Workplace Connections and Decision Making: New Robin Features

Kate Riley
Kate Riley
Published on 
10.4.2022

hybrid workplace, workplace experience, product screen

Hybrid work: this phrase is exciting, fluid, divisive and necessary – all at the same time. 

Previous versions of hybrid strategies focused on this idea of returning to “normal,” whatever that meant. The rhetoric focused on a debate of office vs. no-office, rather than organizations trying to figure out what works best for its people now. If you want to create an environment that promotes connection, collaboration AND productivity, you need a hybrid strategy that evolves along with your team’s needs and goals.

Here’s what we know: teams are more distributed than ever, with 59% of them wanting hybrid work arrangements. Sure, some people prefer to be remote 100% of the time. But, for many, there is also an intangible value of face-to-face work and connection – many employees thrive in this type of environment. No matter what path you take, supporting employees in the ways they need to be most successful in their roles is the name of the game.

So, as you think about your hybrid strategy, shift away from a tactics-first resource management approach…

  • What does our conference room capacity look like this week?
  • Where will employees sit at the office?
  • Do I have a badging system set up for my visitors? 

…to a people-first approach to workplace experience management:

  • How can I create spaces that foster collaboration and productivity?
  • What do my people need to be productive?
  • Do visitors feel welcomed and safe?

“We are drilling down into the most impactful pieces of the hybrid work experience,” said Ciara Peter, VP of Product at Robin. “Companies that prioritize connection, consider in-person experiences and make data-driven decisions are the same companies seeing better business outcomes, more engaged employees and vibrant workplace communities.”

For our team, this year’s Hybrid Work Conference served as the perfect opportunity to showcase some of the work we’ve been doing in these areas. A key focus for us? Reminding people that the backbone of the physical workplace is the people in it. Leaders need to highlight who’s in the office, what’s happening, and then make the process simple and enjoyable enough to make the commute worthwhile.

Here’s a look at what’s new in Robin.👇

A New Way to Coordinate the Work Week

Is there anything worse than making your way into the office just to find it empty? Having the choice to decide your schedule is only as impactful as the information you have about what is going on in the office. Back-to-back meetings on Wednesday? You’ll be in the office but you might not really need a desk. Catered lunch on Thursday? You’ll definitely be there. 

Robin users can now signal intent to go to the office – without having to book a desk. What this means:

  • Let your team know when you’ll be in, with plans shown in a new weekly digest
  • See when your favorites and people you work with will be in
  • Grab a work area nearby others on your team

Oh, and for the Microsoft Teams users out there: you can now get a digest of who’s in the office sent directly into Teams. We’re working on the same for Slack right now.

“People would say, ‘I've booked my desk on this day’ and then they would start talking about it. Then, all of a sudden, the whole team would book and it became a social thing… you could see that your team was in and people think, ‘why am I going to sit at home on my own when I could spend the day with my peers and my colleagues.’ - Amy Radley, HR Advisor, Hanson Wade

People come to the office for people – leveraging a human-centric approach to hybrid work is what will create and sustain vibrant workplace communities.

Know What’s Happening in the Office

Speaking of planning for connection, what if there was a simple, streamlined way to plan office get-togethers or seasonal parties? What if, at a glance, you could plan for snacks and drinks based on who will be in-office that day? Easier ways for people to plan activities and come together? Yes, please. 

Whether it’s morning coffee with your team or an after-work soccer meetup, Activities in Robin make it easier for people to:

  • Know what’s happening in the office, when and where
  • Decide which days they’d like to go in
  • Discover communities of people with similar interests

It’s been challenging for workplace leaders to fully understand how employees want to interact with one another and the office as a whole. Our bet is that Activities will help employees feel more connected to one another and support meaningful, productive relationships, whether they take place in the workplace or elsewhere after work hours.

Workplace Insights Drive Strategic Decisions

The modern office requires a different approach to management than ever before – getting people together and more easily managing office setups are two critical pieces of any hybrid work strategy. Our experiences have demonstrated that the third, increasingly important piece is insights into how your hybrid strategy is performing, and how your teams are reacting to it.

Leaders continue to tell us that they want to understand utilization across their office spaces in order to better understand how employees are using their spaces, which are the most popular, what days see the most activity , and so much more. 

Without visibility into this information, plans around workplace strategy are really just educated guesses. When you have the right insights, you can make data-driven decisions about your workplace, based on how the spaces are actually being used. 

Robin’s new Workplace Insights dashboard help leaders:

  • Understand utilization rates across all buildings, floors, desks and spaces
  • Identify which desks and spaces are used the most, so you can foster more meaningful connections.
  • Pinpoint which desks and spaces are used the least, to reconfigure or reduce unnecessary cost and space to better suit the needs of your workforce
  • Visualize trends of how your employees are using office spaces, amenities, etc. so you can properly budget and plan for the future

The dashboard also includes personalized insights, offering high-level summaries of things like desk check-in rates and popular meeting days.

Looking Forward: Enabling Hybrid Work

Hybrid work isn’t just having a moment, it’s creating a movement. The role work plays in our lives was long overdue for a reexamination. Now, we have the chance to shape something that works better for everyone. 

Hybrid work is all about empowering people to make choices while still acknowledging the importance of in-person connections. At Robin, we continue to build tech solutions with this in mind. Our ideal outcome? Vibrant workplaces that value people over places. 

Moving forward, you can expect our team to create even more opportunities to foster meaningful workplace connections, manage today’s flexible offices and drive strategic decisions that can sustain hybrid strategies for the long term. Want to learn more?

Book a demo to see how Robin can support your team – wherever work happens.