Less Is More: The Benefits of Single Workplace Platforms vs. Apps

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By the end of 2024, the digital workplace platform industry will reach $35 billion -- a lot of money that goes into making remote workplaces easier and more efficient. And the numbers correlate: 78% of companies say they are remote-ready from a technological point of view and 70% think their digital workspaces are "very important."

Judging by this, you'd think it's all ponies and rainbows in the world of remote tech. And for the largest part it is -- except that 83% of professionals say their organizations have at least two redundant apps they (do not) use in the digital workspace.

Between all the app switching, though, more than 32 hours of work are lost yearly, per employee. Ironically, the tools meant to help us be more productive are... doing the opposite.

Cue in the rise of workplace platforms -- the all-in-one solutions that aim to streamline work and reduce app fatigue.

What are they and why would you care?

Keep reading and find out more.

TL;DR: 

  • Workplace platforms can save you time, money, and energy – but choosing between multiple, niche applications and larger platforms can be difficult 
  • The main features of a workplace platform include desk and meeting room booking, hybrid work scheduling, visitor management, office wayfinding and navigation, and workplace analytics
  • While smaller tools have their advantage, it is ultimately a question of how much you need to simplify your life (and the answer is probably “a lot”.) Most people feel overwhelmed by the number of tools they have to use on a daily basis – so making it all easier can help everyone be more efficient. 

What Is a Workplace Platform?

A workplace platform is a comprehensive digital tool that integrates various functionalities to support and enhance the work environment. Its main point is to make remote and on-site work more efficient, streamline communication, improve organization, and optimize operations.

Because they consolidate multiple applications and services into a single platform, these platforms address the issue of app fatigue and promote a more productive and efficient workflow.

employee talking discussing workplace data on the phone

Key Features of a Workplace Platform

Workplace platforms come in many shapes, sizes, and feature configurations. However, most of them have the following features:

Desk and Meeting Room Booking

This feature allows employees to reserve desks or meeting rooms effortlessly, adapting to the flexible and hybrid working models that have become prevalent. It maximizes space utilization and supports an efficient way of organizing your workspace. From finding spots easier to avoiding friction, desk and meeting room booking can be a true time and energy-saver. 

Furthermore, desk and meeting room booking allows your employees to remove friction (caused by potential misunderstandings), syncs with their calendars, and provides a seamless experience.

Hybrid Work Scheduling

Hybrid work scheduling tools enable employees to manage their work hours and locations, promoting work-life balance. This flexibility is crucial for accommodating diverse work preferences and responsibilities outside the workplace.

Visitor Management

A visitor management system streamlines the process of welcoming and tracking guests, enhancing security and providing a professional first impression. It often includes features for pre-registration, ID verification, and contactless check-in.

Office Wayfinding and Navigation

Wayfinding solutions help employees and visitors navigate complex office spaces with ease, using digital office maps and directions. This feature is especially useful in large campuses or buildings with multiple departments and amenities.

Workplace Analytics

Workplace analytics provide insights into how office spaces and resources are used, enabling data-driven decisions to optimize the work environment. These analytics can reveal trends in peak usage times, preferred workspaces, and more, guiding improvements and efficiencies.

Example of a Complete Workplace Platform

The Yarooms Workplace Experience Platform is a system of features designed to help your team achieve peak utilization for your hybrid workplace so you can:

  • Save time
  • Save money
  • Save energy

“Waste” is not a word you want your business to be associated with – not in public, not for branding reasons, and definitely not for financial ones. On the contrary: you want to remove waste from your business, as much as possible – and that is exactly what the Yarooms Workplace Experience Platform does. 

Not only does it help you and your team book workspaces, schedule hybrid work, navigate around the office, or manage visitor traffic, but it also allows you to track essential workplace data, such as space utilization, employee satisfaction, and even office carbon emissions, so you can start making solid steps towards running a more data-driven workplace.

...And, ultimately, provide your employees with a great experience at work.

See the platform in action - Watch the 3-Minute Demo Tour

Defining Workplace Apps

A workplace app can be defined as a software application designed to specifically support and enhance work-related tasks and processes. These apps can be used for various purposes, such as communication, project management, task tracking, or collaboration. Some of them include multiple features (ClickUp is a full project management and documentation platform, for example), others are a bit more niche (e.g., Zoom focuses mostly on video communication.)

Examples of Popular Workplace Apps

There are many types of workplace apps, and many are quite popular. Some examples include:

  • Trello: A project management app that uses boards, lists, and cards to organize tasks and projects.
  • Slack: A communication platform that enables teams to collaborate through channels for various topics.
  • Asana: A task and project management tool that helps teams track their work and results.
  • Zoom: A video conferencing app that has become essential for remote meetings, webinars, and team collaboration.
  • Microsoft Teams: A unified communication and collaboration platform that integrates with Microsoft 365 services for seamless workflow.
  • Evernote: A note-taking app that helps users capture and prioritize ideas, projects, and to-do lists, making them accessible from anywhere.
  • ClickUp:  A productivity app that offers features for project management, time tracking, team communication, and more.
  • Any other stand-alone app that focuses on just one feature, such as of desk booking, hybrid schedules, office navigation, etc.

Comparing Workplace Platforms vs. Multiple Apps

Deciding between adopting a holistic workplace platform or managing multiple apps can significantly impact your team's productivity and workplace efficiency. Here are some criteria you might want to consider:

Implementation, Maintenance, and Update Processes

Implementing a workplace platform typically involves a single installation and setup process, simplifying management and updates across the board. On the other hand, handling multiple apps requires individual attention for each app's maintenance and updates, often resulting in more complex and time-consuming processes.

Integration and Interoperability

Integration and interoperability are crucial considerations when choosing between workplace platforms and multiple apps. A unified platform often ensures seamless integration among various functionalities, improving workflow efficiency, whereas using multiple apps might require additional solutions to enable smooth interoperability between them.

User Experience

The user experience (UX) within a workspace, whether digital or physical, significantly influences productivity and satisfaction levels among employees. A streamlined, intuitive UX, often found in comprehensive workplace platforms, reduces friction and learning curves, thereby enhancing overall work efficiency and employee engagement.

Onboarding & Customer Support

Onboarding and customer support are integral to the adoption of workplace technology, ensuring users can effectively utilize its features from the get-go. Comprehensive workplace platforms usually offer dedicated support and streamlined onboarding processes to facilitate a smoother transition and quicker mastery of the system.

Customization Opportunities

Customization opportunities allow organizations to tailor workplace solutions according to their specific needs and preferences, enhancing the relevance and effectiveness of the technology used. This feature is particularly valuable in workplace platforms, offering a degree of flexibility that can significantly boost productivity and user satisfaction.

Data Consolidation & Analysis

Data consolidation and analysis within a workplace environment enable organizations to gather, merge, and analyze work-related data from various sources in a unified manner. This process helps in identifying patterns, making informed decisions, and enhancing operational efficiencies by providing valuable insights into workplace dynamics and performance metrics.

Cost Implications

Evaluating the cost implications of adopting a comprehensive workplace platform versus using multiple apps is critical for budget-conscious businesses. A singular platform may offer cost savings in terms of streamlined operations and reduced IT overhead, while multiple apps can lead to increased expenditures on subscriptions, integration, and management efforts.

employees in a meeting

Why You Should Consider Adopting a Complete Workplace Platform

Complete workplace platforms allow you to harness the power of a unified system, facilitating streamlined operations and enhanced productivity in several ways. These include:

Streamlined Communication and Collaboration

Streamlined communication and collaboration within a complete workplace platform ensure information flows efficiently across teams and departments, reducing misunderstandings and silos. This unified approach promotes an environment where collaborative efforts are seamlessly integrated, fostering a culture of openness and collective problem-solving.

Increased Productivity

Increased productivity in a complete workplace platform stems from the centralization of tools and resources, reducing the time spent switching between apps and systems. This not only simplifies the workflow but also minimizes the cognitive load on employees, allowing them to focus more effectively on their tasks.

Simplified IT Management

Simplified IT management in a complete workplace platform dramatically reduces the complexity and workload for tech support teams by centralizing the application control and updates. This unified approach streamlines troubleshooting, enhances security measures, and ensures a more consistent user experience across the organization.

Enhanced Data Security

Enhanced data security in a complete workplace platform is achieved by centralizing data control, which simplifies the enforcement of security policies and the monitoring of data access and integrity. This consolidated approach significantly reduces the risk of data breaches and ensures more robust protection against cyber threats.

Cost Efficiency

Cost efficiency in adopting a complete workplace platform is realized through the consolidation of tools and resources, which streamlines operations and reduces the need for multiple subscriptions and the associated administrative overhead. This unified system approach not only simplifies budget management but also maximizes the return on investment by enhancing operational efficiencies and productivity.

Better Data Insights and Management

Better data insights and management achieved through a complete workplace platform enable organizations to centralize and analyze work-related data comprehensively. This facilitates more informed decision-making and operational improvements by providing a holistic view of performance and productivity metrics.

Workplace Platforms: Challenges and Considerations

While adopting a complete workplace platform offers numerous benefits, it is essential to address the challenges and considerations involved in ensuring a smooth transition and effective utilization.

Potential for Vendor Lock-in

Vendor lock-in is a situation where a customer becomes overly dependent on a single supplier for products or services, making it difficult and costly to switch to another provider. This can restrict the customer's flexibility and bargaining power, potentially leading to increased costs and limited access to alternative solutions.

Risk of Service Disruptions or Downtime

Service disruptions or downtime in a workplace platform can severely impact operations, causing delays and reducing productivity. It's crucial for organizations to assess the reliability of a platform and have contingency plans in place to mitigate these risks.

Learning Curve for New Users

The learning curve for new users refers to the time and effort required for individuals to become proficient in utilizing a new workplace platform. It emphasizes the importance of effective onboarding processes and continuous support to ensure users can quickly adapt and maximize the platform's benefits.

colleagues using a new workplace platform on mobile phone

Wrapping Up

What would you do if you had to choose between opening a door with a set of keys vs. opening it with just your fingerprint?

Workplace software decisions are similar when you have to juggle multiple solutions or consolidate them into a single, integrated platform. You want to simplify things and make them more efficient -- not to mention, save money while doing it.

Of course, there are drawbacks associated with any decision, but carefully considering the benefits and challenges can help organizations make an informed choice that aligns with their goals and needs.

 

Topics: Workplace technology

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Join the thousands of forward-thinking companies that use YAROOMS to manage their workplaces.
 
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