This year, the country is officially settling into the “new normal,” with campuses and corporate spaces getting used to more hybrid, socially distanced experiences for classes, meetings and day-to-day interactions. But getting this transition to work well and truly feel “normal” is no easy feat: it requires seamless, easy-to-use, intuitive technology that’s purpose built to facilitate interactions and create a frictionless online experience.
Accruent’s EMS mobile app Direct Spaces is one of those technologies - and if you’re not using a mobile room and space booking software, your business could already be falling behind. Here’s everything you need to know.
The Evolution of the Experience-Based Space
Understanding the Shift: A Move Toward Multi-Use, Experience-Based Spaces
For decades now, campuses and workplaces have shifted their focuses away from the “traditional office model” and toward creating more interactive, configurable spaces that provide rich experiences for students and employees.
There are a few reasons for this.
Broadly speaking, digital transformations across all facets of life— including buying groceries, booking flights, or submitting work requests for utilities— have changed the way people perceive quality experiences, making them come to expect seamless digital experiences as part of day-to-day life.
In the workplace, more specifically, smartphones, tablets, laptops and an array of software applications and cloud capabilities have unchained employees and students from desks, allowing them to step away from their old hardware and embrace more flexibility and technological freedom. And that’s exactly what today’s workers and students want to do: studies have shown that Millennials – which now make up the largest percentage of the workforce – don’t want to be assigned to a particular space. Instead, they want to flow between spaces and choose their hours, focus and space (and you can be sure this is also true about up-and-coming Gen Z).
What’s more, this shift also makes good business sense. As Jacob Morgan points out, maximizing productivity in a modern workplace is all about allowing employees to engage in multiple modes of work so they can feel better and work more effectively. And traditional spaces just don’t do that. As a result, they eat away ROI: as much as 40% of a traditional office's dedicated desk space sits unused on a given day, an issue which greatly contributes to inflated real estate overhead (the largest cost, besides people, for most businesses). In short – the world has changed, and multi-use, hybrid spaces are the future.
Where Companies and Campuses Stand Today
That’s why most modern campuses and corporate environments have evolved beyond simply using space and moved toward creating full-fledged, multi-use experiences rich with their own atmosphere and culture.
Now, as organizations put more dollars behind enhancing their spaces accordingly beyond a standard use-case, there’s an increased need to do this the right way and understand exactly:
- How spaces can be used to increase productivity and employee satisfaction
- Where efficiencies can be improved
- How to create great long-term space and capital plans.
As of 2020, there is also the need to take COVID – and employee safety – into account. This requires that users also enhance their ability to:
- Enrich the space experience by allowing users to easily find and book the most appropriate space for them.
- Remain agile with all protocols and changes.
- Enforce the correct adoption and communication of protocols.
Getting this right in a modern office or campus ultimately requires intuitive, intelligent mobile space booking using a tool like the EMS mobile app, Direct Spaces.
Balancing Space Expectations and Safety Needs in a Post-COVID World
As a critical partner for customers throughout this evolution, Accruent’s EMS has provided data-backed insights to help users understand, improve and strategically plan for the future of the experience-based space.
The new EMS Direct Spaces follows this natural evolution, helping institutions and organizations create multi-use spaces that meet user expectations while facilitating social distancing and organizational needs for safety protocols.
And organizations that don’t embrace mobile are sure to fall behind.
Modern Businesses Need Mobile
There are a few key general considerations that make mobile tools an absolute necessity moving forward:
- The lasting impact of COVID: Under normal circumstances, changes to room availability and requirements happen regularly. This is exacerbated by the lasting impact of COVID-19, which can lead to quick schedule changes, advanced technological requirements, cleaning buffers and more.
- The prevalence of phones: If you want your technology to work intuitively, you must meet people where they are at – and it’s no secret that we’re all glued to our smartphones. In fact, there are approximately 3.8 billion smartphone users worldwide, and one survey found that most people check their phone an average of 58 times a day. Translation? If you want to reach people intuitively, the phone is where they are.
- People expect mobile experiences: It’s not just that people are on their phones a lot – they also expect the apps, tools and websites that they interact with to have high functionality and performance on mobile. 65% of users today say a poor mobile experience will negatively impact their opinion of a brand and 52% get frustrated by poor app performance.
All this certainly applies to your space booking tools, which means that if you have a room booking system without mobile capabilities, you’re already falling below customer expectations – not to mention missing the level of digital transformation that’s required to excel in a post-COVID world.
The new EMS Mobile App will lead the pack in this space, providing the unified, mobile-first space booking system that today’s employees and students demand.
The Power of EMS Direct Spaces to Create Experience-Based Spaces and Enhance Safety
The EMS Mobile App will provide employees and students with a unified, mobile-first experience that allows them to use their smartphone to navigate, simplify and streamline each aspect of their daily life, including navigating and booking their workplace and campus facilities.
This is accomplished through a range of features that allow users to:
- Create reservations on-the-go: Using the Direct Spaces interface, users can easily create reservations, request managed rooms, add attendees, view floor plans and add specific meeting requests. This provides all the functionality of the EMS tool on-the-go – so even if you’re on your way to the office or walking around campus, you can book the space you need.
- Update meetings and reservations: If something changes, mobile users can also cancel meetings, check-in, end meetings or update times and locations.
- Work from anywhere, anytime: EMS’ mobile app works internationally and supports all phone native languages and date formats so your team won’t be limited by language or geographic location.
The best part? These functionalities are all presented via a chat style interface, so submitting any type of request feels as easy as sending a text message. This makes the entire experience easy and intuitive – just what students and employees expect today.
And, of course, it’s all backed by EMS’ analytics and data-driven insight, which can help users maximize office and campus space ROI and enhance productivity while maintaining social distancing.