Right now, as you’re reading this, your workplace is likely to be going through some type of
change. Change to who is in the team, where they spend their time working, and how they
work together. Especially when ‘hybrid work’ is more common, and not everyone will be in
the office at the same time. For many companies, ‘getting people back to the office’ is still
the goal, but it’s not yet the reality. So, we decided it was time to offer some REALLY
practical advice. In this article, we cover 5 ways that a smart locker system enables these
new dynamic ways of working, and supports these new workplace realities.
1. Dynamic change management goals – get the ‘small things’ right
In a period of big, extended and constant ‘change’, it can be easy to focus on the helicopter stuff, and forget that it’s the small things that really matter, too. What do we mean? Well, imagine an awesome, shiny, dynamic office opening its doors. The fixed desks and static feeling is gone. Replaced by flexible seating, multi-purpose work spaces and inspiring design.
But the business forgot a ‘few small, yet practical things’… Where is everyone going to put their stuff? How are we going to handle flexible storage for hybrid employees? The facilities manager is not always ‘on-site’ to troubleshoot any issues. A BIG logistics nightmare!
How a smart locker system helps people to work dynamically and be more productive:
• With the smart locker system, people can work how they want, with secure storage when and where they need it. The locker replaces their old ‘desk pedestal’.
• With one smart system, and one simple click, lockers can be assigned or re-assigned to any use type: a mixture of fixed or day use, team, visitor, post, or IT handover.
• Facilities managers can save up to 90% time, with fully automated and remote locker management all possible, and no more hassle with manual keys and pins
• With the smart locker system user App, employees can be nudged to use, release, and share lockers, in a dynamic way.
• When the attention is given to provide facilities that really support the bigger picture company strategy and culture, everyone is happy.
2. Smart technology – it’s ‘always on’ and ‘all joined up’!
Smart technology can really support back to work initiatives. It adds a huge amount of automated efficiency, turns facilities into self-serve tools, provides clear management oversight and supports health & safety protocols. Imagine, with the right smart technology in-play, people are encouraged to work efficiently, collaborate well with their team, and transition seamlessly from home to work in a hybrid setting.
The right technology stack can make it super easy for employees to book desks, meeting rooms,
lockers, car park spots, and control things like office temperature and air conditioning, all from their personal devices.
How a smart locker system eases your employees into new office technologies:
• The smart locker system is designed to seamlessly integrate with any IT or IoT ecosystem, to enable a totally unified workplace experience.
• As with other leading (workplace) technology, the smart locker system is a cloud-based solution (built on Microsoft Azure), always-on and fully secure. Instant and regular technical and feature updates mean it’s always ahead of the game too – so you’re prepared for anything, whatever happens.
• You can say goodbye to manual syncing of (remote, hybrid, in-office) employee data. Instead, it can be automatically kept up-to-date, and the software management system can provide real-time usage data and rich insights.
• Plus, facilities and IT teams can create or change protocols to meet emerging needs.
3. Stay ahead with real-time user insights
So, as we’ve started to see, a smart locker system provides useful facilities management information - which is so critical to handle change effectively and optimize as you go. There’s nothing worse than trying to manage or report on the effectiveness of new workstyles, if you’re wasting time with manual or outdated systems.
How a smart locker system empowers facilities to customize and optimize resources, onsite and remotely:
• Real-time data helps you understand locker usage, occupancy usage and employee behavior, so that resources can be adapted and optimized.
• The transparent and user-friendly management software portal, reduces or removes the need for manual upkeep of user data.
• Insights can be very granular, right down to individual locker bank or locker level, to help problem-solve any reports of missing belongings from the locker, see who last used the locker, or even help aide in contact tracing.
• The system is fully customizable and can be adapted to action any optimization recommendations to suit a specific business, office location, or even zone.
4. Smart lockers can flex to be future-ready
It’s becoming clear: the future of work will not be static. The typical working environment is already more agile, dynamic, and distributed than ever before. In terms of employer attractiveness, the ability to continually offer a (mainly uninterrupted) positive, inspiring, collaborative, modern and safe employee experience will be key.
As no one really has a crystal ball, and we can never be totally certain of what is just around the corner, it’s important to build-in future flexibility.
How a smart locker system guarantees future flexibility and is better for the planet, too:
• Smart locker technology helps you adapt quickly when workplace needs change – it can provide a sense of ‘personal space’ to newbie dynamic/hybrid employees, it can help enforce crowd control at peak times of the day or in high-use hot spots in the building, and it can provide touchless handover of IT spare parts or team documents.
• One smart system supports many locker uses: employee-lockers, postal lockers, visitor lockers, team lockers, changing room lockers and IT handover lockers
• All it takes is one simple system change, to turn fixed lockers into flexible day lockers, or a 100% staff locker bank to 50/50 staff and visitor locker bank, when you have a higher volume of guests back on-site.
• By encouraging a more optimal application of resources, less space and energy will be used, which looking ahead, is totally in-line with stricter ESG reporting and business sustainability ambitions.
Read more about smart locker use cases: One smart locker system. So many ways to use it.
5. Health & safety – ‘hygienic storage’ peace of mind
Anyone responsible for managing partial or large-scale return to the office programs during COVID-19, will know just how complex it can be, and how many hours it can take to manage.
Alongside existing health & safety procedures, companies are finding ways to maximise their hygiene protocols, enforce or encourage 6-feet distance between employees and create new ‘flows’ of people as they use a building. All the while, providing clear communication to overcome people’s concerns and hesitations.
How a smart locker system enables your people with worry-free, healthy, and safe storage:
• Smart lockers are fully networked, keyless lockers. Employees access the lockers via their company badge or user App, making them a contactless locker solution. It’s an almost touchless experience, as all the user needs to do is nudge their allocated locker to open it! So, there’s no handling keys or touching pin-code terminals.
• Smart lockers are connected to a software management system, which will flag when they need cleaning. Once an employee releases the locker, it can be ‘held-back until it’s clean’ and a notification sent to the cleaning crew. So, every employee has an available and clean locker and facilities are used optimally.
• The smart locker system can even help keep 6 feet of distance between two available lockers, so that people have their space, without the need for ugly “not in use” signs.
To round up, it’s worth noting that whilst a lot of airtime is given to changes and ‘new realities’ in the workplace, major changes have also been happening in people’s everyday lives at home and as ‘customers’ of other brands. Their expectations are high.
They will expect excellence in the handling of all topics related to ‘health & safety and hygiene’ moving ahead, with no patience for dirty breakout areas or unavailable lockers. Also, they’re used to cutting-edge technology as a ‘given’ – as it has seamlessly entered all aspects of their home and shopping lives. They expect similarly intuitive and high-functioning workplace facilities and tools, which are self-serve and hassle-free to use, and that continue to adapt with them, as the workplace itself continues to evolve.