The uncertainties of the past two years may have taught us to expect the unexpected, but when it comes to the future of work we can count on one thing; it’s hybrid, no doubt. The pandemic has shown us that most work can be done from anywhere, without sacrificing productivity. Plus, the hybrid model offers exactly what workers today crave most: flexibility.
A survey by Workhuman showed that, out of 3500 workers in the US, UK, Ireland and Canada, 30% cited “more flexibility” as the main reason for considering a new job. One could think that what they meant was “remote” – but surprise! Accenture’s 2021 Future of Work Study found that 83% of workers prefer a hybrid work model to full-time office-based or full-time remote work.
Since the emergence of hybrid work arrangements, companies have had to work hard at dismantling outdated routines and redesigning them from scratch. This realignment also applies to culture. Fewer human connections have a negative impact on people, but maintaining a culture of connectedness in the hybrid work model is new to many. Sustaining it takes trial and error.
Resilient companies have already started investing in digital tools (think Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams) that keep everybody connected and engaged. While these are essential to the success of hybrid work, they are not the only ones needed for a thriving culture. But before investing in more tech, companies may want to estimate – and rightfully so – the ROI.
What Is Workplace ROI?
Return On Investment (ROI) is a widely used financial metric used to determine the probability of gaining a return from an investment. In the case of Workplace ROI, this refers to how your workplace impacts your company’s profitability. From the office space to the technology used, you need to determine what works – and what doesn’t – for your particular business, and you do that by measuring the ROI.
The most strategic approach to defining your hybrid workplace technology ROI is to start with the reasons you adopted the tools in the first place. Only by being clear about what you want to measure can you understand your ROI and prove the value of the new tech – and this is quite essential to evaluate success and plan for further development.
ROI measurement involves the use of analytics, regular website audits, user feedback, etc., and the establishment of metrics that can be considered instrumental in assessing the success of a tool. This includes not only quantitative metrics such as productivity, customer focus, cost efficiency, etc., but also qualitative factors such as employee retention and satisfaction. But first, let’s look at the tech.
Technologies for Hybrid Work
Desk Booking Software
People who work in unassigned desk setups spend an average of 18 minutes each day trying to find an appropriate workspace. It’s not just a wasted coffee break – an employee that encounters this problem daily may lose up to 2 weeks of productive working time a year! YAROOMS Desk Booking can help – we give you the tool to set up and manage desk sharing schemes that are both flexible and time-efficient. With just a few clicks in a simple web or mobile application, employees can search for spaces and reserve the one that fits them best every time they come to the office.
Meeting Room Booking Software
Meeting and conference rooms have a large footprint in the traditional office – but, on a typical workday, only 40% of them are actually used. Many companies own more office space than they need and have a higher real estate spending than they should. With YAROOMS Room Booking, you can set up a simple and easy-to-follow daily meeting space reservation process for everyone. It is equipped with a set of safety measures and a comprehensive report section with all your room booking data to help monitor office space usage and time an office move, expansion, or transition to a more elastic workplace model!
Visitor Management Solutions
A software solution to manage your hybrid work requirements is important, and even more so when it’s all-in-one – like YAROOMS. Because while desk and meeting room booking can make everyone’s lives easier, there are other features, too, that can truly make the difference – such as visitor management (or guest management). This feature allows you to keep track of the number of people who are physically in the office, as well as manage social distance. It can also help you maintain cybersecurity standards and stay compliant, secure and well organised.
Workplace communication tools are so important that you simply can not ignore them. One of the key benefits of the hybrid workplace is the autonomy it offers employees, but you still want to foster workplace cohesion and collaboration among them. If you are looking for tech that helps everyone better understand each other and the projects they are involved in, consider implementing collaboration and communication tools that allow everyone to communicate effectively (live or synchronously, depending on the work model you have chosen for your organisation.)
Project Management Solutions
Project management solutions are essential if you want to keep all employees on the same page and up to date on projects, goals and priorities. More importantly, they also provide a performance tracking platform, so everyone can stay up to date on progress in the workplace. Project management solutions come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to figure out what type of tool best suits your company. Some are more rigid, others are super flexible, and still others are designed almost exclusively for a-sync teams. Take a look around and choose the one that fits you best.
Why Measuring ROI of Workplace Tech Is Important to All Hybrid Organizations?
Calculating the ROI of technological investments is about understanding the benefits of your choices. Whether it’s installing new applications or purchasing new devices, calculating the ROI can help you make a more informed decision. Calculating the ROI of a technology tool can be done with the following formula: ROI = net gain / cost…
… however, the true impact of an ROI analysis is slightly more complicated than that! Successfully completing an ROI analysis will require you to determine all the possible immediate and long term benefits of your solution. It is only after you understand how it will impact your business, employees, customers, and end users that you should make a strategic decision.
If done – and timed – right, the benefits of a technology investment can include:
- Increasing employee productivity through new, innovative solutions
- Improving technological efficiencies by streamlining or automating processes
- Resolving security vulnerabilities that could negatively impact your business
- Enhancing revenue streams via an extended reach of your products of services
- Saving money by reducing redundancies
How Do You Measure the ROI of Workplace Technology?
As new technologies develop at an overwhelming speed, so does the need for organisations to adopt them in order to stay ahead. But while the latest and greatest are always better – or are they? – it’s important to determine if a tool is the right fit for you first, and ensure the investment made today will support your future goals. Try rating each tool based on the following factors:
The more people, spaces, or processes a tool or solution affects, the higher the return potential. But how can you influence whether your technology solution of choice is widely used or forgotten about? Luckily, most organizations find that some workers use their digital tools considerably more than others. These so-called top users can spark an interest in others too, so it’s important to leverage their skills and enthusiasm.
Plus, this group can also provide tangible feedback into what they like, what they don’t like, and what they may like to see changed. If they see their opinions are taken into consideration, they are likely to become even more loyal to the tool, influence other workers and help drive local adoption. And, the more employees you can attract to the platform, the more successful your ROI!
The more frequently a workplace tool or solution is used, the higher the return potential. No surprise there – engagement is always an important deciding factor to evaluate the acceptance level of any platform or technology! Tracking usage specific to device types is a good idea as well to facilitate workplace flexibility. The key is to utilize all the information that can be obtained using basic analytics tools.
Specific metrics give a general indication of how many people are using the tool, and they can be tracked over time. From this data, you can easily see how employees are using the tool, which in itself is an indication of employee engagement. If possible, you may also want to track usage numbers for specific devices, such as cell phones, to measure the impact of your digital workforce.
Time-to-value is a measurement of the time it takes from when you adopt a tool to when they start deriving value. In general, the faster a solution solves a problem (in other words, the shorter the time-to-value), the better the customer experience, and the higher the return potential. In this case, the quicker employees begin to use the new tool, the better it’s doing and the higher the ROI.
Businesses that shift to remote (or hybrid) work can evaluate their remote ROI by finding the difference between the capital and operational expenses earlier and the cost of digital workplace technology hardware and software subscriptions. A positive difference will indicate lower remote costs, thus indicating remote workplace success.
5 Ways to Increase Your ROI of Workplace Tech
Evaluating workplace technology ROI is essential to enhance your organizational productivity, employee efficiency and employee engagement. When it comes to remote or hybrid workplaces, the key to success is to make the remote workforce feel connected and belonging to the organization. The value of integrating the technology to do so into the environment may not be immediately evident, but it definitely exists.
Leverage Digital Workplace Apps to Drive Employee Engagement
Employee engagement, which is their emotional commitment to their jobs and organizations, is the new ROI. It directly impacts their productivity and service delivery. In fact, engaged employees are 21% more productive and 17% more profitable than non-engaged staff. When it comes to digital workplace apps, pick those that drive collaboration and have low barriers to contribution and participation.
Use Workplace Tools to Ease Collaboration between Different Departments
How many emails do you exchange with co-workers everyday? Team collaboration software is on the rise, and you may want to switch if the answer is “too many”. From communication to project management, online collaboration tools are everywhere – featuring outstanding features and functionality! People can’t collaborate if they don’t communicate. Help them do it whenever they need to, from wherever they are.
Optimize Office Space Utilization with Smart Scheduling Solutions
Meeting room scheduling solutions provide simple tools for booking meeting rooms in an office or shared workspace, bringing structure to the workplace. An efficient scheduler helps employees easily access the rooms they need, maximizing use of the office's space. It works by connecting the office system (such as G Suite, Microsoft Exchange or Office 365) with a physical device (a meeting room display). Voilà!
Increase User Adoption with Interoperable Workplace Software
“Software interoperability” refers to the capability of different solutions to communicate with one another freely and easily. Systems that are interoperable exchange information in real-time, without needing specialized support or behind-the-scenes coding. And, the more systems “talk” to one another, the more effective the business can be. By creating seamless integrations, you speed up the flow of information from one department to another and capture critical data faster.
Make Data-Driven Decisions Based on Workplace Analytics
Without workplace analytics, we would still be analysing huge amounts of data in spreadsheets. With them, we see clear, actionable insights in our dashboards. One could really say that workplace analytics are the key to improving business results by making better decisions with data, every day. The amount of information collected has never been greater; we need to honour that and learn to use it to our advantage.
How to Communicate About a Return on Your Technology Investment
In the traditional depiction of workplace experience, its 3 key elements – culture, environment, and technology – are distinct responsibilities of 3 separate departments: human resources, facility management, and informational technology. However, the rise of the hybrid work model has shown that the biggest power to adapt and transform lies within the ability to join forces for a common goal.
To succeed, stepping out of the comfort zone of clear-cut IT, HR, and FM responsibilities become inevitable. Instead of 3 steering wheels to drive the workplace experience, today’s modern organizations have only one: collaboration. IT, HR, and FM professionals can team up and leverage culture, environment, and technology to facilitate workplace transformation. Read more about how to achieve this here.
Start Measuring Your Workplace Tech ROI
Defining the most important business outcomes and making sure that you have the right metrics in place to evaluate your success is the best place to start measuring your workplace tech ROI. But while formulas can provide a high-level overview, your ROI is shaped by many unique factors, and a one-size-fits-all approach might just not cut it.
To get started with an estimation, download our ROI Guide for Hybrid Workplace Technology. We help companies around the world create safe and future-proof workplaces – from simple space reservation or visitor check-in to full hybrid work enablement, we’ve got you covered. Plus, we make sure you understand your ROI! Just plug and play.