Changing the Workplace to Meet the Needs of the Evolving Workforce

female employee uses stickers during brainstorming session

So much has changed the way we work since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, but if you ask some of your employees, they may tell you that's a good thing. As many made the switch to remote work at the start of the pandemic, employees found that they enjoyed having more flexibility and control over their day-to-day actions, which, in turn, improved their overall work-life balance.

As employees begin to return to the workplace, even on a hybrid basis, the desire to maintain a level of flexibility is substantial and could have a huge impact on the decisions they make about their future and remaining at an organization. According to a recent report from Forbes, 90% of organizations will require their workers to return to the office in some capacity in 2023, with 61% planning to use incentives that involve changing the workplace physically so that it's more appealing to their employees.

If you're part of that 61% but you're not sure where to start, learn how CORT Permanently Flexible™ Solutions like CORT Furniture-as-a-Service™(FaaS) paired with space utilization sensor technology and space optimization data from 4SITE by CORT could help your organization.

Let Space Utilization Sensors and Employee Feedback Be the Foundation for an Office Layout Redesign

Your employees want flexibility in the office, so returning to how things were done before February 2020 isn't an option. The best place to start is by talking to your employees. Ask what they'd like to see around the office. Although you may not be able to please every single person, you can get an idea of what will enhance your company culture and improve your employees' experience with the workplace.

After gathering feedback and getting a sense of what employees want, consider space utilization sensors to determine how your employees are interacting with the current office configuration. When applied to commonly used areas like conference rooms, huddle spaces, or collaboration areas, data can be anonymously collected without intruding on how employees work and without gathering any personal information. From day one, you'll get an idea of how your employees use those spaces, and what you might need to add or eliminate to make the space even more appealing.

As you start making changes within the workplace, you'll need to learn how to be flexible too. This is where CORT Permanently Flexible Solutions can help. We understand that organizations may not get things right the first time and will need solutions that are fast enough to evolve in a post-pandemic world. We also believe that "Sensors empower organizations with qualitative data, which not only informs decisions, but also allows leaders and decision-makers to better understand space, including what’s being used and for how long.” This also can help provide insight into potential behaviors at work when employees initially return versus how those behaviors will normalize once there’s a larger return to psychological safety in the office.

Make Experimentation a Common Practice with Space Utilization Sensors

Once you combine your employee feedback with the data you receive from your sensors, you can start experimenting. In some cases, you may quickly learn that there are problems with your office layout and that small adjustments are needed. For example, you might decide that the configuration within a large traditional conference room should be changed to a more informal collaboration space for employees to interact with one another. Either way, even starting with small changes can have a huge impact on your employee happiness.

Keeping an open conversation about their desires and needs can be helpful. Leaving those space utilization sensors in place over time can provide unbiased verification of how your employees use that space in real-time. This means you can remain agile and adapt to new circumstances in days rather than weeks or even months. This means no disruption to your organization's workflow and productivity.

Ease the Process of Modification by Becoming a Workplace that’s Permanently Flexible

For some organizations, the idea of becoming “permanently flexible” may seem daunting. Changes within the office can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and expensive. But with the right tools, such as CORT FaaS paired with 4SITE sensor technology and data, you can create a workplace redesign that’s powered by data driven insights and access to furniture instead of taking on ownership.

This in turn offers your organization greater flexibility and cost optimization. CORT’s FaaS clients receive everything they need for their office environment for practically any length of time, and when they want to change things up or cancel altogether, it’s a seamless process.

Combining your space optimization sensor data with CORT FaaS allows you to work towards creating the ideal office space for your organization and your workforce. One that’s not only comfortable and functional but is also enticing enough to make employees want to commute to the office again.

Optimize your Return-to-Work Plan with a Workplace Redesign Using 4SITE Technology

As your employees return to the office in 2023, they're going to expect some changes to accommodate their new ideas about how they work. Many of which can be addressed through redesigning your workplace.

Companies like CORT provide organizations with the opportunity to experiment in this time of flux, measure how their office space is being utilized with real-time, informative data, modify their layouts and furnishings where improvements are needed and repeat as needs change.

By combining space utilization sensors from 4SITE by CORT and CORT FaaS, your organization can have the tools that are needed to ensure your employees are happy and engaged with your workplace.

Call us today to get started or set up a demo.