The Office that Meets the Moment
For too long the office has been perceived as an operational expense rather than a vital strategic tool. The pandemic changed all this, with the office’s abrupt departure from our day-to-day revealing why it existed in the first place.
In our isolation, what emerged was a need for physical forum for camaraderie, ideation, strategizing and working in tandem. These are ambitions that exist outside of metrics, they reside in the feelings and atmosphere.
Innovation in workplace design was once the domain of corporate giants, leading the way in open-plan, agile and activity-based working solutions. But the post-pandemic demand for flexibility has seen this trickle down to smaller boutique companies, tasked with enticing their employees back.
For businesses large and small the office is now regarded as a tactic to achieve their objectives. This space must quickly become far more animated and operative; actively curating interactions and responding at-pace to employee needs.
The office that meets this moment is one where the furniture and space allocation is also actively working, not only the employees.
Open for check-in
Zenith is focused on helping businesses create environments that exist at this intersection; of people, place, technology and knowledge sharing. Floorsight and Smartalock work in tandem to allow businesses to innovate on how they apply their space, individualizing work style and creating the community that’s been sorely missed.
Floorsight is a desk reservation system that makes every desk and hub bookable with frictionless check-in and check-out. Employees are able to pre-book their desk on their commute, choosing a setting suitable to their day’s tasks.
Upon arrival at the desk, they check-in by tagging their building access card or smartphone on the Floorsight integrated desk puck.
Floorsense, an occupancy sensor, is installed under desks and accurately tracks the presence of a person at the workpoint.
For heightened control, an integrated power-relay can also be installed, which disables the desk’s power until a user has checked in at the workpoint; providing very accurate usage data.
Once the employee has checked in, the reservation system situates them on the virtual floorplan. This enables colleagues to search for and locate one-another for meetings or collaborative work.
There is also an optional ‘private’ mode that can be switched on for concentrated work.
Unlike other beacon-based solutions, Floorsight includes an unobtrusive yet visible indicator-light for showing the desk’s status.
The simple traffic light system allows users to quickly recognise free and reserved desks, along with users that do not want to be disturbed.
Floorsight also includes both a “qi” wireless charger (iPhone 8+ and Android compatible) and a fast charging 2.1A USB charger for earlier devices.
Instead of paying for separate top-of-desk charging outlets cluttering up the worktop, Floorsight offers a fully integrated solution.
A space of one’s own
The rise and fall of the open-plan office was an outcry for personal space within the office’s shared ecosystem. As businesses offer re-entry strategies that hybridise WFH and office-time, it is important that there be a space that bridges that divide. Lockers provide this space, giving employees a sense of control over their work environment even when that office is non-territorial.
To this end, Floorsight also acts as a reservation system for smart locker systems by Smartalock, combining best-in-class locker hardware with the software.
Using smartphones, existing swipe cards or the locker kiosk’s discrete touchscreen, employees are able to reserve and access lockers.
Floorsight integrates natively with smart locker systems, allowing for the Smartalock’s touch screen kiosk to see the office-occupancy floor plan and locate colleagues. Likewise, from the Smartalock App allows employees to control both their locker and desk allocation from a single application.
There are two priorities fighting for attention as businesses contemplate the return to the office: creating an environment that promotes creativity and connection and addressing worker unease about moving back into shared spaces. Floorsight makes this difficult balance easy with its web dashboard for both users and administrators.
Hosted either on premise or in the cloud, this intuitive interface performs both administrator operations while generating simple analytics.
The operational interface presents the administrator with a real-time floorplan, identifying free work points or lookup where colleagues are located while obtaining great insights into utilisation of space.
With this information, businesses can easily enforce social distancing via desk lock-off which prevents users working too close, helps users find recently sanitized workpoints, and generates contact tracing reports showing who has been working with whom. Any workpoints marked by employees as needing maintenance are also visible.
While the office isn’t dead, the era of generic, passive office design and furniture is. The idea of the workplace as solely existing as a base of operations is no longer viable.
With Floorsight and Smartalock, Zenith is ensuring that the office can become smarter simply: customisable to the idiosyncrasies of each business and in an ongoing dialog with employees.