ti&m Launches New Offering to Address New Working Paradigmby Fintech News Singapore November 17, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused work to shift drastically, bringing about new employee expectations, rising demand for greater flexibility, and a whole new working paradigm.
Research indicates that the changes caused by the health crisis will remain post-COVID-19. An April 2021 study by global staffing firm Robert Half shows that about 1 in 3 professionals (34%) currently working from home due to the pandemic would look for a new job if required to be in the office full time.
Nearly half of all employees surveyed (49%) said they prefer a “hybrid” work arrangement, where they can divide time between the office and another location.
A hybrid workplace or hybrid office is a flexible workplace model designed to support a distributed workforce of both in-office and remote workers. The model tends to include more freedom around when and where to work, and grants more autonomy to employees to fit work around the rest of their lives.
Research from WeWork and Workplace Intelligence sheds more light on how this hybrid model would look like, with employees indicating that, post-COVID-19, they would want to split their time almost evenly between three types of spaces: corporate offices, their home, and other environments like co-working spaces or cafes.
According to Thomas Wüst, CEO of the Swiss technology firm ti&m, the COVID-19 crisis has paved the way for flexible and hybrid workplace models, and companies must embrace these employee expectations changes swiftly if they want to attract and retain the best talents.
“The office will no longer have the same meaning in the future as it has had up to now,” Wüst told Fintech News Singapore in an interview. “Studies show that it’s not the fixed workplace that gives employees a sense of security. The important thing is that they can decide for themselves what, when and where they work. Currently, the desire for a flexible work environment has increased significantly.”
Besides addressing changing preferences, a more flexible remote working model also means fewer people in the office and lower real estate costs. Wüst estimates that this could translate to a 25% to 30% saving on workplace costs over the long-term (excluding the savings on IT infrastructure).
“Every unused office space incurs costs, lots of companies can potentially make huge savings by reducing their rental costs. They can reinvest some of this money in their employer branding, to attract new talent, and to create more interesting ways of working,” he said.
In addition, a hybrid workplace also makes them more agile, allowing them to easily expand or downside, and react swiftly to changing business needs.
ti&m places: a workplace management system for the modern enterprise
To tap into the rapid rise of the hybrid workplace and help companies embrace this new paradigm, ti&m has launched ti&m places, a workplace management system fully integrated in Microsoft Teams that allows companies to implement their digital workplace strategy.
Through the platform, employees can book their desks and find everything they need, whether that’s a meeting room, a coffee machine, a printer, parking spaces or vehicles. They can also see where their colleagues are sitting and book close-by for better collaboration.
ti&m places gives employees the flexibility and freedom to work where and how they want, a prerequisite in the new working environment, Wüst said.
“From the employees’ point of view, Places is a building block that allows each individual and entire teams to work in a self-organized manner. Employees and teams can book their workstations for a fixed period – or variably from occasion to occasion. In this way, they design their project spaces themselves,” he said.
“This leads to a higher degree of freedom and to more satisfaction … and is a key factor in attracting talent looking for flexibility and a meaningful work-life balance.”
From the company dashboard, administrators can add and manage workspaces, rooms and entire buildings. They can monitor office occupancy, scale office capacity up or down as needed and gain insights on the company’s real estate needs. This comes in addition to a simple and easy-to-use UX for intuitive workplace management by administrators.
ti&m places is also fully integrated with Microsoft Teams – no additional log in or app is required. The product is fully networked with the broader Microsoft 365 ecosystem as well, making the experience more seamless for the majority of companies that rely on Microsoft Teams.
All this packed into one product puts a powerful tool in the hands of companies to implement and manage their home office strategy with transparency.
In Asia Pacific (APAC), employees have adapted to work-from-home arrangements but most are still eager to return to the office.
A 2020 study conducted by real estate firm JLL found that, at the height of COVID-19, an average of 68% of employees polled regionally worked from home. 61% of the same respondents working remotely said they missed going to the office and would favor a hybrid model combining more flexible work arrangements in the future.