Management August 15, 2020 Last updated August 15th, 2020 202 Reads share

Modern Trends in Office Management

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The business world has undoubtedly evolved with changes in customer needs and technological advancements. Office management nonetheless remains an integral element of modern business management. Office management encompasses planning, directing, communicating, and controlling the activities of employees to actualize your company’s objectives. The changes in technology, work cultures, and company structures have nonetheless made office management dynamic and complex.

In most organizations, employees are no longer confined to cubicles, and their workdays are not the typical 9-5. Modern communication methods have also changed information dissemination and decision making. Companies that do not keep up with current trends risk failing in a few years with the cutthroat competition for the best office environments.

To keep employees engaged and give guests the best first impression, the following are some modern office management trends you should consider adopting.

Hot Desking

In the past, people were confined to one desk in an office. Nowadays, mobility is the buzzword in office spaces. People need not sit at the same desk daily with the technology advancements and introduction of hot desking. This practice involves using one desk by multiple people to reduce redundant office space while maximizing space efficiency.

You do not buy a desk for every employee you have. People can use the empty desks they get on a specific day according to the methodology you will use to point out unoccupied spaces. Hot desking will boost socialization among workers and prevent the boredom of sitting at the same desk daily. Moreover, it will negate the $27,000 annual loss that most offices incur because of empty desks

Navigation and Wayfinding

Sometimes, finding interest points like meeting rooms can be frustrating and waste time when people get lost several times. This is where indoor navigation and wayfinding systems will prove essential in modern office management. The systems can be used on platforms like touch screens or navigation apps to guide guests through your office.

Most modern offices are now using navigation and wayfinding to help new employees find their way around organizations. This means less time and workforce used on employee orientation. You can maximize the benefits of your navigating and wayfinding system by integrating it with motion sensors that detect if a room is empty. This translates to less time wasted waiting for space in your conference room and minimal risk of two meeting groups clashing in the same room.

Virtual Office Receptionists

One of the largest budgets in your office goes to the reception area. You want to employ the best possible receptionist to guarantee the best first impression on visitors. Even so, there are times when your receptionist might deal with so many tasks and leave guests waiting for a long unattended. At times, receptionists are called upon to handle tasks outside their scope, and they can easily get distracted.

Virtual receptionists, also called digital sign-in systems, are fast becoming the new normal. Digital sign-in systems allow guests to register themselves then alert the receptionist when the process is complete. Some systems even prints out visitor badges and schedule guests to different workstations. This minimizes the workload on your receptionist and maximizes client satisfaction.

Sensors and IoT

The Internet of Things {IoT} has revolutionized workspaces and homes. In the business world, it is now being used to power sensors and beacons. These sensors can switch on lights, air conditioning systems and appliances depending on the time of the day or the presence of people in a room. Most companies assume this is only convenient, but it also cuts back on the energy consumption of appliances.

In companies where security is a paramount concern, the beacons and sensors can detect intrusion into different spaces. In this instance, they trigger an alarm when tripped. Other industries use the technology to automate desk and room booking services based on the presence of people. There is generally no limitation on the processes you can automate under IoT.

Cloud-Based Technology

Some businesses have adopted cloud-based technology, but this trend is still steadily growing. Cloud-based technology allows streamlining all your office management processes, including data organization, information backup, and collaboration among departments. It also cuts back on the floor space you use to store paper-based files while enhancing the easy retrieval and security of your data.

You should consider moving your business processes to the cloud to benefit from all it has to offer. Do not forget about cloud-based visitor management. This tracks all visitors who enter your company, much like virtual office receptionist systems. This tracking enhances the security of your company.

Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) Software

CAFM is an emerging IT area that allows companies to move their essential tasks to a digital space using business continuity software. In your daily operations, the software can help you track your employees at different times, and the open spaces in collaborative workspaces. CAFM software is also the perfect tool for high-level office planning, such as those needed when reorganizing or restructuring your business.

If your company has physical premises, then a CAFM software is something you should consider. There is no industry excluded from the advantages that the software has to offer. One of its biggest benefits is analyzing your use of office space and guiding you on how to maximize it. This is particularly crucial with the high cost of floor space nowadays.

Healthy Work Environments

People are nowadays quite health conscious. Businesses are in the frontline in the push towards a healthy work environment. Nowadays, most offices feature gyms to enhance people’s productivity and large windows for maximum natural lighting. Ergonomic office chairs and desks are also the norms to prevent spinal issues caused by the prolonged seating of employees.

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, an n95 mask has also become a key aspect of workplace health. Instead of expecting your employees to get the right masks to protect themselves from the virus, why not source the best from one supplier. This way, you will be viewed as an employer concerned about the health of your employees and save cash in attractive discounts with a bulk purchase.

Activity-Based Working

In the past, office environments only featured dedicated desks and one meeting room. Nowadays, activity-based working is the norm. This trend allows employees to sit in activity areas best-suited for their tasks. In most cases, the workers will choose between socializing, collaborating, focusing, and learning areas. These have different layouts and furniture to complement the activity.

For instance, you can have comfortable couches for socializing sections and comfortable private desks for the focusing areas. While activity-based working might seem expensive, its returns are high because of the employee satisfaction and efficiency it guarantees.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy

This policy allows workers to use their personal tablets, smartphones, and laptops for company work rather than the company-issued ones. The BYOD policy cuts back your company’s costs of buying and replacing devices. It also negates the learning curve for employees when they get a new device and can benefit your company from personalized technological updates.

One of the largest concerns with the policy is the leakage of sensitive company secrets to the public. Thankfully, several software solutions exist to enhance the security of company information on personal devices. Some solutions automatically delete company information from personal devices when an employee leaves the organization or block the downloading of company information.

Office Aesthetics

In the past, offices were designed as primarily functional spaces. This meant having optimal traffic flow and the right pieces of furniture to support the work process. Nowadays, office aesthetics is an integral part of offices. Modern offices thus feature some outstanding design elements, including carefully coordinated colors, interesting furniture shapes, exceptional artwork, and plush floors.

Another key element of modern office aesthetics is the inclusion of green plants. According to a Nursery & Garden Industry study, indoor plants were proven to work wonders for workers’ moods. The plants reduced fatigue by 38%, depression by 58%, anxiety by 37%, and confusion by 30%. This leaves workers in a better state of mind to maximize their productivity.

Offices as Learning Spaces

In times past, offices were exclusively workspaces. Nowadays, however, they have evolved to also become learning spaces. The desire among workers to expand their skillsets and be at par with various changes in their job designations has informed this evolution. Employers are thus now investing in education and training to meet these needs and maximize the benefits that their companies gain from workers.

Transforming your office space into a learning space does not take so much. You only need a dedicated room for routine training sessions and have a small budget to sponsor employees for seminars where they can learn. You can also consider becoming a member of an online site that will offer your workers training in different relevant areas.

Running a thriving business in the current world takes more than the right financial backing and employees. Things constantly change to support technological advancements and according to different research study findings on what will maximize profits. The above are only a part of the elements that comprise modern workspaces. Implementing them in your workspace nevertheless needs expertise because they do not suit all business structures.

The professional you choose will first consider your company’s objective and work culture to pick the trends that best suit you. He/she will then work to slowly introduce the same into your workplace with as minimal disruptions as possible in your operations. Transforming your workplace to exude modernity and match your objectives is an ongoing process. Be patient, and do not anticipate an overnight impact on your bottom line even with the right investment.  

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Jitender Jagga

Jitender Jagga

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