Uncovering a hidden resource for transforming workplace experience

In less than six months 2022 will be upon us. Time is quickly ticking by for real estate leaders to deliver on strategies to improve employee experience and generate savings from costly corporate real estate.

The workplace has proven to play a major part in attracting and retaining team members, but data has shown that on average just 53% of employees feel engaged.

That’s shocking when you consider that highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies than their less engaged counterparts and, in the US alone, disengaged employees are costing companies up to $550 billion each year.

As workplaces around the world continue to encourage employees into a hybrid working model, the expectations of what the workplace can deliver are much higher than before.

We know that technology use across commercial portfolios is set to increase as businesses strive to develop smarter workspaces. With that runs the higher risk of systems requiring more maintenance and management - or going offline completely.

Behind the scenes, facilities helpdesk teams have been crucial in keeping essential businesses open and ensuring the continued scheduled maintenance of unoccupied workplaces for the last 18 months, ready to welcome employees back.

The helpdesk, usually offered as part of a wider solution has been a vital point of contact for employees and building users to log issues.

But how could businesses utilise their FM helpdesk function to transform workplace experience?

Traditionally, businesses have used these services to introduce a centralised offer to oversee multiple dispersed sites, coordinate responses to reactive maintenance and manage planned maintenance schedules.

Currently the helpdesk supports the delivery of services, operating as part of a wider solution or as a stand-alone service, it connects front-line workers with building users to address FM issues and carry out scheduled maintenance.

The secret for the future lies in data. The helpdesk in the future should be treated by businesses as a data hub, from which the wider contract would receive operational updates and performance data with analysts providing continued commentary and insights.

You may not be aware, that each week, a single helpdesk team can process hundreds of calls and online requests, for thousands of sites around the world.

For each call raised for each site within the account, a multitude of information is collected. This is all logged in the computer aided facilities management software, providing a detailed history for each site in that contract.

This information held within the helpdesk systems is highly valuable to operational delivery teams and corporate real estate leaders, providing a window to workplace performance.

This data, alongside other operations systems data can be analysed and used to add value and improve the overall service from the provider alongside the running and user experience of the space.

With a clearer understanding of problematic assets, teams can work to improve the employee experience by fixing faulty equipment and allowing employees to focus on their role, not facilities issues. 

Additionally, with a smarter approach in place and a data-led process, businesses could reduce cost savings by potentially as much as 15%.

The increased need for better user experience, continued safety for employees and a focus on connectivity and collaboration will mean that a high-quality service delivery will need to be the number one priority.

Keeping a record of the faults and having the ability to spot patterns in user behaviour and asset performance will give workplace teams the ability to intervene before systems become costly, remedy the problem, or make recommendations to replace systems.

Ultimately, with a better understanding of workspace efficiency and performance, companies will benefit from more efficient spaces and enhance the workplace experience. In the future, workplace  teams should progress from simple building management to workplace experience management to support productivity and employee engagement.