A principal change in the American workplace over the past decade is the realization that the environment in which one works is nearly as important as the job itself. From the rise and fall (and return) of open floor plans, to amenities that range from the practical to the fanciful, today it’s commonly accepted that your employees’ experience while ‘on-the-job’ is an important strategic priority. In fact, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to a business’s success, according to a survey by Deloitte.
But how can you ensure that the modern workplace you’re building actually works? What does it look like to create an exceptional work experience based on the analysis of technical data rather than reactive assumptions about whether employees would prefer a golf simulator to a rock-climbing wall? And what can be done to eliminate sources of burnout such as menial tasks that interfere with employees’ work duties, and make the “little” things run more smoothly?
To put it simply, employers need to start tailoring the collection of feelings that a person has throughout their day about their work environment, something we call the continuum of the workplace experience. How members of the workplace community interact, share space, resources, amenities, or services, and even the array of feelings that arise over the course of commuting, arriving, working within, or departing at the end of the day, are all integral to workplace experience.
Workplace experience is becoming a determinant of how happy, productive and fulfilled employees feel in their place of work, playing a role in both organizational culture and the nature of work, community-wide.
So, what does this have to do with technology? Well, first and foremost, a huge component of the quality of the workplace is also dependent on the ability to have a successful work-life balance. By using automation to fulfill tasks smarter and more efficiently, property managers and employees of integrated buildings can focus on relationships, the intricacies of their job and not running after service requests that take them away from being successful in their current role. Additionally, with the implementation of IoT, data-driven patterns can be used to better predict and accommodate needs before they’ve become severe or problematic.
This creates an ecosystem filled with relationships, where employees can focus on workplace culture and their business rather than solving issues reported by their employees, building managers can get ahead of any internal issues, and building owners can begin to compete without having to incur massive costs to re-do their aesthetic or continuously update the environment.
While investments in billion-dollar corporate campuses, off-the-wall amenities, and swanky office design have largely defined the current era in the evolution of the American workplace, as the decade draws to a close, PropTech and other tools that provide workers a greater quality of life have emerged as the new yardstick for success.
The next iteration of the American workplace is one that values the time of the people who come into work each day. Tech that boosts productivity and enables modern professionals to focus on the more meaningful tasks in their work-life will rise to the top, and companies that spend the time to build space and relationships to facilitate exceptional workplace experience will ultimately win the war for talent.