Unlocking Flexible Workplaces

For our Australian customers, 2013 may well be recorded as the year that flexible working finally saw wide-scale adoption across the country. With the majority of our customers pioneering this new working style, we made the strategic decision in 2012 to work closely with our industry partners to make sure they had the best tools to fully unlock the value of these highly collaborative, vibrant and productive workplaces.

For our 2013 product roadmap, this meant a three-pronged approach:

  1. Facilitating the elegant management of neighbourhoods;
  2. Making flexible workplaces awesome for everyone; and
  3. Delivering cutting edge & cost effective tools for measuring space utilisation

This approach has seen great success and adoption across the industry, with over 500,000sqm (5m sqft) of flexible working currently being managed, optimised and delivered via our solution.

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Amazing New Australian Flexible Workplace – Source: www.woodsbagot.com

Facilitating the Elegant Management of Neighbourhoods

With all the benefits flexible working provides for staff, it does unfortunately create more overhead and pain for corporate real estate who still have to manage and plan for these areas, and their ongoing growth & contraction to meet business’ needs.

Our Visual Block and Stack (VBS) has always been the hallmark of efficient, best-practice accommodation management. The VBS has always allowed of our customers to keep track of space allocations and plan for future growth.

As part of the move to support flexible working, we completely rewrote our VBS tool from the ground up over the last 18 months to support ‘flexi teams’ and ‘hoods’ (neighbourhoods shared by many flexi teams) as a core concepts within the VBS. While we were there, we also made some great performance and usability enhancements – keeping with our mantra of creating tools that are extremely intuitive and simple to use.

Property administrators are now easily able to track and report on their space in both fixed, flexible and hybrid environments; real estate managers can set targets for key occupancy metrics such as head count to workpoint ratios, and readily monitor which teams are achieving their utilisation goals.

 Visual Block & Stack (VBS) showing Neighbourhoods & Occupancy Ratios

Visual Block & Stack (VBS) showing Neighbourhoods & Occupancy Ratios

Once you move to a flexible working environment it becomes clear that you also need to help staff get the most out of the space. Finding a colleague, a free desk or a shared space is much more difficult, and our second major focus of 2013 was to improve collaboration and productivity in flexible environments.

Making Flexible Workplaces Awesome for Everyone

When making tools for these everyday users – users that are not wrapped up in managing property on a daily basis – we believe that the following goals are crucial for making sure the new space is used effectively:

  • Location information should be accurate and available in real time – in environments where people can be working from anywhere this is paramount; and
  • Technology should not interfere with the working environment. Instead it should seamlessly integrate and improve each user’s way of working.

With those two goals as our foundation, we created Serraview Live and Serraview Locator services. We think the results here are ground breaking and we have already seen a lot of excitement from our customers. Serraview Live captures accurate utilisation information in real time from the workplace, and our Locator provides a clean, simple user interface for the staff to find people, desks and rooms. Again, this is done, all in real time.

locator_600b_230x216Because Serraview Live and Locator integrate seamlessly in flexible working, both can be used without changing the way staff work – no checking in, no advance booking required. This means that once deployed, the tools are immediately ready for use in any existing environment.

We have already seen great success with these products with thousands and thousands of searches a day per customer. Watch this space to see what 2014 brings for Serraview Live and its related technologies.

Delivering Cutting Edge & Cost Effective Tools for Measuring Space Utilisation

Over 2013, we developed a range of technologies to quickly and easily collect and report on actual space utilisation. Our technologies range from our speed-gate plug in that collects utilisation data from ‘cardex’ or turnstile systems to our Serraview Live technology that will collect utilisation data to a workpoint level in real-time. Combining these technologies with our VBS, Workplace Portal and Business Intelligence frameworks have allowed us to demonstrate some incredible space saving opportunities and have facilitated many millions of $ in property savings for our clients over the last year alone.

Looking Forward

Good news is in 2014 we are not slowing down! In fact, we are even more excited about the features and products we have planned.  Our clear focus is to continue working with clients to further improve our product to help build, manage and optimise their workplace of the future; taking advantage of all the best technology platforms available. Make sure you visit again to keep up to date as we deliver our 2014 product roadmap.