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The end of space management as we know it

Are you reading this blog from your office? Or are you taking advantage of the perks of remote working from home, a coffee shop, or perhaps the beach?

Flex work is everybody’s darling

Companies have been experimenting with flexible working models for years and with COVID we learned how to keep up productivity in remote work settings. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, SAP moved large parts of its workforce into the home office. This learning journey led both employees and the organization to embrace the flexible working model. As a result, SAP now offers employees a flex work plan, allowing them to work from at the office, or remotely.

Working remotely appeals to many individuals and COVID will likely disrupt traditional work setups way beyond the pandemic. In the United States, there has been a significant trend towards working from home as reported by Statista: “Before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 17 percent of U.S. employees worked from home 5 days or more per week, a share that increased to 44 percent during the pandemic”. These numbers are impressive. However, that does not mean that office spaces will become obsolete anytime soon. Instead, we should take a closer look at why offices are still valuable for employees and organizations.

Offices are here to stay

Office spaces largely impact the productivity of employees. SAP’s Matthias Grimm, Global Head of Corporate Real Estate says: “Flexible spaces can increase employee efficiency by 20 to 25 percent. Office spaces need to be designed to serve employees functionally and emotionally. That means they need to be confident and inspired to do their best job in the spaces we provide.” Matthias emphasizes that to create smart and flexible spaces, it is critical to understand why employees wish to return to the office and how to support them.

The kind of work that will be performed in office spaces will change after COVID. Offices will serve as a platform for socializing, communication, creative work and collaboration. Focused work will likely be done from home. Therefore, we need to design spaces accordingly, to accommodate this shift of purpose.

Technology supports the post-COVID return to offices

The pandemic accelerated the path to digital transformation in the workplace. Since a significant number of employees plan to work remotely some of the time, it is crucial to streamline the implementation and adoption of flexible working models. Organizations and corporate real estate leaders view technology as key to enable this accelerated path to change.

Comfy, a U.S.-based technology company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Siemens, and SAP are working together to pioneer workplace experience solutions that elevate employee experiences while enabling organizations to make data-driven occupancy planning decisions and improve business processes.

Both companies are global technology leaders with extensive technological expertise and a broad partner network. The partnership brings together Comfy’s comprehensive platform that empowers employees with greater choice and control, as well as SAP’s capabilities to provide real-time, behavior-based insight into how to optimize space utilization for evolving needs and work styles.

Comfy and SAP power intelligent workspace management

Together, Comfy and SAP provide organizations and employees with a seamless experience to help them navigate in a post-COVID work environment:

  1. Workplace Booking

SAP Cloud for Real Estate, SAP’s real estate management solution in the cloud, provides building master data to enable employees to book workplaces, meeting rooms, and desks with the Comfy App. Master data is maintained in the SAP system only and consumed via public APIs by Comfy.

  1. Workspace Analytics

Booking and sensor data from Comfy can be easily filtered, analyzed, visualized and compared to building cost and contract details in SAP Analytics Cloud.

  1. Workspace Cost Accounting

Workspace costs can be allocated to cost centers based on Comfy booking data and workplace assignment data in SAP Cloud for Real Estate.

Let us embrace the fact that offices are not going to become obsolete any time soon. Shared spaces are likely to become even more valuable for what we missed during the pandemic – namely in-person socializing, communication, and collaboration. Technology enables smart space management to drive the future of work. Digitalization is key to make the overall experience easy and pleasant for users and efficient and transparent for office administrators.

Get in touch if you wish to optimize your workspace management and want to learn more about SAP’s joint offering with Comfy.

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