three colleagues collaborating in a modern office setting

Communication, Collaboration and Cohesion: The Future of Work

February 17, 2022 Sponsored Article
Tim Harnett
By Tim Harnett LinkedIn

After nearly three years of office reopenings, closures and adjusted start dates, almost everyone in the working world has their eyes set on that glorious day when the office doors will open and things will return to normal.

We don’t mean to burst your bubble but that day is never coming.

This doesn’t mean that there is no workplace anymore. It does mean that the office should be viewed as more of a resource and less of a holding pen.

Reopening the office is a barrier to the real goal: an office that takes employee choice into consideration.

Ignore the Flexible Work Revolution at Your Own Risk

It’s a new era for the workplace and we know you’re probably sick of hearing about it. But before we can get back to “precedented” times, we need to step a little further into the unprecedented stuff.

We like to take every opportunity to remind the teams we work with of the stakes here. Get hybrid work wrong and risk scaring your teams away. Get hybrid work right and retain plus attract talent.

It’s important to remember, getting hybrid work right doesn’t mean you have an out-and-out success from the jump, it means you are actively listening to your teams, iterating on your strategies and incorporating the best technology.

Employees expect to see earnest efforts from leadership to listen and learn. Leaders playing lip service is, like, so 2021.

Benchmark Your Workplace Plans

With so many changes over the past 20 months, effectively managing the in-person and remote workplace has been challenging. Without the proper tools, technology, and talent to support a smooth employee experience, employers risk losing talent to organizations that have.

So, how did your workplace plans stack up against other companies? Robin conducted a survey to find out.

After polling 400 managers, directors, VPs, and executives working in human resources (HR), information technology (IT) and facilities, they sought to answer questions like:

  • Has the management of the workplace shifted from one department to another?
  • Have new roles emerged that are now responsible for workplace management?
  • What new policies and technologies are put in place to optimize one of the most critical parts of workplace management — the employee experience?

For more data-driven takeaways and strategic information about the future of work, download Robin’s 2021 Workplace Landscape Report today!

Data Points Needed for Workplace Communication, Collaboration and Cohesion

Given the considerable shifts in the workplace in the past two years, the most pressing question for businesses is perhaps the most basic: who’s in charge?

Originally, facilities departments were the solo pioneers of the workplace experience. That shifted in the early 2000s as businesses began to realize the far-reaching elements that create an exceptional employee experience.

Just before the pandemic, the majority of Robin’s survey respondents indicated their workplace was managed either by:

  • A combination of HR, IT, and facilities teams (30%).
  • Evenly split between facilities (23%) and IT (23%).

While many offices remain managed by these teams, 37% reported that the pandemic caused a workplace management shakeup. That’s because the definition of workplace experience has changed and the roles associated with the function are changing with it. When it comes to managing the workplace, the data is clear. Here are three key takeaways from the Robin report.

1. Workplace management must be in alignment

The ultimate goal for workplace experience is to create a path to the office that is as frictionless as possible. In order to create a smooth experience, workplace leaders must be clear on who is responsible for what, when and why.

Without these details ironed out, it’s nearly impossible to present a clear plan to your teams. And, as the data indicates, workplace communication is of increasing importance in a hybrid workplace.

2. Data should fuel office decisions

Redesign your office with data-driven insights to maximize your current space for hybrid work. Workplace analytics help leaders proactively plan for what the office needs more of, what’s working well, and where bottlenecks exist as you build out a new space.

Get the correct data into the hands of the groups responsible for workplace management and invest in technologies that have the most potential to significantly impact employee experience

3. Employee experience needs to be front and center

Workplaces need to be people-first. This means finding new ways to create areas that employees need most. Whether that means turning to the usage data or collecting employee feedback regularly, employee experience is a critical KPI that must be carefully monitored to ensure continued engagement.

Another layer of this employee experience is about communication. Employees expect leadership to provide clear, effective, and on-time communication about any company changes or larger organizational updates.

For more data-driven takeaways and strategic information about the future of work, download Robin’s 2021 Workplace Landscape Report today!

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