Five tips for optimizing the workspace and creating a safe environment

With the rise of hybrid working, companies see an opportunity to reduce space and minimize expenses, but this model makes office occupancy rates even more unpredictable as employees have greater flexibility to choose where and when to do their work.

BY RRHHDigital, 12:15 p.m. – February 23, 2021

The office will never be the same. 53% of large companies plan to reduce their physical space and over 75% will increase work flexibility. This is a direct consequence of the growth of remote working. Six in ten organizations had more than half of their workforce telecommuting during the lockdown, and 37% plan to continue this trend.

With the rise of hybrid work, companies see an opportunity to reduce square footage and minimize expenses. But this model makes office occupancy rates even more unpredictable, as employees have more flexibility in choosing where and when to work.

“Before reducing office space, organizations must analyze the needs of their employees and know the actual use of rooms,” said Michel Rodrguez, director of collaboration at Cisco Spain. “While every business is unique and built on its own data and culture, there are a few key recommendations for optimizing physical space and improving the work experience.

Adjust the space precisely. To know if we have the right number of offices, rooms and offices and their adequate dimensions, it is necessary to measure the available space, how the workers use it and their level of satisfaction. Spaces are dynamic and can be improved through data and analysis. Technologies such as people counting sensors, room calendars, dashboards and hot desk teams help achieve this goal. Spread the meetings over the day. The central hours of the day coincide with the peak use of the meeting rooms. This leads to underutilization of rooms in other time slots. Knowing the true availability of colleagues and other participants and coordinating alternate schedules can free up valuable space during central hours. Consume resources in real time. While rooms reserved a few minutes in advance are almost always occupied, those reserved two weeks in advance have a 20% chance of being used. Real-time allocation of meeting space allows capacity to be adjusted and availability of video equipment and electronic whiteboards. Measure occupancy. Occupancy does not generally match the available space. Sometimes only two people occupy a ten-seat room because it is the only room with a projector or it is more isolated from noise. It not only measures room occupancy, but also the total number of participants. There are dedicated devices such as Webex Room Navigator that constantly monitor occupancy. Embed the video. According to the companies surveyed, 98% of meetings will have at least one remote participant. Video devices are now essential components of meeting rooms to avoid isolating teleworkers and also help build bridges between them.

Create a safe and healthy environment. 45% of workers believe their business should make the office a safer space by investing in solutions such as contactless technologies and room capacity control. In addition, sensors built into collaboration devices can collect information on noise level, ambient temperature, humidity, air quality and lighting.

Nine in ten employees say they are frustrated with office experiences, with meeting rooms being booked but not used and room equipment not working at the worst value. This is how 96% of companies believe they can improve intelligent technological work environments.

“Optimizing spaces doesn’t just mean reducing counters and costs, but also improving the worker experience, providing safe spaces and boosting team productivity and engagement,” concludes the Cisco director.

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