaking. With the shift towards remote work, the need to invest in technology, and the growing importance of employee satisfaction and well-being – the cost of maintaining a productive and engaging workspace is higher than ever before.
Adopting new technology can actually enable cost recovery, as they can make up for the shortcoming of older technologies or previous salary costs associated with human processes. Tech can be used to automate workspace utilities, keeping the workplace upkept at a minimal cost.
Recouping costs can also be done through something like Parkable when it comes to charging for parking.
The National Restaurant Association is just an example of one customer that turned an expensive lease cost into a revenue center. "Staff love using the app. Our finance department is also pleased with the profit we make each month via our Parking Management System." explained the senior director of facilities, Sarah Kane.
Our recent blog post explored how technology can help cut costs and improve cost recovery in the workplace through technology and automation.
Operational efficiency, specifically how resources like time, people, equipment, inventory and money are used to produce a certain outcome, needs to be optimized. We want our workplaces to operate at optimal efficiency, producing output at the best rate possible using the smallest number of resources possible.
We can keep pushing the envelope with the help of technology for manual tasks like access control, reporting, and administrative tasks. TAB, a major entertainment business with a headcount of over 60,000, is a great example of this. By embedding proptech, the company saved 14 hours per week on manual processes.
"Technology can play an important role in creating lean and efficient processes," explained The Business Development Bank of Canada. "It can help you reduce or eliminate duplications and delays in the workflow, as well as help you speed up by automating specific tasks." It can really streamline processes like inventory management, project management, company and workspace metric tracking, and measuring efficiency.
In a similar case of increased operational efficiency, IT services company Datacom found that the sharing and sub-leasing of allocated bays and transparent parking increased occupancy by 15%. This was especially helpful with the return to the office and the widespread implementation of WFH in company policies. To add to that, Datacom significantly reduced its cost of leasing parking spaces.
“It’s awesome being able to recoup some of my parking cost when I’m working remotely or out of the office. It’s also a plus knowing that I’m helping a fellow colleague who needs a park at work,” explained one staff member.
"For many companies, the biggest challenge will be to build a new and truly collaborative workplace experience, with a future of work that both employers and employees design," Laura Fuentes, the chief human resources officer at Hilton, explained. "... Now more than ever, employees want to bring their whole selves to work in an environment that is more inclusive, healthier, growth-oriented, and values-driven. By embracing this new mindset together, employers and employees can co create a stronger, more productive, and fulfilling work experience."
There's a desire for those who come to work to actually enjoy the place they spend the majority of their day. With that, a workspace should be accessible, provide healthful amenities, and be conducive to productivity. Workspace technology can be practical in any one of these areas.
According to PwC, "employees are happy to have certain tasks digitized—if it can free them up to do more important and engaging work. Half of employees prefer that HR tasks, like looking for a new job in the company, scheduling work or time off or enrolling in benefits, be primarily digital and not face-to-face."
The report also added that workplace managers should "look to the promise of new technology and consider what motivates people to adopt new ways of working with tech. It can't be one or the other. The goal is to get beyond titles and delve into attitudes and behaviors. That's the approach that leads to more relevant communication, rewards and performance and development."
Using Parkable as an example here, an employee's commute to work can be a real headache and make a workspace inaccessible, depending on the transport and parking options. With Parkable's technology, some of that stress can be eased.
For example, after implementing Parkable, The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), one of the world leaders in global health research and teaching, were able to completely rehaul their manual parking system, a system causing frustration among their staff.
"Nobody enjoyed having those awkward conversations about parking. Everyone agreed it wasn't fair," explained the company before implementing Parkable.
With employees continuing to work from home regularly, establishing and maintaining a cohesive workplace culture can become more challenging.
"Technological advancements and digital transformation are providing leaders and managers opportunities to tackle some of the workplace's most challenging and important initiatives: culture and engagement being at the top of the list," according to Forbes.
With technology, you can stay connected even through virtual workspaces. It becomes way more feasible to ensure everyone is on the same page with workplace technology solutions like Zoom, Slack or Google Calendar.
Additionally, tech can be used to try to further a company's values. And realize more of its goals. For example, if a workplace values equality and accessibility, tech can help with that. An example of this is Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, or CHFA.
Prior to COVID, parking was allocated based on staff member seniority. However, with hybrid and remote work, many of these parking bays were going unoccupied. By implementing Parkable, CHFA staff members could secure a parking spot before they drove into work. "We wanted to change the way we organised staff parking to make it more equitable for the whole team, and needed a technology solution to make that transition easy. I'm very pleased that we found Parkable," explains Brian Miller, the CHFA Asset Management Director
Across the world, businesses are pushing to look for ways to reduce their environmental impact, and technology is playing an increasingly important role. According to Deloitte, 57% of companies surveyed in 2021 have started using greener and climate-friendly machinery, technologies, and equipment.
Parkable's solution aims to minimize energy and paper usage in the workplace by automating certain processes. On top of that, the software offers a range of options for electric vehicle (EV) charging spaces, making the switch to eco-friendly transportation options easier for staff.
By also allowing for parking space reservations, Parkable eliminates the need for employees to circle around the lot in search of a spot, saving time and reducing car idling fuel waste. Our platform also automatically encourages users to consider alternative transportation options if there are no spots available, further reducing carbon emissions and congestion on the roads.
Ultimately, it's crucial to start addressing workspace challenges before they become workplace problems.
Staging on the ball as an operations manager or workplace manager means staying proactive in keeping these spaces running smoothly. Even though challenges like these ones are likely to pop up in the coming months, that doesn't mean that they cannot be solved with the tools that we already have right at our fingertips. And here at Parkable, we are continually adapting our own parking management software to make it more useful as workspaces shift with the times.
Solving workplace parking problems is vital to an effective facility management program, but it's also a complicated proposition. Managing parking lots at scale will quickly become more complex than you may have bargained for.
The workplace is changing. Even in the last 3 years, tenant needs have changed, demanding greater flexibility, improved amenities and more of a focus on workplace experience.
If you have workplace parking spots and want to...
..feel free to get in touch!