When in Rome, do as the Romans do

‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’. These famous words, attributed to Saint Augustine, have inspired travellers through the ages to adjust their habits to the local customs of the areas they visit. But they also demonstrate a flexible and liberal attitude that that is particularly relevant in today’s world. Complying with local rules and practices is a must-do in times of COVID-19 where regional situations and measures can be quite different.

The changing role of offices

But let’s think beyond today’s situation and look forward to the next stage of reopening our offices again. We already see a growing trend for more flexible use of workspaces, increased employee engagement and a changing role for office buildings into a place to meet colleagues and get inspiration. It seems that the COVID-19 crisis will prove to be a catalyst for a huge leap in the adoption of these trends leaving us with a workforce that is completely comfortable with a work life where the office is a place to go only occasionally to ‘meet, great & eat’ rather than part of a daily routine. This will impact the size and type of the office that will ultimately change into a hub that can be used to meet, work occasionally and connect with people for situations where online tools are inadequate. It is likely that these clubhouse offices, like the one we have recently developed at Planon headquarters, will host local employees first, and later employees from across the globe, once travel restrictions are relaxed.

Increase engagement with best-in-class mobile solutions

The workplace is a powerful part of employee engagement. Mobile employees require mobile solutions for workplace engagement; one single app to register for a workspace, book a meeting room and request services; anytime, anyplace, anywhere. But the new Planon Workplace Engagement App is about more than just requesting services; it is becoming the single portal for an employee to interact with the connected building, its service providers and its data services. A single app that makes it possible to request a workspace, adjust lighting levels, give feedback on climate conditions and operate the conference room AV equipment.

Contemporary, smart buildings offer point solution apps perfectly tailored to that single building. But, to expand on the famous words of Saint Augustine, you can expect your international, mobile workforce to ‘do as the Romans do’ but not to install a separate app for each corporate building they visit. Nor use a single corporate app that only offers just a few generic services without all the benefits of IoT, smart buildings and local services. ‘Unburden’ is a key principle in workplace engagement and that means that a single app and a single experience at the front end should be seamlessly combined with the familiar FM landscape of a multitude of buildings, technologies and services in the background.

Offer an optimal work experience

At the time Augustine spoke these famous words (4th century AC), the Roman empire was losing its power to set overall directives for the rules of engagement and had to find a new balance between central regulations and a local approach while still using a single language for the entire empire. Today’s facility managers can face workplace engagement challenges which require a similar flexible approach and need one corporate workplace engagement app to make sure that the other travellers’ wisdom also stays true: ‘All roads lead to Rome’.

The Planon Workplace Engagement App provides a sustainable, simple, and efficient way for building occupants and facility managers to stay connected and achieve the optimal workplace experience. Are you interested in trying out this new mobile app? Read the brochure or request a free 14-day trial version to understand what it has to offer and see some important use cases.

About the author

David Stillebroer | Lead Solution Director

David worked as a Real Estate portfolio manager before joining Planon in 2002 as a consultant. After gaining experience as implementation consultant, business consultant and product manager in the areas of real estate and sustainability management, he is now Lead Solution Director responsible for the IWMS solution and the product board for all Planon solutions.

More posts by David Stillebroer

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