An office relocation is an opportunity for a company to take meaningful strides in making their future workplace vision a reality. While sometimes triggered by the end of a lease, or framed as a cost-cutting measure, such moves are also often driven by a range of other corporate objectives. For instance, many economists predict by 2021 the U.S. will be in a talent demand deficit, driving many companies, from McDonalds to GE, to relocate closer to essential talent pools as a competitive edge in the war for talent.
Those that lead such efforts see the new space as a way to rethink the environment, and to attract and retain a dynamic workforce. A simultaneous investment in people, technology, and the built environment requires an aligned approach in order to see the greatest impact for both the company and the employee. Consider how mobile can be a unifying factor across these areas, igniting innovation by engaging employees as a key part of your relocation strategy.
How Will Tech Connect the New Environment?
“Companies are not thinking about how the technology will be applied in the built environment. Consider the mobile order-ahead apps. Many people are standing there, taking up space, waiting as long as they would be if they ordered in-person.” – Hans Neubert, Digital Experience at Gensler
In the modern workplace, every company is a tech company. Most office relocations, especially when it comes to headquarter moves, are focused on upgrading workplace technologies to spur employee innovation in much the same way a tech company does for its customers. Whether it’s indoor navigation, mobile access credentials, mobile hotelling or desk assignments, employers are looking to evolve the services and amenities they offer employees, not only to attract and retain the right talent, but also to boost their productivity, collaboration, and ingenuity.
A unified workplace app is a great way to streamline how employees access and engage with these new services, but how will it actually work within the built environment alongside your other people and technologies? Test it out ahead of time, with easy deployment in as few as eight weeks. Deliver your app ahead of the move and start highlighting the tech changes now, getting employees used to a more mobile, digitally-enabled work style.
Give Employees a Voice in Building Their Work Space
At the recent RETHINK Office of the Future Summit, real estate and workplace leaders from a diverse cross-section of businesses, including Google, Wayfair, Bose, and Akamai, came together to discuss the amenities, space design, and environment fundamentals that make the most productive employees. A common lesson learned shared by almost everyone was the importance of giving the employee a voice in developing the work dynamic and workspace.
Mobile can give that voice a platform with micro in-app surveys that are intended to take under two minutes to answer and see higher results. Use beacon technology in your new space to trigger the surveys when they are most relevant–for example, trigger an amenity feedback survey upon an employee’s third trip to the new cafe.
Final Countdown to Move-In: Tours, Promotions, and Perks
Actually packing up and moving can be overwhelming. Whether you’ve been an employee for a month or five years, things accumulate and work still needs to be completed. Create a checklist of what employees need to bring and what they should get rid of. It’s a great opportunity to shed waste and start fresh – for everyone.
Within the app, track a countdown to the official move-in date and highlight other aspects, including an interactive tour with introduction to on-site features such as an open floor layout, wellness room, cafeteria, or state-of-the-art conference room. As the location is often specifically selected with the employee in mind, make sure they’re prepared to make the most of it. Whether it’s two blocks away from their current stomping grounds or a bigger move from the suburbs to the city, promote nearby amenities, illuminating why leadership made the decision to move there.
Plan for Space Utilization, then Make it Happen
How people inhabit a specific space, as well as how effective the move was in planning for utilization, are critical to measure — and quickly. Analytics, and the question around how they’re used to better understand the lessons learned and successes of moves or redesigns was another key theme at the RETHINK event.
By deploying a workplace app before the move and giving your employees an active voice in how the space is created, you’re capturing engagement data that can be used to intelligently drive space utilization behaviors upon move-in. For instance, if your employees were surveyed and collectively wanted an on-site cafe, you could send images of construction, host a countdown to coffee, and introduce grand opening discounts. Through the backend analytics, track the time of day employees are accessing this module of the app and use this insight to send push notification discounts once the cafe opens. By capturing insights beforehand, you can proactively drive intended use of the space once as employees settle in.
The smartest way to bring these efforts together is to start adopting the new space experience before you make the move. Modo Workplace™ empowers companies with a low-code platform, giving the power to create and deploy an app to anyone in the company, from intern to executive.
Deliver a branded workplace app next week while you’re building towards its next iteration that will introduce people to the new space through interactive tours, personalized use of amenities based on interests and role, and ask for a continuous loop of employee feedback — all this and more can be strategically released before the move date.
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