7 Ways Technology Is Changing Corporate Culture for Good

It’s no secret that companies can’t pay enough attention to corporate culture these days. But it’s still challenging to know just what your focus should be when creating or changing a corporate culture. Should you add more perks and benefits? Upgrade your office space? Implement a new communication strategy?

Ultimately, company culture comes from leadership and stems from the company’s values. Other factors, like your workplace and the technology you use, are very valuable tools that reinforce the culture you’ve established. Changing a corporate culture requires you to use these tools thoughtfully and deliberately.

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How Technology Plays a Role in Changing a Corporate Culture

The technology you use in your organization may not be able to single-handedly create or change a corporate culture, but it can have a huge impact. Here are some of the ways technology can be used to establish, reinforce, or change your company’s culture:

1. Collect and share accurate, real-time data

With space utilization software like Serraview, a department head can access usage data to instantly gain a better understanding of her team’s work habits – where they work and their interactions with other teams, without having to go through HR, IT, or CRE (or some combination of those departments).

A hiring manager can collect all the information on a candidate—resume, application, interview notes and feedback—and access it from any device. Hiring decisions can then be made faster.

Benefit: Greater transparency, efficiency, and evidence-based decisions

2. Performance management moves to performance enablement

At Serraview, we stress that the goal of technology should be to make work frictionless. By reducing barriers, employees are empowered to work in the ways they are most effective and productive.

Serraview’s wayfinding tools, for example, reduce the time spent trying to locate a colleague, find a meeting space and more.

Benefit: Increased communication and collaboration; employees feel supported and empowered

3. Provide and receive feedback

Survey and goal-tracking tools allow managers to quickly check in with employees more frequently, instead of waiting for an annual performance review.

HR can use quick survey apps to capture employee sentiment or ask for feedback and suggestions. Leadership can host “AMAs” (Ask Me Anything) with employees to ask and answer questions about company goals and initiatives.

Benefit: Stronger communication; companies are able to course-correct and proactively address potential issues

4. Offer more flexibility

Technology makes it easier for employees to work remotely or when traveling. They can also “clock in” at more convenient hours if they’re unable to be in the office during your working hours.

Some companies are moving away from all-encompassing enterprise systems and seeking out technology that is source-agnostic, modular, and interconnected. Serraview’s workplace optimization solution, for example, can take in data from disparate sources, analyze it and turn it into useful information.

Benefit: Flexible, family-friendly work policies without sacrificing performance; able to adapt and scale easily when technology itself is flexible.

5. Increase efficiency with automation

With software that monitors your building systems, you can conduct audits and tests of various systems and equipment seamlessly.

Serraview’s scenario planning functionality lets you create different move scenarios to estimate the ROI and practicality of each. When you decide to implement a scenario, the Conflict Resolution tool tracks changes made in the VBS (the Visual Block and Stack that contains your live data), and reports back on changes that affect your chosen scenario. The tool takes the guesswork out of whether your scenario baseline data is still accurate.

Benefit: More efficient decisions without spending hours buried in spreadsheets

6. Reach sustainability goals

This isn’t new—but technology is getting better and better at helping offices go paperless (or at least, paper-reduced). Tablets and digital whiteboards mean less printing, which means using less ink and toner, and reduction in physical space needed to store paper files.

The Internet of Things offers huge opportunities to make your building more efficient and green. Smart lighting or HVAC systems save money by only turning on with presence detection or various environmental stimuli.

Benefit: Reduce energy and building costs; good corporate social responsibility PR

7. Recognize and reward employees

Recognition and reward software can allow anyone to give a “shout out” to any employee who’s done exceptional work.

Gamification can be used to improve training and onboarding or to guide employees wanting to advance their careers. They’ll get a clear understanding of the skills to build or milestones they need to attain before their next promotion.

Benefit: Boost employee engagement

Although technology plays an important role in changing a corporate culture, it’s important to remember it’s just a tool—it can’t do all the work on its own. When selecting technology, have a strong understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish and how. Ensure the software, app, platform, or service you choose will help you achieve the change you’re trying to support.

Find out how Serraview’s technology can have a positive impact on changing your corporate culture—request a demo of our space utilization and planning software today.


Rethinking Your Building Space: How Office Layouts Are Evolving

Here at Serraview, we’re fascinated by the workspace and the data it can provide – how it functions in order to help work and create a positive workplace.

Today, we know more than ever about the factors that contribute to productivity and collaboration in a workplace, but now that we have the data, we’re challenged to figure out what it all means. Once you understand that, you can make decisions about open office layouts, closed offices, collaborative spaces, and other usage and space planning questions. Companies that don’t use space planning and space utilization software like Serraview don’t necessarily have the data to make those informed decisions.

Let’s look at how office layouts have evolved and how (we believe) they will continue to do so.

A Brief Timeline of Office Layouts

When we consider “modern offices,” we go back a little over one hundred years to the early 1900s. These offices were modeled after factory floors, with long rows of desks and no walls or dividers—a completely open layout. Private executive offices overlooked these worker spaces.

In the 1950s-1960s, the office layout was still open, but the German “office landscape” concept brought executives out of their private suites and arranged assigned desks according to job function.

In the late 1960s, furniture designer Herman Miller introduced “modular business furniture” that was intended to promote collaboration and flexibility. Today, we call modular business furniture “cubicles.”

By the 1980s, “cube farms” were the norm (perhaps best displayed in the 1999 movie Office Space).

With the rise of the internet in the 1990s, the “virtual office” gained traction. Thanks to increased internet access, email, and cell phones, employees didn’t have to physically be in the office to get their work done. Some companies, trying to reduce real estate costs, started encouraging virtual or remote work.

Since the early 2000s, office design layouts have been shifting in all sorts of ways. Cubicle farms started to disappear in favor of open office plans. Trendy tech firms started building creative offices designed to cater to employees’ needs and wants.

Paying attention to your employees’ experience matters—learn why.

Current Trends: Open Office vs. Activity-Based Working

As open office plans grew in popularity, so did the backlash against them. In many cases, these office layouts discouraged collaboration instead of promoting it as promised. Frustrated by noisy spaces and lack of privacy, employees would stay hunched over their computers with headphones on if they wanted to get work done.

In contrast, the activity-based workplace recognizes that different types of work activities, and different types of employees, need different spaces. A marketing manager, for example, might divide her day into focused work, meetings, and collaborative work. In an activity-based workplace, the office layout would provide distinct spaces for each activity. She might start her day in a “quiet zone” workstation, move to a conference room for a couple hours, and end her day at a desk in the marketing department’s “neighborhood” where she can brainstorm and share ideas with her team.

What other advantages does ABW have over open office layouts? Find out.

The Pendulum Swing: Back to Equilibrium

It’s hard to predict what trends in office layouts will prevail over time. Right now, we’re seeing companies go to various extremes: Some are encouraging remote work as much as possible (some don’t even have an office at all; everyone in the organization works remotely), while others, including tech giant IBM, have reversed course and started mandating all employees work in an office.

Everyone is looking for the right mix of efficiency, productivity, collaboration, and innovation. IBM found that something was lacking when people weren’t interacting face-to-face. They needed to bring people back to the office to create “water cooler moments” of spontaneous collaboration and develop mentorship relationships. Other companies are depending on communication platforms like Skype and Slack to build that virtually.

If we expect anything, it will be a softening of extremes. A few companies will choose “all or nothing” when it comes to a traditional office or no office, but the majority will settle somewhere in the activity-based or hybrid office layout.

Tech Continues to Drive Change

One thing we can be sure of is that technology will be used in offices in more ways. Most importantly, in one sense, technology like Serraview’s space planning and space utilization software will become indispensable as companies seek those functional spaces that work best for their employees.

Getting accurate, real-time data about your space—everything from your building systems to activity in Conference Room B—will help you make evidence-based decisions about everything from lease renewals to reconfiguring a floor to getting new office furniture.

Learn how your workplace can attract and retain talent, enhance your employees’ experience, enable collaboration, and more—download our whitepaper on best practices for the modern workplace.