Employees are returning to the office. Whether they come in every day or just a few days a week, most businesses are embracing a way of work with much more flexibility than before.
Flexible work brings opportunities to create a more enjoyable and productive work experience. But it can also present some challenges: How do you encourage reluctant employees to come into the office? What’s the best way to utilize space when people work from home part of the week? And most importantly, how do you keep connections and culture alive when employees don’t always work from the same space every day?
WeWork Workplace was developed to navigate these challenges. It’s a universal space management app that helps you create a seamless and enjoyable work experience for every employee no matter where they work, without breaking the company’s bank. Here are four ways WeWork Workplace can help any business navigate the realities of hybrid work.
Get more control over your space
One of the biggest challenges that come with flexible work is getting the right space-to-headcount ratio. When everyone came into the office every day, it was easy: One employee equals one desk. But in a hybrid world, where an employee comes in only three days a week, that math doesn’t add up. No one wants to spend money on space that’s going to sit empty.
The tools available with the WeWork Workplace platform give you an economical way to offer space to every employee when they need it, without wasting money on space when they don’t. WeWork Workplace is the only app that integrates with WeWork’s access control system, making your WeWork spaces bookable and accessible with the swipe of a keycard. It also can be used to make your non-WeWork offices bookable, allowing you to control and monitor how all of your spaces are used by keeping a tally of all available desks that update in real-time as employees swipe in for the day. That control can help you decide how much space you need based on how employees use the space, not just on headcounts alone.
Help employees feel welcome as they return to the office
In the “old days,” everyone had their own desk, which made them feel at home at the office. With hybrid work, it can be a free-for-all—and nothing makes the return to the office more uncomfortable than when an employee shows up only to find that every desk is taken. Not only do they waste valuable time looking for a seat, but they may feel awkward and alienated—not a great start to the workday. On the other end of the spectrum, walking into a totally empty office is another strange experience that doesn’t exactly scream strong company culture.
WeWork Workplace gives employees the tools they need to make smart decisions about when they come into the office. The app allows them to reserve a desk before they come in so they can feel at home the moment they walk in the door, confident that they will have a space to work. They can also coordinate in-office days and sync up with their friends and teammates, preserving and strengthening those critical relationships. Plus, the app offers community boards and event announcements that keep employees in the loop and help them feel connected to the wider team.
Never run out of space
As headcounts fluctuate and employees travel or move, it can be extremely difficult to make sure that every employee gets the space they need. You want to have enough space for every employee when they need it, but it doesn’t make sense to lease a bunch of space that might not get used. It’s a difficult balance.
WeWork Workplace is the only space management app integrated with the WeWork network. That access gives employees a keycard to hundreds of WeWork locations all over the world, with bookable desks, meeting spaces, and all the amenities that create a great day at work. With these tools, you can always be sure that even when your headcounts change without notice, you will always have enough space for every employee from the moment they join the team.
Take the guesswork out of real estate decisions
In this new hybrid world that offers employees the freedom to work when and where they want, it can be difficult to determine how space is being used. Is the SoHo office totally packed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays but empty on Fridays? Maybe a lot of employees want to relocate to Seattle, but you aren’t sure how crowded the Bellevue office gets.
WeWork Workplace gives you the tools to collect real-world usage data for all your spaces, taking the guesswork out of critical real estate decisions. You can see in real time who is using your spaces and how they’re using it, and get answers to everything from how many desks you need on a given day to how many meeting rooms are required for the team. This critical utilization data can help inform real estate decisions as you optimize your portfolio, so you can save money and grow your business.
The return to the office doesn’t have to be a battle between employees and management. Flexible work offers the opportunity to let employees work when and where they feel the most comfortable while preserving the critical benefits of in-person collaboration and community. A tool like WeWork Workplace solves the challenges that come with this new way of work—so you can focus on building a talented and engaged workforce.
Bradley Little is a writer and content creator based in New York City.