Hybrid workplaces, the new reality for local businesses?

Modern empty office interior as design sample

The way of conducting business is continually changing with the concept of hybrid workplaces coming into full focus lately. Locally, several businesses are making plans to shift their workplace strategy to support this concept of hybrid working models – but they’re facing challenges mainly around creating Covid-safe workspaces, ensuring they optimise their office space, and controlling workspace costs.

Its also interesting and probably not surprising to find out that real estate costs are generally a company’s second largest expense, after salaries and benefits, but it’s estimated that less than 40% of office space is being effectively utilised since the outbreak of the pandemic. One of the potential ways of solving this could lie in digital workplace solutions, which enable effective scheduling and resource planning while keeping employees safe and happy.

Tinita Burger, Product Manager at managed business service provider Itec SA, says digital workplace solutions will enable employees to reserve desks before going to the office, so they know they have a place to work; book meeting rooms, to make the most of collaborative time in the office; and even order managed services, to ensure they have the tools they need to do their work.

“As we move into a world of hybrid work, employers are required to make strategic decisions regarding how to use the workplace in the future. They have to create a safe, engaging work experience for employees, while ensuring they use their workspaces and resources most effectively,” said Burger.

In making this a reality, Itec this week launched its own digital workplace solution, iWorkspace, in response to customer demand. The solution combines cloud and mobile technology to allow quick and effective scheduling of conference rooms, virtual conferencing facilities, shared workspaces and managed services for mobile, virtual and traditional workforces.

At the same time, occupancy sensors and analytics give employers actionable insights to ensure workplace efficiency and the best use of resources. Through iWorkspace, employers can now track real-time occupancy and usage of their assets, with a range of insights into workplace efficiency, employee attendance, and mobility. This both identifies underutilisation, and flags any potentially unsafe usage practices, which allow employers to act immediately to keep their people safe while driving down real estate costs.

“Businesses that use digital workplace solutions will be in a stronger position to grow and adapt in the post-Covid-19 world of work. The leaders with workplace data will be able to make the best possible decisions about how to reorganise their spaces to return workers to the office safely, and support hybrid workplace plans,” concluded Burger.