Why Smart Workspaces Need Facilities, IT and HR Collaboration

by Glenn Hicks on September 26, 2017

It’s critical that teams within your organization — especially facilities and information technology (IT) teams — collaborate when implementing workplace technology and design. And since workplace design often includes direction on office layouts and desk and conference room setup, which can drastically impact the employee experience, even human resources (HR) teams have a stake in smart workspace design, technology and implementation.

Here’s why these teams need consistent collaboration to re-engineer the workplace to reflect changing work environments:

Alignment on smart buildings to attract top talent

Attracting and retaining talent is a key driver for investments in buildings and technology. And candidates weigh the workplace environment when evaluating potential employers. Here are the three hierarchical pillars all parties need to collaborate and agree on when laying out your smart building:

  • Aspirations: This is your employer brand, company culture, client experience, employee journey and corporate narrative. Your company aspirations may include a mission or vision, and may typically be used throughout your marketing and brand storytelling. Your smart building can reflect these aspirations, as well.
  • Social: This pillar encompasses your company’s approach to employee wellbeing, collaboration, flexibility, communication and productivity. Your social factors will drastically impact the physical environment of your smart building. For example, if your company embraces cross-functional collaboration, you’ll need workspaces that can accommodate various teams and working styles.
  • Functional: This includes the most basic facilities needs like air and water quality, energy reduction and temperature control. Facilities and IT teams need to be aligned on the timing and priorities for functional factors.

When facilities, IT and HR teams collaborate on these pillars, they can ensure they are designing the workspace in a way that reflects the company culture to attract the workers they need.

Workplaces need to encompass company culture in its entirety, down to the technology in them.Alignment on technology to facilitate collaboration

Smart buildings today should enable the culture and corporate attitudes of the company. The physical infrastructure is one thing, but smart buildings also encompass the technology needed to support the corporate culture.

For example, the increasingly flexible workplace requires businesses to rethink how they are functionally designed to hold meetings. That’s why conferencing equipment, remote work tools like video and chat and cloud-based collaboration platforms are more important than ever. New technology must allow remote employees and virtual teams to engage and collaborate with coworkers physically present within the office.

Facilities and IT teams will need to be aligned on what types of conferences rooms will be needed to accommodate different groups, both for group meetings and private conference rooms, as well as the technology needed to allow parties to conduct those meetings. From the HR perspective, technology that fosters virtual collaboration has a positive impact on the HR team’s ability to attract top talent working in remote locations.

When facilities, IT and HR teams collaborate from the outset, they can deliver on smart workspaces that meet the needs and aspirations of the company. This allows businesses to attract the right talent, foster collaboration among remote and onsite teams and increase productivity.

If you’re planning to integrate new technology and want ensure it will help your teams collaborate, check out our free guide, The Workplace Leader’s Playbook for New Technology.


Glenn Hicks

A member of the Business Development team, Glenn has years of experience with business process improvement on the Commercial Real Estate and Facilities Management sides.

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