After years supporting a fully remote workforce during the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the insurance company now wanted to draw employees back into the office. But this would take some coaxing − especially since many workers were attached to their flexible work-from-home lifestyle.
The business knew they would need a strong incentive to motivate employees to return to physical office locations at least a couple of days a week. They realized their most persuasive selling point had little to do with the look and feel of interior office designs. Rather, employees would be far more likely to commute to the office of their own volition if they were able to make strong, personal connections with other colleagues. Employees surveyed in the Microsoft Work Trend Index report that they would go to the office more frequently if they knew their direct team members would be there (73%) or if their work friends were there (74%).
Using this perspective as inspiration, Campana & Schott designed their Smart Workspace solution to be a functional office scheduling aid that simultaneously helps employees foster human connections. The tool looks to maximize employee experiences and well-being every time they decide to make an in-person appearance at one of the company’s locations. In addition, it allows the company to ensure capacity restrictions are adhered to and offers employees the option to reserve a desk in the office so they don’t arrive at the office only to learn they can’t be accommodated.
This is achieved through the integration of a Teams personal app that is deeply integrated into Microsoft Teams via notifications, AI features, and personal dashboards – on the desktop and mobile. More importantly, the Teams integration is successfully increasing usage of the tool as it gives workers the opportunity to coordinate with their team members in real time within the tool they work in, to set up lunch dates and in-person meetups, among other social activities. Embedded views within Teams make it easy for teams to easily coordinate with each other.
Talking to the customer’s employees during the design phase in interviews one topic always came up: “I would like to meet certain co-workers, but we seem to always miss each other when coming into the office. I wish I could easily know when these co-workers plan to be in the office.”
In order to address this challenge, users can opt-in to receive and send automatic push notifications via the Teams activity feed to select co-workers to communicate when they plan to attend selected offices. This allows colleagues to meet up with each other and continue to collaborate in person and build personal networks in the office again.
The company itself can derive valuable figures on how to develop their office buildings based on data collected on building area usage.