Plan office days with intelligent workplace solution

Multinational insurance company motivates employees to return part time to offices with a smarter workplace solution.

Employee empowerment is at the heart of flexible work. Giving workers the freedom to determine when, how, and where they work creates positive employee experiences and has been proven to affect retention rates. But opening the door to that kind of agency can be a challenge for employers. That’s why one global insurance company turned to Campana & Schott to think through ways in which digital technologies could help them power productivity across an expansive hybrid workforce. Campana & Schott and Microsoft worked together to design and deliver an intelligent workplace solution integrated with Microsoft Teams. Campana & Schott Smart Workspace has now been implemented across 10 different organizations with 7,500+ daily active users

Building stronger, personal connections with colleagues

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.

Improving networking opportunities inside a hybrid workforc

No longer restricted to on-premises networking opportunities, the insurance company has successfully redefined what it means to connect in an increasingly hybrid work world. The Campana & Schott Smart Workspace makes every office visit more rewarding by not only optimizing company resources, but also forging new connections by promoting personal encounters. Employees at the company can effortlessly find and book workspaces from inside their Microsoft Teams app − regardless of whether they’re logging in from their computer or a mobile device. Workers can see who else will be in the office at the time of their visit and can easily coordinate meetups with access to decision-relevant information placed inside their central hub for teamwork.

The Microsoft Work Trend Index also found that 84% of employees would be motivated to return to the office by the promise of socializing with co-workers, while 85% would be motivated by rebuilding team bonds. By now the solution has been developed into a Teams application that has been implemented at multiple customers from different industries embracing the fact that employees go to the office most importantly for one reason: for each other.