2023 was a year for the record books.
We witnessed Twitter rebrand as X. We saw the cultural phenomenon that was Barbenheimer. We all watched in awe as Taylor Swift took on the world with the Eras tour. The list goes on.
But, for us, some of the most important moments of change had to do with the office and its role in our working lives. And, now, it’s time for reflection.
We took a page out of Spotify’s book and created our own version of Wrapped. So here’s a highlight reel from 2023, from office trends to Robin releases, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
What’s Been Going on in Offices?
When we look back on 2023, we think it will be remembered as the year companies started to figure out what the new normal looks like for office work. By and large, organizations of all sizes have conceded that flexibility is the future and as these workplaces embrace a more hybrid approach, they’re adjusting accordingly.
We know that our customers have worked hard to make their offices more accessible, productive, collaborative and joyful. Here’s how they used Robin to accomplish their workplace goals with:
- 34.6M spaces booked
- 43.6M desks booked
- 100K desks automatically checked into
- 82K coworkers favorited
- 34.5K visitors
In November, we surveyed over 500 business owners and facilities managers to find out how the office has changed and what it might look like in the future. We found that companies are:
🌐 Mandating Office Attendance: 88% of respondents now require employees to work in the office at least part-time, up 20% since 2022.
💼 Looking for Cost Savings: 91% of organizations leverage hybrid work for cost-saving, an 8% rise from last year.
🚀 Planning for the Future: A staggering 75% of companies plan to reduce office square footage in 2024, signifying a 30% jump since 2022.
Offices are still feeling their way through what their space needs are exactly. In 2024, we will continue to see workplace leaders make investments in the tools and spaces that suit their more flexible needs.
What’s New with Robin?
It’s been a big year for Robin. We went through a full rebrand and even won a few awards along the way.
Yet, nothing quite compares to the strides we made in our platform. Let’s take a closer look.
Our Top Product Themes
As the workplace continues to evolve, so does our product. We knew going into 2023 that innovation was going to be the name of the game. For example, ChatGPT hit the scene at the tail-end of 2022 and changed how we all think about our day-to-day responsibilities.
In 2023, here were the top themes our team focused on:
- Workplace Analytics
- Office Automation
- Visitor Management
- Booking Integrations
- In-Office Policy Management
Our Top Product Releases
Within those themes, we focused on where our customers could see the most value. Whether it’s gathering data around space utilization to right-size office spaces or enabling integrations with tools that people are already using - let’s explore what platform features hit the scene in 2023.
Workplace analytics are an important piece of any workplace strategy because you can’t fix what you can’t measure. By understanding how desks, rooms and other office spaces are being used with workplace analytics, leaders will be better able to forecast future demand and real estate needs, minimizing wasted space.
Bottom line: data around space utilization will be critical for businesses moving forward so we added some new features to our workplace analytics offering. First, custom analytics allows offices to create unique reports that update automatically, saving time and effort. Secondly, we introduced our analytics API, enabling companies to bring Robin’s data into their preferred analytics tool.
With AI on the scene, our teams were quick to consider ways in which we could leverage automation to reduce the number of barriers between people and their office. In the next year, we’ll be doubling down on our AI initiatives. In 2023, we released:
- Automatic check-in: Users are checked into their desks automatically when they arrive at the office.
- Intelligent room booking: Receive automated room suggestions based on meeting room patterns, attendees, amenities and preferences.
Visitor management was another area of focus for us this year. We saw a 147% increase in guest visits since January and knew the need for managing office guests was only going to become more of a priority.
In 2023, we rolled out badge printing. This enables offices to print badges seamlessly as part of visitor check-in workflows, keeping your employees and intellectual property safe. We also added host notifications across platforms so teams can receive real-time notifications when a guest has arrived and successfully completed the check-in process
When it comes to booking resources in the office, we know that the fewer touchpoints there are the more likely people are to continue booking. As such, we prioritized some critical integrations. Now, Robin users can book resources directly from Outlook, Teams and Slack.
Last, but certainly not least, was our rollout of in-office policy management. We know that 88% of companies have some kind of mandate in place. Our goal was to make it easier for both employees and employers to understand and keep track of their company’s expectations around in-office time.
Within Robin, company administrators can set a policy and report out on attendance. For employees, they can track their progress right within the employee mobile app.
And while that’s our highlight reel, it’s not all we did in 2023. Here’s the rest:
📈 Workplace Analytics
- Custom data exports
🤖 Office Automation
- Workplace insights and usage forecasting
👯 Visitor management
- Visitor logs and exports
🖥️ Resource Booking Integrations
- Google – first-of-its-kind working location sync
- Microsoft Intune – support for 20+ policies, the most in our industry
- Rippling – employee data sync for richer reporting
🏢 Office Management
- Resource issue reporting
- Shared assigned desks
- Announcement push notifications
Where are Workplaces Headed in 2024?
Organizations are responsible for making the office more of a magnet and less of a mandate. The following trends are anticipated to shape the landscape of office spaces across various industries in the near future:
1. If Context is King Then Data is Queen
You gotta measure stuff to fix it, right? Businesses will start using office data to see how people use desks and rooms. With workplace analytics, bosses can figure out what they need in the future and stop wasting space. Custom reports about office space will be a big deal.
2. Office Spaces will Continue to Shrink
No more working at the office five days a week for most jobs. Companies will shrink their office spaces to fit the flexible nature of work. This will also make renting office spaces cheaper for everyone.
3. Hybrid Work is The New Normal
With the decline in office utilization, companies are becoming more open to the idea of flexible work. In the New Year, leaders will see that letting employees have a say in when and where they work is a good idea.
4. Flexible Tech for Flexible Work
As offices continue to embrace hybrid working schedules, they'll need technology to support that. Platforms that enable flexible booking of resources and easy ways to reserve things will become super important. Get ready for more investments in things like hot desking tech, scheduling apps, and tools for managing visitors.
5. Getting Rewarded for Going to the Office
When asked how to get more people in the office, most folks said giving out rewards. But guess what? Only 25% of employees think their companies are doing that really well, according to our Incentives Report. Companies in 2024 will come up with more fun ways to get people excited about going to the office.
What’s Next for the Robin Platform in 2024?
So what does 2024 hold for Robin and our customers? Our 2024 roadmap is packed full with innovations that make managing your offices frictionless and fulfilling. Here’s a sneak preview of what we have coming:
- Intelligent desk booking
- Dynamic resource allocation and space planning
- Workplace service request management
- Custom resource creation and booking
- Scalable visitor management