Today, we have more real-time information at our fingertips than ever before. We can look at a map on our phones and see, to the minute, how far away our Uber ride is. Highway signs tell us how long it should take to get downtown and Facebook tells us how long it’s been since your Mom signed in to post another decades-old baby picture.
The workplace should be no different.
Harnessing those two themes to benefit admins and employees alike is no small feat, though. Whether it’s finding a conference room to hold an impromptu conversation or locating a coworker after a change in seating assignments, a status board provides a real-time view into the office that we expect to find at work, just like we do in our personal lives.
In this quick guide, we’ll walk through the different use cases a workplace status board serves and the best locations to install this type of office signage.
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What is a status board?
A status board -- a type of workplace digital signage -- displays activity in the office and typically runs on large TVs or touch screen kiosks. They usually show a list view of meeting rooms (free, busy, and upcoming events) or live floor plans to display room and desk availability. Status boards are also often leveraged by employees as a form of wayfinding and people finding in their workplace.
Imagine you just passed through security at the airport: the first thing you do is reference the big, flashy flight board to check your flight's status and gate number, making sure nothing’s changed since the last time you checked. Status boards serve the same purpose in an office through its two view options: lists and maps.
Interactive maps offer a real-time view into the workplace. Users can toggle between floors to see happenings and availability across a building. This view is typically used to routinely book a desk for the day or find a meeting space on the fly. The map makes wayfinding and people-finding a breeze too.
Airport-style flight board displays space availability and upcoming events, not meant for interaction. These are best used in high traffic areas for employees to passively gather information about the availability of resources around them. The list view is perfect to know where to go for an impromptu meeting.
Signs your workplace could benefit from a status board:
- Employees waste time looking for open spaces to meet, a desk to sit at, or where their colleague is working for the day.
- Visitors struggle to navigate the workplace and find available rooms and resources.
- The team has outgrown the office and is considering flexible work styles. Right now, it’s difficult to keep track of who’s actually in office for the day and get a real-time view into seating charts if they change frequently.
- Employees don’t realize what resources are available to them on other floors of their office (or even on their own floor!)
Where to place status boards in the workplace
With the different display options -- either a list view or map view -- status boards can be used to serve different purposes. The “flight board” list view lends itself to more passive information gathering while the map view is most successful when interacted with. Based on these considerations, specific screen sizes, orientations, and installation locations in the office are typically associated with each view.
Placing map view status boards in an office:
Typically, map view status boards are most valuable when set up to be interacted with. We recommend using a touch screen display on the smaller side set up like a kiosk to encourage individual interaction. Maps are often used for more routine activities like booking a desk for a day or locating where a colleague is sitting. We’ve seen companies use anything from iPads up to a computer monitor (9.7” - 30” screens). Oftentimes, map views work well with a landscape orientation but ultimately map orientation depends on each individual office floor plan.
Carol just arrived at the Phoenix office and needs to find a desk for the day. She walks up to the kiosk status board at the front desk and taps on an available green desk to book it. Having reserved the desk on a map, she can see exactly where to go.
The ideal placement for an interactive office map:
- A receptionist desk or office entrance
- In a hallway to reorient between meetings or areas in an office
- Near the entrance of a neighborhood or zone
- At the base of a stairwell or elevator vestibule (toggle between floors to see what’s available on the floor you’re going to or just arrived on)
Placing list view status boards in an office:
Typically, list view status boards are best served for passive, at-a-glance information gathering. We recommend using a large monitor or TV screen (ranging anywhere from 30” to 75”) so multiple employees can reference the information at the same time. List view status boards do well in high-traffic, natural collision areas where other information is also on show (company announcements, monthly calendars, menus, etc). We’ve found that list views look best when displayed in a portrait landscape.
Joe runs into a coworker in the cafe and asks them to sync up after they eat. Upon finishing lunch, he looks at the kitchen status board to see what rooms are free to hop in for a quick, impromptu meeting.
The ideal placement for a static list view status board:
- Lobbies and reception areas
- A plaza or a large communal area
- Casual lounge
- At the entrance of each floor to orient visitors
Note: Our suggestions above reflect where we’ve seen the most success with status board placement for both view types but each organization is unique and can use the flight board or map in different ways! For example, for a smaller organization, a mid-sized touch screen mounted on the wall near a receptionist’s desk can serve the dual purpose of showing current events and conference room availability AND as a way for employees to book their desks for the day.
Other considerations to make when installing status boards in the workplace
Beyond where to physically display a status board in the office, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind when considering digital signage placement:
An interactive map must live within reach of every employee in order to be ADA compliant. Touchscreens should be mounted no higher than 48” off the ground and no further than 4” off the wall. It’s also important to consider how the information displayed on the screen will be managed. We recommend managing remotely through a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.
Make sure when mounting a screen that the mount can hold as much weight as you’ll need for the screen and any other supplementary equipment. If you’re installing in-house, consult with your AV team, facilities team, or anyone who has experience with wall mounts. If using a contractor, consider the cost of installation.
Position screens so they’re not facing a window or external hallway to keep sensitive information within company bounds. Consider standard practice for other signage -- team dashboards, progress trackers, announcements boards -- that you may already have up.
Especially with the interactive map, return on investment depends on employee adoption. To boost that as much as possible, incorporate status boards as part of an office tour or include placards next to screens to indicate how they’re meant to be used.
Most workplaces already incorporate digital signage in one way or another. Status boards are a way to show off your office on the map and give visitors a peek into the hustle of your day. Consider using light or dark mode to fit into your company branding.