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How Interactive Office Floor Plans Improve Workplace Experience

a confusing, outdated office map often taped to the wall in a corner
Behold the ancient office map taped to a random door in a random corner of the office.

It’s your first day on the job at a new company. Your morning itinerary probably looks something like this:

9:00 am Arrive at the new office
9:15 am – Quick office tour pointing out conference rooms, where each department tends to work and where to find snacks
9:30 am – Receive seat assignment
10:00 am – Panic about finding your way to your first 10:30 meeting in a conference room named “Cherry Blossom”
10:15 am – Stare at the office map taped on a random corner wall
10:35 am – Show up late to your first meeting because you got lost

This scene is all too common in offices with outdated office floor plans and wayfinding signs. New and remote employees, clients and visitors unfamiliar with the office layout have no way of knowing where to go and end up wasting time circling the floors looking for the right space. Not to mention the time they take out of existing employees days constantly asking how to navigate the office.

For a long time, traditional floor plans taped to a wall worked just fine. But with a growing need for companies to provide flexibility to their employees for the best possible workplace experience, outdated office floor plans don’t cut it anymore. Here are the top ways software-enabled interactive floor plans improves the office experience for both employees and employers.

Is wayfinding slowing your office down? See what an interactive office map can do for your company’s productivity in a Free Trial with Robin.

The benefits of an interactive office floor plan for new and remote employees

Office building floor plan software like Robin’s Status Board improves employee workplace experience

Sense of empowerment and purpose

Research shows that when employees feel empowered at work, they perform better, have higher job satisfaction and a stronger commitment to the company. Empowerment is about supporting employees and giving them the resources to get their job done in ways that best suit their needs. Clear wayfinding signs and insight into how the office is set up is an important step in allowing employees to move around freely, get their work done efficiently and reduce distractions.

If someone is unable to properly navigate the office and find the right spaces, they lose valuable time in their day to get work done, which in turn has a negative effect on their purpose at work.

“Research shows that fostering a sense of purpose at work pays large dividends to individuals as well as the organizations that employ them.”Herman Miller

Organizations that place a value on providing and supporting purpose at work have shown to be more profitable than those that do not. And when employees feel a strong connection to their organization’s purpose, they’re more committed and “much more likely to stay.”

An interactive office map takes the menial work of finding spaces and people out of employees hands and streamlines their day so they can feel their most productive.

Fewer distractions and higher productivity

Heather Metcalfe, Office Manager at Health Catalyst, said it best: having an office map tool available for both admins and end users is a huge time saver for everyone. Enabling employees with an interactive office floor plan, for example, allows them to go in and locate the right space or person immediately, avoiding interrupting others for questions like, “Where’s Linda sitting?” or “What meeting room is available right now?”

When workplace distractions are reduced, 75 percent of employees are more productive, 57 percent have increased motivation and 49 percent are overall happier at work, according to a UC Irvine study.

People compensate for interruptions by working faster, but this comes at a price: experiencing more stress, higher frustration, time pressure and effort.

A positive experience for remote employees

Over four million people in the U.S. work remote at least half of the time, which means almost every company needs to foster a positive remote work culture. For remote employees, visiting the office from time to time can be an unfamiliar and uncomfortable experience. Similar to the new employee experience, a lack of insight and understanding of the floor plan leads to wasted time and distractions.

Swap out the outdated, handwritten floor plan for an interactive, software-enabled map and remote employees have immediate access to where people are, what meeting rooms are available and where they’re supposed to be at any given moment.

The benefits of an interactive office floor plan to employers

Robin’s interactive office floor plan is easy-to-manage and update for admins and end users

Positive impact on a company’s bottom line

The greatest expense a company has is its employees. There’s a growing need to provide employees with visibility into various easy-to-navigate spaces in order to be productive. Neglecting to provide that type of workplace experience has costly effects. Forty percent of people waste up to 30 minutes a day searching for space to collaborate, according to a Steelcase Workplace Survey, yet 70 percent of the workday, meeting rooms around the world go unused. Why? Often it’s as simple as a lack of visibility into the office floor plan and schedule for the day.

“In addition to the negative emotional impacts on employees, businesses also feel the consequences since even the briefest interruptions can double a worker’s error rate.”

An Atlassian survey found that the average employee is interrupted 56 times and spends two hours recovering every day. When people interrupt their coworkers asking how to get around or disrupting meetings thinking a room is available when it isn’t, that ultimately affects the company’s bottom line.

Updated office floor plans with real-time availability help keep employees in the know and productive.

Easy to manage for IT and Facilities

Historically, the office floor plan lived in an IWMS system only accessible to IT and Facilities. In today’s workplace, that type of internal confidentiality doesn’t sustain a modern workforce. When employees feel frustrated because they have no way of accessing the office floor plan, satisfaction decreases, negatively impacting retention rates.

With an interactive office map like Robin, IT and Facilities have full control over what end users see, providing access to important wayfinding information while keeping confidential information private. And as the office layout changes, admins can go in and edit visuals and space and schedule details that are then available to end users immediately as opposed to manual updates and printing needs for traditional floor plans.

It’s your first day on the job at a new company. Your morning itinerary probably looks something like this:

9:00 am Arrive at the new office
9:15 am – Quick office tour pointing out conference rooms, where each department tends to work and where to find snacks
9:30 am – Receive seat assignment
10:00 amPanic about finding your way to first 10:30 meeting in a conference room named, “Cherry Blossom” Check the interactive floor plan and quickly find where the meeting room “Cherry Blossom” is and how to get there
10:15 am – Stare at the map taped on a random office wall and show up late to first meeting because you got lost Show up early to your meeting and small talk with your new coworkers