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These Workplace Services Are Coming To An Office Near You

by Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers on March 2, 2021
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What Is iOFFICE Hummingbird?
 

Imagine you’re in Houston planning a visit to one of your offices in Salt Lake City. In this past, planning this trip would have taken days — but thanks to workplace services at your fingertips, you can book your hotel and flight, reserve a desk and meeting room, and even request your favorite vegetarian lunch from a catering menu.

You know where to park your rental car upon arrival and which building and floor to go to, even though you haven’t been to this office before.

As more companies strive to make their offices a destination, they’re investing in workplace services that enhance the experience for employees, job candidates, and visitors.

Here’s a closer look at what that could mean for your future workplace.

What workplace services will be in demand?

The term “workplace services” constitutes a variety of different things, but in general, they refer to anything that supports a positive work environment — whether it’s in the physical office or remote locations.

Here are eight services becoming more popular as organizations return to the office.

AI-powered workplace services

Most of us have fantasized about having a personal assistant, but artificial intelligence is making that dream more realistic. In the near future, AI in the workplace could help book flights, schedule meetings, and automate routine tasks like data entry so employees can focus on more strategic priorities.

AI can also automate some cognitive processes like helping employees assess risks or identify the best upsell opportunities for customers based on their previous buying habits.

In a recent McKinsey survey of 800 executives, 67% said they have accelerated their adoption of automation and artificial intelligence.

Architecture and design services

In the aftermath of a global pandemic, companies are reimagining entire workspaces. They’re focused on the immediate need to reconfigure offices to ensure physical distancing, but also on design changes that will make their workplaces healthier and more collaborative in the long-run.

Workplace architecture and design firms like NELSON Worldwide can help company leaders rethink everything from the appearance of their space to the comfort and utility of their office furniture.

 

For instance, you might be considering workplace dividers or antimicrobial furniture to prevent the spread of germs. Or, if you’ve recently adopted a more open office design, you may want to add elements that reduce noise.

Workplace design services can help you create an office that is attractive, clean, comfortable.

Business and consulting services

Sometimes it’s impossible to identify a problem when it’s right in front of you. Even if you know exactly what you need to do, you may not have the in-house expertise to achieve it. It doesn’t always make sense to hire a full-time employee for a highly specialized project, so more organizations are taking advantage of agile talent.

Consultants are now assisting companies with everything from rethinking their customer support to enabling digital transformation.  

Some consultants like JLL provide ongoing strategy insights to help companies optimize their corporate real estate portfolios. Others work to help them achieve specific business outcomes, like updating operating systems or improving employee engagement.

Facility management and workplace experience services

facility management services

Following hospital-grade standards for disinfecting and sanitizing the workplace is the new norm. As companies prepare to reopen, some are realizing they don’t have the in-house facilities management team to do this.

They may be considering outsourcing to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Whether or not you decide to go this route, you can keep costs in check by cleaning based on demand. This may mean using sensors and running a daily report of which spaces your employees have actually used each day.

Using outsourced facility management services will be most effective if your vendors have full visibility into this data via an integrated workplace management system (IWMS).

They should be able to see which desks and rooms are occupied on any given day.

Of course, delivering exceptional employee experiences involves much more than keeping the office clean. FM and experience services could also include enticing dining options, maintaining on-site fitness centers, and even childcare facilities.

Employee wellness services

employee wellness workplace services

The pandemic brought health and well-being concerns to the forefront, highlighting the need for expanded employee wellness services.  

As we reach the one-year mark, many HR managers and other business leaders are looking at wellness in a more holistic way. They’re expanding employee assistance and family wellness programs and adding mental health benefits like counseling services.

They’re also taking advantage of emerging trends like telehealth and personalized wellness, which can include on-demand fitness classes and self-care subscription services.

As more employees continue to work remotely, these workplace services could become more important for recruiting and retaining top talent.

Office services

The move to more digital ways of working has made it even more important for companies to optimize the cost of physical assets like office printers. Managed workplace services that automatically calculate print costs, volume, and chargebacks can help.

And while the pandemic may have halted many office mail deliveries, it increased employees’ reliance on online ordering. When employees return to the office, they will bring their Amazon Prime subscriptions and purchasing habits with them.

That means workplaces need to prepare for an increased volume in their mailroom. Mailroom management solutions that make it easy to scan and track packages can help you handle the influx without adding personnel.

Technology and collaboration services

workplace technology services

Finding colleagues in the traditional workplace was as simple as calling their extension or walking to their desk. In the new hybrid, digital workplace, your employees likely won’t be in the office every day and assigned seats will amount to wasted space.

This makes it more difficult for employees to work together if your workplace services don’t include collaborative technology.

You need an easy way for employees to navigate your office environment. They should be able to find people and rooms, reserve space to work, and request help if something isn’t working for them.

A workplace app that keeps employees connected to each other and the workplace services they need to be productive is no longer just a nice feature; it’s essential.

An app like iOFFICE Hummingbird can even send internal communications, allow employees to check in visitors or receive mail, and connect them to the apps they already use to order food or call a ride.

hummingbird-workplace-app

Visitor management services

The new hybrid workplace will have more variables, including the number of employees who come to the office each day and the types of visitors they have.

More full-time employees will likely be working with contractors, independent consultants, clients, and other vendors. They’ll need a secure way to check in and access many of the same workplace services your employees have.

A touchless visitor management system is the first step to welcoming them. If they are pre-registered, they can simply scan a QR code to enter your office without waiting in a crowded lobby. This automatically notifies their host that they’ve arrived, without the need for a front desk receptionist to intervene.

How to find the right workplace services for your organization

As with any investment, consider the needs of your workforce as you determine which workplace services will have the most impact.

You’ll also want to think about how your workplace policies will impact them. If you decide to continue allowing remote work at any time and for any reason, your employees could have a harder time collaborating if they don’t have the right technology in place.

Some employees may come to the office on a Monday expecting to have in-person brainstorming sessions only to find everyone else is working remotely.

You could also have too many employees and visitors on a busy Thursday, and not enough available desks or rooms for everyone.

Technology that helps employees find people, reserve space, and request other workplace services ensures your offices remain a valuable resource, even if they aren’t a requirement.

In addition to offering technology solutions that address many of these needs, we also have an expanding network of global partnerships with consultants, designers, facility services providers, and others who can help you take your workplace to the next level.

If you’re ready to discuss your needs as you reinvent your workplace, request a 15-minute consultation with us.

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