Asure Software provides its predictions of the top five workplace management trends that will take place in 2013.
Our predictions for 2013 are based on where the workplace management market is headed and recent technical advancements that will help businesses improve productivity, enhance collaboration, and reduce real estate and other operational costs.
Leaders will cut infrastructure costs using smart devices at home and at work
Research firm IDC predicts the mobile worker population will exceed 2.3 billion by 2015. Further, Juniper research claims 150 million employees worldwide bring their own smartphone or tablet device to work, a number that’s expected to grow to 350 million by 2014. Given this unprecedented rate of growth, employees are now leveraging their own smartphones and mobile devices at both home and work.
Business leaders can take advantage of this trend and significantly reduce infrastructure costs by eliminating the need to provide all employees with desktop or laptop systems, employee badges, home offices, cubes and more. Rather, the workplace of the 2013 will see employees using conveniently located touch panels and facial recognition via mobile devices to plug in to their workforce, reserve office space and collaborate with colleagues.
Uncovering real estate inefficiencies and cost savings by analysing space utilisation
Real estate and facilities costs typically represent one of an employer’s largest expenses. Commercial real estate prices have begun to rebound from the most recent recession while real estate maintenance costs for fundamentals, such as heating, air-conditioning, electricity and water, continue to rise.
To help offset those costs leading companies are turning to automated, passive space utilisation detection and analytics technology to capture and analyse space utilisation rates. When the most accurate space utilisation data is captured, organisations can cut real estate costs by as much as 30 percent just through using their space more efficiently. Common practices include reducing or repurposing existing workspaces, implementing hoteling practices and properly planning for future expansions.
Capturing space utilisation rates also enables companies to align their workspace with the changing mobile workforce. As more employees work remotely, their primary purpose for going to the office is to collaborate. Understanding workspace utilisation rates allows companies to improve workspace density by increasing worker-to-workspace ratios to 1:3 or greater as part of their office hoteling initiative while simultaneously incorporating a more open, collaborative environment within the workplace.
Innovative biometric and facial recognition technology to replace traditional badge security systems
The workforce of 2013 is highly transient. It is now commonplace to have employees working full time, part time and on a project basis across multiple geographies, time zones and facilities. The need to provide the right security and access to the right facilities is critical to productivity and meeting client demands.
Advances in biometric and facial recognition technology now offer higher degrees of accuracy, more reliable performance, simplified use and greater public acceptance. This will lead to greater reliance on facial, retina, fingerprint and other types of recognition technologies in 2013.
While in use for several years as a more secure and effective alternative to the traditional security badge, these recognition technology advancements will be relied upon to streamline workforce time and labour management, simplify the utilisation and management of shared workspace, and enable businesses to more effectively track workspace utilisation volumes, identify bottlenecks, and analyse the need for the reallocation of space. These advancements will also eliminate the need for each employee to carry a security badge or log into a PC. Instead, employees will arrive at the office with just their smart device, check into a desk location or conference room and move freely through the workplace without restriction.
Integration of enterprise software and hardware systems in the cloud to lead to lower capital investments
The technology forecast in 2013 will continue to be cloud-based. As such, companies will aggressively adopt cloud-based enterprise software solutions and the emerging hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) model.
Driven by cost-cutting initiatives through consolidation, SaaS and HaaS solutions help companies gain cost, access and scalability advantages by reducing or eliminating technology and cost burdens such as servers, implementation, upgrades, customisation and the need for internal IT support. New features can be added quickly with little to no impact on employee, supervisor and administrator daily activities, and increasingly geographically dispersed and mobile workforces will greatly benefit from anywhere/anytime accessibility that comes with the cloud.
Enhanced collaboration of managed service providers using tighter systems integration
As companies continue to move towards cloud-based solutions, the development of open APIs (application programming interfaces) creates a collaborative services environment where managed service providers can more easily interconnect to specific services of other providers via systems integration. Integrating databases reduces errors and multiple keying, improves accuracy and saves time. With a well-established API strategy in place, managers are able to connect data and run reports that provide insights into better managing business operations and costs.