Why Companies Struggle to Realize ROI With Workplace Management Platforms

We are living in pivotal times of fast tech adoption. But, sometimes, technology seems to fail us. Legacy systems are still here to haunt IT departments and slow businesses down, while fast IT technologies promising a lean digital transformation can only do part of the modernization job. Moreover, when organizations fail to set some ROI expectations from investing in fresh new techs, the results can be disappointing. 

Which is why, many organizations settling into new ways of working, start to assess the value of technologies that they invested in recently. In this article we are addressing the challenges faced by companies that want to optimize the benefits of investing in workplace management platforms and offer advice on how to overcome these challenges. Because, lately, streamlining operations, enhancing productivity, and optimizing the employee experience rather sound like buzzwords than a quantifiable reality. Let’s dive in!


  • Workplace management technology is essential for organizations to adapt to the changing nature of work and includes various tools and platforms that streamline processes and enhance collaboration. 
  • To drive ROI with these platforms, organizations must address challenges such as digital overload, optimizing workflows, and setting clear goals. Collaboration between IT, HR, and facility managers is key.
  • Best practices include considering a holistic approach, getting workplace analytics right, and focusing on user adoption, data security, and continuous evaluation. 
  • Success in workplace technology depends on a comprehensive approach and a commitment to digital transformation.


Workplace Management Technology and Future of Work Initiatives

Workplace management technology plays an increasing role in facilitating efficiency, collaboration, and agility, supporting organizations to move forward in their workplace digital transformation journey. It encompasses a range of tools, applications, and platforms designed to streamline various aspects of the workplace, including facility management, employee communication and enablement, task management, and workflow automation. 

As we have all experienced it recently, the nature of work evolves, driven by technological advancements, changing workforce demographics, and shifting employee expectations. In this ever-changing landscape, organizations must adapt to stay competitive and better respond to future of work initiatives such as: hybrid work, digital skills development, upskilling or reskilling, data-driven decision-making, automation and AI, etc.

For example, the future of work is characterized by an emphasis on remote and flexible work arrangements. Organizations need to create a seamless virtual workplace where employees can collaborate, communicate, and access resources from anywhere, at any time. Equally important is to keep your employees happy and engaged, so implementing the right tools will enhance communication, collaboration, and employee well-being.

Furthermore, as organizations become more digitally mature, they start to understand the power of collecting and analyzing vast amounts of data using intelligent technologies. By harnessing this data, organizations can gain valuable insights into employee behavior, productivity trends, and workplace preferences. This data-driven approach helps inform strategic decision-making, optimize resource allocation, and tailor employee experiences to drive better business outcomes.

Nevertheless, while investing in technology is a sine qua non step, it is essential to understand that workplace digital transformation goes beyond the mere adoption of tech solutions.

Workplace Digital Transformation Is More Than Just Investing in Tech

Why? Because it encompasses a broader and more holistic approach to transforming the way organizations operate and thrive in the digital age. While technology plays a crucial role, true digital transformation involves a fundamental shift in mindset, processes, and organizational culture.

A holistic approach and strategic alignment between technology initiatives and the overall strategic business objectives of the organizations are of key importance. Mauro Schiavon, Americas Oracle alliance leader at Deloitte Consulting, said if companies fail to measure the value of new technology on business success, it's likely because they haven't properly identified the benefits of investing in this kind of technology as part of their broader digital transformation process. A tech-business alignment involves a careful evaluation of how technology can enable and enhance business processes, drive innovation, and create a competitive advantage. 

On the other hand, a shift in the organizational mindset would involve fostering a digital-first mindset, promoting innovation, and encouraging collaboration and agility. It’s a cultural change that enables employees to embrace new ways of working, adapt to evolving technologies, and become active participants in the transformation journey. 

To fully harness the power of technology, organizations must reevaluate existing processes. Simply automating workflows is not enough; organizations must reimagine and redesign processes to maximize efficiency, eliminate bottlenecks, and boost productivity, and ROI.

Consequently, workplace digital transformation is a multifaceted endeavor that extends beyond technology adoption. It requires strategic alignment, process optimization, cultural change, customer-centricity, data-driven decision-making and other aspects that organizations should embrace to drive sustainable transformation and growth.

Understanding the Value of Workplace Technology: The Bottlenecks

To effectively leverage workplace management platforms, companies should identify and address the bottlenecks that hinder ROI realization. Several key challenges commonly faced by companies include:

Digital Overload

In today's digital era, employees are inundated with a vast array of tools, applications, and information, leading to digital overload and reduced productivity.

Organizations should provide comprehensive training programs to ensure employees have the necessary skills to navigate and effectively use workplace management platforms, as well as prioritize user experience when selecting and implementing workplace management platforms. Intuitive interfaces, seamless workflows, and personalized settings can minimize complexity and enhance user adoption and digital well-being. 

Inefficient Workflows

Workplace management platforms are meant to streamline processes and enhance efficiency. However, if existing workflows are not thoroughly analyzed and optimized before implementation, the technology may end up exacerbating inefficiencies rather than resolving them.

Map out existing workflows to identify bottlenecks, redundancies, and areas of inefficiency. This analysis can help pinpoint opportunities for improvement and informs the selection of the most suitable workplace management platforms. Likewise, simplifying the technology landscape reduces complexity and enables employees to focus on the essential platforms that support their work.

Failure to Identify Anticipated Benefits

Setting clear goals and expectations is essential for realizing ROI with workplace management platforms, as well as defining the anticipated benefits and aligning them with organizational objectives. For this to happen, stakeholders need to be engaged in the early stages of workplace management platform implementation.

Moreover, establishing measurable metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the progress and impact of workplace management platforms brings awareness around the ROI measurement. 

This way, organizations can enhance user adoption, improve efficiency, and maximize the potential benefits of these transformative technologies, improving ROI realization with workplace management platforms.

How to Understand, Measure, and Improve the ROI of Workplace Tech

Realizing ROI With Workplace Management Platforms: Implications for Workplace Managers

The successful implementation of workplace management platforms requires the collaboration and engagement of multiple stakeholders, including IT managers, HR managers, and facility managers. Each role plays a unique part in unlocking the full potential of these platforms:

Empowering IT Managers

IT managers play a major role in selecting and implementing workplace management technology. They are responsible for ensuring that the chosen platforms align with the organization's technological infrastructure and strategic objectives. What should they look for when considering workplace management technologies?

Firstly, they should assess their organization's needs and requirements by engaging with stakeholders across different departments to understand their pain points, challenges, and desired outcomes. Then, they need to evaluate potential vendors and their solutions based on factors such as functionality, scalability, security, integration capabilities, etc. without forgetting the vendor's track record, reputation, and their ability to align with the organization's goals.

They are also responsible to ensure seamless integration between the selected workplace management platforms and existing technology systems and should assess compatibility with current infrastructure, including network architecture, data storage, security protocols, and any other relevant systems.

Finally, IT managers must prioritize data security and privacy when selecting workplace management platforms. They must look at the vendors' security measures, data encryption methods, and compliance with relevant regulations such as GDPR to ensure the organization's sensitive information is protected.

Enabling HR Managers

HR managers focus on the human aspect of workplace technology. They play a major part in driving the successful adoption and utilization of workplace management platforms and are responsible for managing change, fostering employee engagement, and aligning the platforms with HR strategies.

One of the key roles of HR managers is to develop a comprehensive change management strategy to prepare employees for the adoption of new workplace management platforms. They need to align workplace management platforms with their HR strategies and objectives, which can include using the platforms for performance management, employee onboarding, employee engagement surveys, talent management, or learning and development initiatives.

To support realization of ROI, HR managers must actively promote the benefits and value of workplace management platforms to employees. They are responsible for organizing training sessions and workshops to educate employees on how to effectively use the platforms, emphasizing the positive impact on their work and overall employee experience.

Hence, by nurturing employee engagement and promoting a positive user experience, HR managers contribute significantly to maximizing ROI.

Collaboration with Facility Managers

Facility managers utilize workplace management platforms to optimize the physical environment and resources within the organization. By integrating these platforms into their operations, facility managers can streamline space utilization, improve facility maintenance, and enhance workplace safety. For example, they can leverage platforms to track occupancy, manage meeting room bookings, monitor energy usage, and schedule maintenance tasks, leading to more efficient resource allocation and cost savings.

They play an important role in creating a productive and engaging work environment, in collaboration with HR. For instance, integrating employee feedback systems with facility management platforms allows facility managers to gather insights on employees' needs and preferences regarding the physical workspace. This collaboration enables facility managers to make data-driven decisions in areas such as office layout, amenities, and wellness initiatives, ultimately enhancing employee satisfaction and well-being.

Ongoing collaboration allows for continuous improvement of workplace management platforms and their integration with facility management practices. By sharing feedback, identifying pain points, and exploring opportunities, facility managers can contribute to the evolution of workplace technology solutions and the enhancement of the overall workplace experience. The collective effort of these stakeholders ensures a holistic approach to workplace management and maximizes the benefits derived from the implemented platforms.

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Best Practices

To overcome the challenges and drive ROI with workplace management platforms, organizations should consider adopting the following best practices:

Consider a Holistic Approach

Instead of implementing isolated solutions, organizations should evaluate their overall needs and select platforms that can integrate smoothly with existing systems. Workplace technology should be viewed as an interconnected ecosystem ensuring a seamless flow of data and information across different departments and functions within the organization.

By adopting a holistic approach, organizations can promote cross-functional collaboration and eliminate data silos. For example, a workplace management platform that integrates with project management software, communication tools, and HR systems allows teams to collaborate more effectively, share information easily, and streamline processes.

Furthermore, a holistic approach enables organizations to leverage the full potential of their workplace management platforms. By selecting platforms that align with their strategic goals and business objectives, organizations can easily support their unique workflows and processes. This approach maximizes the return on investment (ROI) by optimizing productivity, reducing inefficiencies, and enhancing overall operational effectiveness.

Getting Workplace Analytics Right

Workplace analytics provide valuable insights into employee behavior, productivity trends, and workflow bottlenecks. They help organizations optimize resource allocation by identifying areas of overutilization or underutilization. By analyzing data on workspace usage, equipment utilization, and employee productivity, organizations can make data-driven decisions to allocate resources more effectively, resulting in cost savings and improved operational efficiency.

To get workplace analytics right, organizations should ensure they have access to accurate and reliable data. This may involve integrating data from various sources, implementing data collection mechanisms, and leveraging advanced analytics tools or platforms. It's also important to have a clear understanding of the key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that align with the organization's goals, as well as the ability to track and measure them consistently.

By analyzing data on the usage and effectiveness of different workplace management platforms, organizations can make informed decisions on which platforms to invest in or optimize. This ensures that technology investments are aligned with business goals and provide a positive ROI, among others.

coworkers-working-with -workplace-analytics-in-the-office

Wrapping Up: Fulfilling the Potential of Workplace Technology

While workplace management platforms hold immense potential for transforming the way we work, realizing ROI requires a comprehensive approach. Organizations must go beyond the initial investment and focus on addressing the challenges that hinder adoption and optimization. By engaging IT, HR, and facility managers and adopting some tested measures, companies can unlock the full potential of these platforms, driving efficiency, productivity, and a positive employee experience. Embracing the future of work means embracing workplace technology as an enabler of success in the digital age.

Topics: Workplace technology

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