How real-time data is revolutionizing the hybrid workplace (2023 update)

Technology influences just about every decision we make. Since the dawn of the smartphone, technology has rapidly evolved to the point where it is now an integral part of our everyday lives and daily routines. Big data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) have created a barrier-free and connected world. However, these advancements have largely occupied the consumer space and not the workplace, but that is changing rapidly.

Real-time data is one of the newest tools in the smart office toolbox. While it is not exactly a new innovation, it is only within the last couple of years that organizations have started recognizing the many benefits of real-time data. But now it is becoming a must-have for large offices. Let’s take a look at why.

We will never reach 100% occupancy again

Space optimization is more important than ever. In 2022, the average global peak occupancy rate was lower than 40%. In other words, more than 60% of office space was left unused during peak hours. If that is the case, just imagine the amount of space that was left unused outside peak hours.

Last year, "once a week" visits were most popular among office workers globally and only 21% of office workers in the US and 16% of office workers in EMEA came to the office 4-5 days a week. Real estate has always been one of the most expensive costs for organizations and hybrid work has forced a lot of organizations to make the switch to a shared desk environment to reduce money spent on unutilized office space. 

But the hybrid office not only comes with shared desks but also with a new set of challenges: ‘How many workstations do I need?’, ‘How many meeting rooms do I need?’, ‘How do employees find an available workstation for the day?’, ‘How do you keep collaboration high with employees only working from the office a few days a week?’, ‘How do you increase safety?’, and so the list continues. 

With real-time data organizations can solve all of these challenges and more. It may sound too good to be true with a ‘fix-it-all-solution’, but it is not - and it is potentially both easier and cheaper than you think.

The office of the future runs on real-time data

Data-driven decision-making is not a new phenomenon, but with the introduction of IoT and other emerging technologies, it is spreading from C-level and management to every corner of the organization. 

One of the emerging technologies that will shape the workplace of the future is dynamic mapping platforms. A dynamic mapping platform is a platform that provides you with a map of your spaces. The power of a dynamic mapping platform lies in its ability to integrate with almost any third-party data system. This means you can integrate the platform with your existing data systems and have the data visualized on a map of your spaces in real-time. This makes it easy for everyone in your organization to surface the data they need in one visual experience and make informed decisions.

One of the most common integrations is the integration of booking systems. By integrating your booking system with a dynamic mapping platform employees will be able to see real-time occupancy data and book available meeting rooms directly through your office map. The office of the future consists of shared spaces, making it crucial for employees to be able to find and book available desks, rooms, lockers, and parking spaces quickly and easily.

Another smart office technology that is on the rise, is location sharing. Allowing staff the freedom to work anywhere on your company’s premises isolates them from their colleagues, making it difficult to keep collaboration high. ‘Find my colleague’ solutions may be a controversial issue, but new technologies allow you to show employees’ location in real-time without compromising on data protection. With the new technologies, employees are in full control, and location sharing is often disabled by default. This means that employees have to actively enable location sharing when they are at the office.

Real-time data is also increasingly being used to ensure employee well-being. For instance, air quality sensors can inform employees about CO2 levels in meeting rooms. This way employees can avoid booking meeting rooms that do not offer a pleasant working environment.

Hybrid working disrupts the understanding of the purpose of a physical office. The physical office will continue to be important for social work life. However, organizations (and employees) will use it for meetings, conferences, and co-working activities instead of day-to-day tasks. Offices are transforming into collaboration centers instead of the productivity hubs they used to be and real-time data plays a crucial role in this transformation.

What is real-time data?

Real-time data is live data from your existing third-party data systems displayed on a map of your spaces. This makes it easy for everyone in your organization to surface the data they need in one visual experience and make informed decisions. 

A common problem among large organizations is the problem of segregated data. Never have organizations collected more data than they do today, but more often than not the information is spread across disparate software platforms. By integrating your data systems into a dynamic mapping platform like MapsIndoors you make it easy for employees, facilities members, and even visitors to easily access relevant data and see its context. 

Profile-based map views allow you to create different map views for different users so everyone only has access to the data relevant to them. MapsIndoors integrates with almost any third-party system so you can create a solution to fit your exact needs. 

If you want to know more about the office of the future and real-time data, download our free guide, "The 2023 Hybrid Workplace".

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