invest in innovative
Hybrid technology can pay dividends now and in the future
In March, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act allotting $350 billion dollars to state and local governments who apply. With governments starting to allocate stimulus funding, public servants and administrators across the country are considering how to best spend their short-term cash to make long-term improvements and impact. For states and cities looking to put their stimulus aid to good use, we recommend investing in hybrid technology – simply put, technology that helps government organizations understand how employees use their workplace and react in real time to changing demand.
In a typical government office, as much as 30% of office space is not used to its full capacity during a normal business week. Long after COVID-19 subsides, state and local governments of all sizes will need to reimagine workplaces for a new era of flexible working and more efficient use of space. We recommend government organizations consider using a portion of federal funding on the following workspace optimization solutions.
Right-size your workplace
Following the disruption of the pandemic, most governments are facing severe resource constraints.
Forward-looking government organizations recognize that understanding workplace supply and demand opens the door to reducing costs while supporting safe, efficient and productive workplaces—not to mention more satisfied employees. For example, some government agencies have been transitioning from providing dedicated workstations for each teammate to providing shared spaces that employees reserve as needed. They’re shrinking their large, under-utilized conference rooms to create smaller meeting and collaboration spaces and adopting other innovations that eliminate wasted space and reduce per-person space costs.
By allocating space according to data-driven demand, rather than making assumptions, you can reduce costs, shrink your carbon footprint and support employees’ preferred modes of working. Effective space utilization can generate the most significant payback of any initiative your real estate and facilities team might undertake.
Make room for safety and simplicity
Employees, now more than ever, want their organization to stand behind the statement that the workplace is “safe.” A reservation system helps ensure your promise. This is a simple and contact-free way for employees to find and book a meeting or desk space when they need it – preventing both overbooking and underuse. And the right reservation system not only simplifies collaboration and safety, but it also easily integrates with existing workplace systems and tools.
A recent JLL article details how a modern room and desk reservation system allows employees and government leaders to focus on business instead of worrying about their wellbeing—saving time, resources and money and driving increased productivity and positive business outcomes. Without a system of order and prioritization, government employees would spend more time looking for a practical workspace than actually using one.
Make data-informed adjustments to keep employees safe and healthy
Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor solutions allow government leaders and operations teams to see data in real time or nearly real time, instead of a “set and forget” approach. Take Infogrid, powered
by Disruptive Technologies, for example. With this low-cost, quick-set-up smart building platform, organizations can create a healthy workplace that reduces costs, improves wellbeing, drives sustainability and strengthens compliance. The technology solution using state-of-the-art IoT sensors for each particular use case:
- Air quality: Monitor carbon dioxide, radon, humidity, light levels, ventilation, virus risk factor, air pressure, and a range of other pollutants.
- Occupancy: Understand which rooms, desks and facilities are being used, when and for how long, to better optimize facilities and guide users to free space.
- Smart cleaning: Set cleaning schedules based on usage to reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction. In addition, sensors can be used to validate when and where cleaning has taken place.
- Water safety: Automatically monitor facilities’ water movement and temperature to help reduce the need for labor-intensive processes, recognize water and utility savings, and automate compliance reporting. The system can also detect leaks and prevent mold.
Equipment that’s used inconsistently will operate less predictably, so relying on human observation (manually entering and sharing data) is no longer sustainable—or efficient. With powerful artificial intelligence and smart IoT sensors, you can make better decisions, faster and adjust your workspaces for productivity, collaboration, and cleanliness. All of these resources allow organizations to optimize maintenance and align spaces with the way your employees work today.
Promote real relief with real data
Local and state government leaders will undoubtedly develop ideas on how the federal aid can be put to use to address the immediate crisis. For stimulus funds dedicated to modernizing technology efforts, governments should put their money towards workplace optimization. When the right technology is in place, the connected workplace gives government employees an elevated sense of control in their work environment and the captured data gives government leaders and operations teams a realistic view of whether your space is being maximized, and how it can be improved.
The office has evolved. If you want to bring your workforce back safely and seamlessly, knowing and planning how your team uses the space is a good place to start. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel… there’s technology for that.
For more information on how the stimulus package can be put to work for your office, visit our website.