iOFFICE: Technology That Connects A Changing Workforce

iOFFICE: Technology That Connects A Changing Workforce

By Annie ZelmApr 22 /2020

At Kuno Creative, our mission is to help companies we believe in get results. This is the first in a series featuring our clients, their mission and how they’re pivoting their marketing strategy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the state of work and the office environment was changing faster than at any time in history.

More than one-third of all U.S. employees were already participating in the “gig economy” as independent contractors, according to a 2018 Gallup poll.

Nearly 70% of U.S. employers offered some type of flexible work arrangement last year, including the ability to work remotely, according to SHRM’s 2019 Employee Benefits Survey.

And more than half of all North American real estate executives said they planned to phase in some level of unassigned seating to account for fluctuating occupancy, according to the 2018 CBRE Americas Occupier Survey.

The virus has accelerated the pace of these changes. Many employers are realizing it’s not only possible for employees to work remotely on a regular basis; it’s more cost-effective. After working at home for an extended period of time, many employees are rethinking their daily commute and realizing how much more productive they are without the daily distractions of a typical office environment.

Business leaders are faced with tough questions as they consider their post-pandemic workplace, such as:

Should we continue allowing employees to work remotely at any time, for any reason?

How can we better align our real estate with the actual needs of our workforce?

How do we ensure every employee has the space and resources they need to collaborate with colleagues and concentrate when they do come to the office?

How can we maintain a strong company culture as our workforce becomes increasingly distributed?

As a leading workplace technology company, iOFFICE is helping thousands of global organizations address these challenges. It recently acquired three other companies, including two maintenance and asset management software platforms and a leader of employee experience solutions, to support the growing needs of its customers.

Here are a few ways they’re finding creative solutions to help their customers navigate the workplace of the future through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

Enabling Smarter Space Planning

As workplace leaders prepare to reopen their offices, keeping employees safe and healthy will be their top priority. To follow the CDC’s social distancing guidelines, some are considering bringing employees back in phases. Others are increasing the distance between desks.

iOFFICE’s space management software allows them to visualize floor plans and occupancy for every building in their portfolio. Using the software, they can:

  • Plan new seating assignments and rearrange office furniture to maintain recommended social distancing for employees
  • Create scenarios for moving employees back to the office in phases
  • See real-time space utilization and monitor trends through sensor integrations
  • Create dashboards and reports that help them better understand how their space is being used and what it’s costing them

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, one large manufacturing company had already been giving employees at its corporate headquarters the option to work remotely. The company wanted better visibility into how often each employee was actually in the office so it could determine who needed dedicated desks and who could reserve available spaces as needed.

By integrating employee badge data with space management software, the company monitored how often each employee came to the office over a 30-day period. Employees who were entirely remote or used the office less than 25% of the time were noted on a color-coded floor plan, along with employees who used the office 25%-50% of the time, 50%-75% of the time and more than 75% of the time. This made it easy for the company to determine which employees needed designated desks and to rearrange their floor plan accordingly.

Enabling More Efficient Cleaning and Facility Management

Concerns about preventing the spread of coronavirus have brought workplace cleaning and sanitization to the forefront of leaders’ minds.

Workplace leaders can use iOFFICE’s space management and facility maintenance software to prioritize cleaning based on actual utilization and assign tasks to teams.

Team members receive automatic notifications for each task, which improves transparency and accountability across the organization. Leaders can see when each task has been completed and how much time it took to complete. They can also see how many tasks are assigned to each team member so they can balance workloads and adjust scheduling as needed.

iOFFICE’s facility maintenance software also integrates with sensors, which can be placed outside restrooms and used to notify the facilities teams when utilization has reached a certain threshold.

Sensors can also monitor supplies like soap and paper towels and trigger maintenance requests when these supplies are running low.

Connecting Employees To People, Places And Services

In a flexible work environment where employees can choose when to come to the office and even where to sit, it can be difficult to find your colleagues or find an available meeting room when you need one.

Research by indoor positioning solutions company Senion found 40% of employees spend over an hour each week just searching for available rooms and people.

Independent contractors or vendors coming to your workplace on an occasional basis can easily get lost trying to find the person they came to see.

It’s also more challenging to manage things like incoming packages or food deliveries.

That’s why 59% of organizations who responded to the CBRE survey said they plan to introduce mobile apps to help employees navigate their environment more efficiently.

iOFFICE makes this easy with its mobile employee experience app. Using the app, employees can find people and places, reserve available rooms, request service (like getting someone to fix the conference room technology that isn’t working) and get notifications of incoming mail or visitors sent right to their smartphone.

The app can also be used to relay important announcements, such as traffic alerts or an alert that an office will be temporarily closed.

As the workforce becomes more distributed, the ability to keep employees connected will become even more critical.

How iOFFICE Is Marketing In the Midst of Coronavirus

iOFFICE attends many events related to facilities management and technology each year. It also connects with customers face-to-face at an annual user conference. Although the company won’t be able to host that conference as planned, it has maintained connections with customers and thought leaders through weekly Livestream conversations.

Mike Petrusky, who hosts iOFFICE’s weekly Workplace Innovator podcast, now hosts a lunchtime discussion with guests about how they’re handling the new realities and preparing for the “new normal” when workplaces reopen. He takes questions from callers during the broadcast.

iOFFICE continues to stay engaged with customers and prospects through blogs, social media, emails and videos as well. Kuno supports the team with everything from website design and branding to blogging and video production.

While no one can say for sure what the workplace of the future will look like, we know cloud-based technology that keeps people connected and productive will be a huge part of it. That’s why we’re proud to partner with iOFFICE.

Working with Kuno

The Author

Annie Zelm

Annie is the driving force behind content strategy for clients. She uncovers insights about what motivates buyers and uses that knowledge to shape client websites and editorial calendars. Annie brings several years of PR experience gained from working at the amusement park, Cedar Point.