A unified work approach to create seamless office experiences
Great workplace experience has become the new bargaining chip for employees to return to the office. A new report explores how better workplace experience can be achieved and measured through one unified approach
For the first time, the office is challenged to rethink its approach amid a new context in which employees start to expect more from their workplace experience.
As remote and flexible working patterns become more established in organisational policies, employees will increasingly exercise choice and autonomy in where and how they want to work. This means that the office will have to compete with a spectrum of alternative workspaces to stand out and be chosen by employees. Offices now have to deliver experiences that are superior to the ones employees can get working elsewhere.
A new report by HqO, in partnership with WORKTECH Academy entitled ‘Unified Work: How better experience can deliver business benefits’, explores the key areas shaping the new world of work and the importance of developing a unified approach to enhancing the workplace experience. The office is under increasing pressure to prove its value. Creating a great experience is critical to revitalise the office in the hearts and minds of employees returning after the pandemic.
The evolution of experience
Great workplace experiences need to be seamless, convenient and comfortable in order to spike engagement between the employee and the organisation. This is driving the need for one integrated strategy from employers which encompasses the physical environment, employee comfort and experience, and access to the right tools and technology.
The report identifies this strategy as the ‘Unified Workplace Experience’. A unified approach to workplace experience considers how people, place and technology can work together to create a holistic environment for all employees, where they feel physically and psychologically comfortable and can conduct their best work from any location.
At a recent WORKTECH webinar, Scott Hazard, global head of real estate and workplace experience at software company Atlassian, said that we need to create ‘3D’ experience journeys where organisations shape the entire personal and professional journey for employees to help them do their best work. The 3D experience is supported by a dynamic team of decision-makers to ensure employees needs and expectations are met.
Workplace experience can be helped or hindered by the physical, digital and social environment that any company provides. As employee needs and expectations continue to evolve, and organisations forecast further into the future, the curation of workplace experience will need to become more dynamic and responsive. For this to happen, organisations need to take a unified approach to shaping and monitoring employee experiences.
How can the office aid experience?
The office can positively influence an employee’s experience, but only if it is supported by access to the right tools. Providing a functionally comfortable environment that allows an individual to physically or virtually connect with their colleagues will create an additional layer of psychological comfort – where employees feel a sense of autonomy and belonging.
The report outlines four steps organisations can take to achieve a Unified Workplace Experience:
Unify workplace teams – Workplace experience isn’t a siloed operation. It requires decision-makers from real estate, HR, FM and IT to come together and take ownership of the entire process. The introduction of workplace experience leaders combines elements of real estate, HR, IT and hospitality. This requires constant communication between teams to create a unified approach.
Unify the tools – Employees require choice to have a positive experience, but too much choice can inhibit productivity and quickly become overwhelming. Understand what tools employees need to access and consolidate that access into one app. This means there is one mobile app which delivers the capabilities for employees to access and plan their work experience anywhere, anytime.
Unify the messaging – When it comes to how an individual views their company, their role, and their experience, the most important element to keep them engaged is communication. Communicate the culture, values, and experience through clear and effective messaging. This could be through a combination of workplace design, leadership messaging, or alerts on a workplace app to keep employees up to date.
Unify the data – Use employee feedback data and workplace data to create a complete picture of employee experience. Create a strong feedback loop in which it is easy and engaging for employees to quickly provide feedback on their experiences and marry that information with the knowledge gleaned from workplace data dashboards.
Read the full report by HqO and WORKTECH Academy here.