Raise Productivity by Enabling Your Most Important Asset: Your Employees
In my previous blog I discussed how flexible working and smart buildings could help with the UK’s productivity crisis.
Flexible working speaks for itself and there are many benefits to be enjoyed – employees are able to work around their lives, avoid time consuming traffic jams and peak rush hours - resulting in happier, more productive employees.
In this blog I will focus on some of the ways smart buildings and changes in approach can help improve productivity within any organisation.
End the meeting room madness. If you have employees devoting valuable time to administering meeting room bookings, stop it now. There are the direct costs incurred by paying someone to perform this task, coupled with the unseen costs of employees going to find someone, discussing availability and then going back if they need to make any alterations to the booking. It all adds up over the course of a year. Instead, deploy a system where people can instantly see and book their own meeting rooms at any time.
Improve meeting room efficiency. Once you have the booking sorted, it’s time to ensure that rooms are utilised effectively. Typically meeting rooms are used approximately 30% of the time – yet most people will feel anecdotally that there’s never enough meeting rooms. If people don’t turn up to the meeting room, release it back into the availability pool. Use your utilisation data to take the approach of some train companies and publish a red/amber/green analysis of peak periods so they can plan accordingly. If you truly don’t have enough meeting rooms perhaps look to reducing desks and add in meeting pods or extra rooms if there is the scope to do so.
OneCard for everything. Ensure you put everything you can onto your access card system. Door entry, meeting room bookings, cashless vending, intelligent locker access – with one card for everything your employees and visitors will have quick access to everything they need. There are efficiency gains – like not having to collect and process cash, not replacing lost locker keys etc. One of our clients started loading employee benefits such as gym membership onto cards, significantly cutting down on the manual administration that they encountered previously.
Pull printing. Then use your OneCard to integrate with pull printing – commonly known as FollowMe® Printing. Asking IT for support to add printers, then trying to choose the correct printer to print to (XEROX01 or XEROX02?) as well as lost print jobs all create inefficiencies. With pull printing, users simply print to their designated ‘printer’ then swipe to release their documents. This is particularly useful when moving between offices as it requires no setting up of new printers which is significantly more efficient.
Self-service everything. If you can make it self-service, do so. We live in the Uber world where people want what they want now. Allow desk booking so that users can sit where they want, and work with whom they want. Ensure services such as Wi-Fi in a secure but readily available fashion. Give visitors or customers access to everything they need with one pass (it should have the appropriate security access levels) allowing them to easily benefit from your services whilst leaving a positive impression.
These are some high level ideas and the list is by no means exhaustive. It does not touch upon behind the scenes technology improvements, like Intelligent Infrastructure Management to ensure that managing your critical infrastructure is risk-free and efficient for example.
Ultimately it comes down to one question: what will you do to enable your employees? I think it’s vitally important for organisations to invest in productivity-improving solutions, then get out of the way and allow people to do their jobs more effectively.