In a post-COVID world, it is paramount that we understand what it takes to create a modern, connected workspace. Facility professionals and workplace strategists are challenged with not only providing a great workplace experience but also ensuring a safe one as well.

Organizations are under increased pressure to present modern technology solutions that work alongside legacy products to upgrade the workplace environment. These technologies help organizations solve complex business problems while also serving the day-to-day needs of employees.

Things like workspace and service schedules are easier to control and provide better visibility when coupled with an agnostic IoT platform. With complementary solutions, organizations can create an intelligent workspace that enhances employee experience, keeps everyone safe and allows for big-picture problem solving.

Read about four of the most common workplace challenges below:

1. Employees Lack a Personalized Workspace Experience

Increasingly, the world's leading organizations are moving to predictive workplaces. Here, data-powered technologies and data-driven insights create a personalized workspace experience for employees, creating individually tailored environments.

Personalization has become a critical aspect of workplace experience planning. The more tailored the experience is to fit an employee's needs, the more productive that employee will be. It can also serve as an important tool for managing new considerations, such as social distancing.

By using a space scheduling solution to set automated parameters for what employees can and cannot do in their workspace — such as limiting which desks they can reserve — you ensure that when an employee arrives at the office, their desk space is not only guaranteed, but also in alignment with the organization's social distancing policy.

An enterprise-level space management solution can allow organizations to manage not just workspace reservations – including desks, meeting rooms and collaboration spaces – but enhance your control of the workplace experience by organizing and automating things like HVAC, lighting and other connected equipment.

Connected systems that leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) technology can make adjustments or trigger pre-set workflows based on actions employees take in the workplace, yielding significant experience and bottom-line results.

2. Facility Issues Are Only Reported After They Become a Serious Problem

As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, more and more employees are working remotely. With most of the staff out of the office, difficulties can arise when it comes to managing facilities and maintenance issues. If no one is there to recognize an issue before it becomes a problem, how can organizations avoid catastrophic events?

The answer lies in automation and what is called “invisible maintenance.” Connected solutions that manage, maintain and oversee things such as electronics, HVAC, energy usage and facilities maintenance can drastically reduce the resources needed by engineers and technicians.

For example, an organization using Accruent’s connected solution suite was able to automate 20% of its overall maintenance traffic, allowing them to gain their information quicker than if a technician was personally on-site.

On average, it used to take this company 43 minutes to register a fault with a piece of equipment when using a technician. Using Accruent, it took 43 seconds, allowing engineers to get there as soon as possible – even outside of standard working hours.

Having the right tools in place is critical. If an organization can identify a problem, create a work order and dispatch a technician, all without someone needing to raise the issue manually, then maintenance can be done before a minor issue becomes a serious problem and with minimal interruption to anyone in the workplace.

3. New Technology Doesn’t Integrate with Your Existing Old Hardware

Understandably, organizations want to use hardware technology they already own, often because they lack the capital to replace it. Unfortunately, many hardware companies also offer their own point solutions and will not integrate with other solutions on the market, leaving many organizations stuck with no way of migrating to a new solution without completely replacing their hardware inventory.

Take, for example, an HVAC manufacturer that has its own remote monitoring IoT solution. When an organization sources materials from only one manufacturer across the entire real estate portfolio, their native IoT solution will work well. However, for most organizations, it is much more likely that they will have accumulated a diverse set of HVAC hardware to meet their needs, and they need a hardware-agnostic IoT solution that can integrate across all types of existing hardware.

With a truly hardware-agnostic IoT solution, this organizations could ensure all of their HVAC hardware is managed in a single platform, as opposed to managing multiple, disparate systems, which puts an extra burden on both the facilities and IT departments.

4. Your Organization is Outgrowing its Technology

One critical thing to consider when implementing any new technology in your organization is your organization's size — and not just right now. You should be thinking about the future as well.

As your organization grows in size, you need technology that will scale with you. However, not all software is built for enterprise-class organizations. The cost of expanding your technology and your company can quickly become quite expensive, and not all solution providers have the resources to support the needs of a growing organization.

However, keeping the connected workplace concept in mind, you may be wise to consider purchasing multiple, connected solutions from a single (and well-established) software vendor. Rather than having to replace numerous point systems and work with new vendors each time, a single software provider can offer discounts on multiple products and training, as well as provide better long-term stability.

Taking the Step Toward a Connected Workplace

Once an organization has decided to commit to creating a connected workspace, the first step to achieving that is to find an enterprise-level, capable solution. However, implementing enterprise software can be a complicated process for many organizations, particularly when connecting legacy software platforms and hardware.

A clearly defined set of objectives addressing business problems and opportunities is the starting point for any organization wanting to engage in a digital transformation. Once the set of objectives have been defined, implementing software in principle is not complicated.

Having a cross-functional and committed team to spearhead the implementation will yield the best results and quicker time to value.

Creating a Connected Workspace with Accruent

For too long, organizations have been stuck using disparate solutions that are not compatible with each other or, worse, cause flares ups and additional issues. Organizations may not have the capital to call into different companies or solutions. Being able to work with a single company with modern solutions can make all the difference.

More people rely on connected workplace equipment than ever before. To bring them together, you need an intelligent platform that is hardware agnostic, managed remotely, and seamlessly automates business processes to provide a better experience for employees. With a truly connected set of solutions, you gain access to rich data insights to help you make smart decisions.

With Accruent’s suite of software solutions — ranging from space management to predictive maintenance management — organizations can pull together different systems that complement each other and make the management of workspaces much more manageable with real-time, actionable data.

Learn how Mitie is using Accruent solutions to offer their clients smart workspaces.