Feb 21, 2022
Hybrid workplace management on a Global Scale – The success story of WSP’s roll out of a new employee experience tool
During 2020, Flowscape entered the US market and rolled out a complete hybrid workplace solution for the global corporation WSP. Large companies often face challenges regarding management of office facilities and WSP saw good potential in a fully integrated system for their offices. Flowscape provided WSP with a comprehensive package for room booking, hot desking and space analytics that was scalable globally and centralized. This is the story about the WSP project, the largest to date in Flowscape history.
About the Client
WSP is, is a leading engineering professional services firm with a global presence. From the humble beginnings over 130 years ago, WSP has grown to be a globally recognized force within professional real estate with over 49,000 employees and $5.5 billion dollars in net revenue. As a company, WSP cover a wide variety of engineer fields within property and buildings, transportation, energy, environment and more. Susan Matukaitis, Global property project manager, comments.
“We had two main goals when looking for a global workplace platform. One was to provide our real estate teams with necessary data to help maximize our office design and assist in making informed decision with regards to our real estate footprint. The second was to implement a global platform that enhanced the user experience within the workplace.”
How smart office technology can enhance the employee experience
WSP believes that office environment impacts health, productivity, and the quality of life for employees in substantial ways. Additionally, the costs of staff take up a large proportion of companies’ overall expenditures. Small improvements in building design and building technology can therefore make a significant difference in employees’ productivity and work satisfaction, and in addition save money on reduced replace staff costs with overhead costs. To empower this, offices need to be designed for the employee and increase the motivation to come into work, something that is enabled by offering solutions for a frictionless work environment.
Why is space Management important for an office?
Being a globally recognized corporation with worldwide presence poses its challenges. In the US alone, WSP has 200 offices with 9,500 employees, which makes it difficult to obtain overall insights on office utilization and manage resources. WSP has a large real estate portfolio that is managed internally with a variety of needs and teams, which needs to be taken into consideration when it comes to how the real estate is used and functions.
One of the main challenges described by WSP was that different offices had various types of room booking and desk booking solutions, which made it difficult to integrate them and create collaboration across facilities. Segregated office management systems also complicate data gathering on office usage, which reduces the capacity to produce relevant statistics to optimize facility costs and office layout.
“As we moved to an agile way of working, we came to realize we needed a platform to analyze office usage - both on a larger scale and also from an office team level, we needed a platform which helped users use the office with ease and we wanted one platform for global consistency,” says Susan Matukaitis.
Many companies today have complete systems for communication and information distribution, as Office365 or Google Workplace. But establishing the same systems for actual facility utilities, so-called smart office solutions, is often overlooked. Currently, when companies are progressively moving towards a model of flexible working, increased pressure is placed on effective facility usage. Creating the ability to respond to changing workplace trends is key to deliver value of a building long-term according to WSP. The modern office space needs to be flexible, and able to accommodate a variety of occupier groups to make them all as leasable as possible. It is from this mindset that solid commercial goals can be reached even in the future.
Integrating a smart office solution that could manage assets effectively was therefore a priority for WSP to further improve overall property management, which initiated an ambitious plan with the main objective to transform the usage of their offices globally.
Since WSP has their expertise in professional real estate, the qualifications for a smart office solution were both pronounced and sophisticated. The solution requested needed to be a complete office eco-system software that could be easily integrated with already established communication tools. Moreover, because WSP is a global enterprise with numerous facilities, the new smart-office system also needed to be scalable and adaptable. Both to the corporation as a whole and each individual office.
Among the many candidates that presented smart office solutions to WSP, Flowscape was the only solution that was complete, scalable, and fully adaptable.
“We did a large RFP and Flowscape had all the features we wanted - analytics, desk/room booking, mobile and web applications, people finder/electronic name plates, ability to outfit our locations around the globe and met our legal requirements and fit within out IT parameters.” Susan Matukaitis comments.
One other key reason for selecting Flowscape was the fully inclusive product with installation support from start to finish. On delivery, Flowscape provided all hardware together with the complete software system and analytics tool, which made a large-scale installation possible. Flowscape could also offer centralized support and experience in global installation for up-scaling to WSP offices worldwide.
WSP chose to adapt Flowscape’s Desk Check-in system that included Tektelic’s Desk presence sensor and Flowscape’s USB Desk-Check-in Sensor. The combination gives complete analytic insights on desk usage and also enables effective colleague finding.
One key advantage over other competitors is that the desk dongle enables automatic booking and automatic check-in when a computer is plugged into the workstation. The price efficiency and seamless installation of the desk check-in system is a vast advantage for large corporations with many desks. Overall, this type of solution can save companies valuable money compared to other booking solutions and does not require extra steps for employees to book resources.
Automate your desk management with automatic desk check-in
Moreover, the USB Desk Check-in Sensor also presents some administrative advantages – it is possible to view employees’ bookings which makes effective colleague finding possible, and it is also possible to know when employees work in the office. One important insight is that many booked assets do not come to be used, which means that only adapting a booking software can give an inaccurate picture of the actual activity in an office space. The USB Desk Check-in Sensor in combination with desk presence sensor gather accurate usage-data, enable resource booking and effective colleague finding simultaneously.
Why USB Desk Sensor? Simplify the booking experience at your office!
Customer Initiated Features
Flowscape was also open for costumer-initiated features, allowing the solution to be adapted for WSP:’s individual needs. This is an important service for corporations with global presence. Together with WSP, Flowscape developed more advanced desk booking functions, effective front-desk management, and facility connection on a global scale. Currently, Flowscape is piloting new services like access control and parking management which is now available in the Flowscape product portfolio.
Together with WSP, Flowscape developed an office attendance calendar available from the Webapp upon request from the client. FlowPlanner allows employees to efficiently plan their office attendance in work environments with increased flexibility. Its effective and simple design allows employees to make decisions about office attendance based on available spaces, while simultaneously scanning colleagues’ future office attendance to plan collaboration on-site. FlowPlanner also assists office managers to eliminate overcrowding when right sizing the office to a hybrid work environment.
Since thousands of employees are expected to interact with the system on a daily basis, the experience for the end-user becomes even more important when selecting a smart office solution. Susan Matukaitis describes that one of the key reasons for selecting Flowscape was the market leading end-user interface.
“From a user perspective, the platform is very intuitive. We’ve also been working with Flowscape to enhance features as our needs grow and change, which we appreciate.”
WSP received the complete package of room booking, desk booking, room panels, kiosk screens and busy lights. All integrated to one system. During a period of 4 weeks, Flowscape installed the complete system which included map drawing, sensor installation and configuration.
“Seeing as we have installations in various regions, the Flowscape team coordinates shipping and customs with ease, works closely with our IT teams, is proactive to ensure installations go smoothly and follows-up with final testing. Their support team is quick to respond and address issues that do arise. In the time that we have been working with Flowscape, their support team has grown which enables them to better support our growing needs and demands.” Susan Matukaitis comments.
In the US, Flowscape installed its solutions in
- 92 buildings in 17 Countries.
- 870 Rooms
- 17,800 Desks
- 4,850 USB Desk Sensors.