Mention you’re visiting Houston, and most locals will tell you that, in addition to touring the Space Center and watching the 2017 World Series Champion Astros play at Minute Maid Park, you have to check out the Houston Galleria. At an astounding three million square feet, the Galleria is the largest mall in Texas and the seventh largest in the country.
Now say you find yourself smack dab in the middle of the Galleria and there are no maps. Anywhere. You have no idea where you are or how to get anywhere else in the mall. Cue panic attack.
While your workplace may not take up three million square feet, it’s still stressful for employees and visitors to try to navigate without some crucial details, such as the location of workspaces or events. Rather than stumble across someone who has simply given up on finding a conference room and has moved their meeting to the stairwell, make sure every employee and visitor has the important information they need with wayfinding software and digital signage.
Defining Wayfinding Software and Digital Signage
Speaking of important information, why don’t we define “wayfinding” and “digital signage” first?
Wayfinding software is any technology that enables individuals to orient themselves in a physical space and navigate through their environment. Wayfinding involves four stages:
- Orientation: A person determines her location in relation to the intended destination
- Route decision: She selects the most direct way to her destination
- Route monitoring: The individual confirms her chosen route is leading to the correct location
- Destination recognition: She confirms she has arrived at her desired destination
Digital signage describes any electronic displays placed in strategic locations throughout a workplace that give employees and visitors important information. This includes office locations, event details, interactive maps, employee directories and the availability of workspaces. Digital signage is an integral part of wayfinding.
Now, let’s discuss how this technology can enhance your workplace.
How Digital Signage Impacts the Employee Experience
There are two elements that have the greatest influence on the employee experience:
- The tools and technologies supplied by the employer
- The physical workplace
Wayfinding software and digital signage are examples of the first component. They have a direct impact on whether the second (the workplace) helps or hinders productivity.
It’s unreasonable to assume an individual can drive to a location she’s never been to without a map or street signs – unless she has an eerily impressive sense of direction. And you wouldn’t expect her to be able to recall the names of every employee at the company or the specific details of every meeting in her calendar.
Similarly, asking your employees to navigate through a large corporate campus or know the schedule of every on-site event without at least a little assistance is illogical. But wayfinding and digital signage give members of your workforce instant access to the types of crucial information they need to be efficient, productive and, in turn, satisfied and engaged.
This technology is especially important not only for current employees but also for new hires and job candidates. Starting a new job or interviewing for a position is stressful enough. Having to wander around aimlessly trying to figure out where they’re supposed to be only adds to their anxiety and doesn’t give them the best first impression of your company.
The Future of the Digital Workplace
You don’t keep track of space utilization and occupancy with PDFs and Excel spreadsheets anymore, right? (If you still do, we highly recommend investing in an integrated workplace management system [IWMS]) So why would you use static, non-interactive content to communicate information about the workplace to employees and visitors?
Traditional maps belong in frames on the walls. And printed event schedules belong on rec center bulletin boards. Neither belong in a modern, digital workplace. But wayfinding software and digital signage do. The technology fits seamlessly into the construction of a digital workplace.
And just as updating PDFs and Excel spreadsheet is cumbersome and inhibits productivity, a lack of wayfinding software and digital signage inhibits a company’s ability to scale the organization. If you want to add extra workspaces or reorganize existing spaces to facilitate growth, you need wayfinding software and digital signage. In addition to creating a more positive employee experience, it increases employee productivity.
Your employees aren’t psychics, and your customers can’t see through walls. Make sure every person who comes into your workplace has what they need to get from point A to point B as quickly and easily as possible.
Want to implement powerful and user-friendly wayfinding software and take advantage of digital signage in your workplace? Check out iOFFICE Hummingbird and discover what it can do for you organization.