How occupancy management tools enable hybrid workplaces
Taking a new approach to occupancy management creates a workplace that works
Whether your employees come to the office based on a percentage of time or their own preferences, adapting your approach to occupancy management for hybrid work can be challenging.
Like a puzzle, there are multiple pieces that need to be considered when creating a hybrid work model. Increasingly, workers are demanding an office experience built for collaboration and socialization that’s worthy of their commute.
Yesterday’s static buildings and rigid space allocations simply don’t work with today’s hybrid workplace. You need a more dynamic approach to managing office occupancy so you can reallocate space in real-time based on historical and projected occupancy.
How new occupancy management technology helps improve the workplace experience
Creating an office where people actually want to be starts with taking a closer look at the total footprint, and accounting for the fact that the demand for space isn’t one-size-fits-all: the workplace, the home office and “third places” such as coffee shops and co-working spaces all have their proponents.
By matching the footprint of your office to meet the evolving space demands of your people, you can make your workplace footprint serve many different work styles and situations. You can also help support your organization’s ESG objectives while reducing operating costs.
Dynamic Occupancy Management (Dynamic OM), is JLL’s tech-led service that’s helping organizations enable hybrid work. The tool empowers employees to schedule when they are planning to visit the office.
When you match your office to meet the occupancy trends of your workforce, reserving a desk or work area is almost like making a reservation at restaurant during peak dining hours. Just as you want to make sure you have a table when you arrive at the restaurant, a desk reservation at the office ensures your employees have a place to work within a finite amount of space that ebbs and flows based on supply and demand.
Artificial intelligence and data are reshaping traditional approaches to occupancy management
The Dynamic OM system uses AI technology to marry workstyle preferences with availability. The AI learns from historical attendance and utilization data and also factors in forward-looking demand by analyzing advanced reservations (when reservation capabilities are being used).
Data generated through this dynamic approach to occupancy management helps organizations better optimize their space so they can:
- Make meaningful changes to allocated zones and seat assignments, or
- Adapt allocated zones independently based on forecasted demand and historical usage data learned over time
Of course, in some offices, a space reservation may not be necessary based on the amount of space available or the preferences of employees who may prefer to “drop-in” to the office. A dynamic approach to occupancy management can track utilization and attendance data in these situations, as well, to help paint a clearer picture of who is coming into the office and their patterns while they’re in the workplace.
This information is the linchpin that will drive the success of today’s evolving hybrid models across many organizations. The shifts happening now represent a major change for the real estate industry, as previous occupancy and space planning models weren’t designed to deal with mobile workstyles or the unpredictable demand for office space.
How occupancy tools empower the shift to hybrid work
For many companies, employees are not coming to the office in the numbers they expected. In fact, some employees are growing disenchanted with the office because, when they do return, low attendance makes for a less than inspiring environment. This creates a vicious cycle, which can further reduce the number of employees who come into the office as part of an effective hybrid work balance.
Offering a hybrid schedule to your employees isn’t enough. To engage your employees and help them to thrive, you need a well-functioning hybrid workplace that supports them both in and out of the office. The right occupancy management technology can go a long way to speed up those changes in your current hybrid model to better fit your needs.
Transforming your current spaces into places your people want to visit requires reimaging the traditional role of the office. Much like how “bricks and mortar” retail stores are being reimagined to provide consumers with unique in-person shopping experiences, the office must become that place workers want to visit for experiences they can’t get at home.