Don’t you hate searching for things? Lost keys, sunglasses, that report you know was lying on your desk just a little while ago… Looking for something that should be easy to locate is not only incredibly frustrating, but it wastes a great deal of time in the workplace.

According to a McKinsey report, workers spend more than an hour and a half each day searching for information they need to do their jobs. Wayfinding apps help you take back some of that lost time while providing a better employee experience at the same time.

Wayfinding apps increase productivity

How much time do you think the average employee spends looking for co-workers in a large facility, or searching for a conference room or other space for a meeting? Now multiply that by tens of thousands of employees for a large corporation. The lost productivity figure can be staggering.

What if people could find co-workers and places in your corporate facilities in a few seconds, using a wayfinding app on their smartphone or tablet?

Just imagine the time that could be saved in each of these situations:

  • Finding a co-worker in an unfamiliar part of the building (a minute or less with wayfinding apps vs. 20 minutes of walking the floor)
  • Locating an open conference room for an impromptu team work session (a minute or less with wayfinding vs. half an hour searching the room booking calendar, then getting there and finding the room in use and having to start all over again!)
  • Finding a meeting room with the right technology such as video conferencing (a minute or less with wayfinding vs. 30 minutes searching a booked-solid calendar, then walking around to find that the room you want is open after all.
  • Navigating a different building or facility (find where you’re going in a minute with wayfinding apps on your phone or a kiosk, vs. time getting directions in advance or walking around lost on arrival!)

Having wayfinding apps for your employees is like having Google Maps just for your company’s workspaces. It makes it simple for everyone to find places and people throughout your facility.

Wayfinding tools enable agile working environments

Are you considering moving to a modern agile work environment, where assigned desks are replaced with task-oriented work spaces that workers choose each day?

These new types of workplaces can save millions in property costs while also promoting a collaborative culture within an organization. But they can create complications for employees if the right tools are not provided.

The last thing you want is for employees to have to waste time looking for the right workspace each day. Well-designed wayfinding apps allow workers to quickly find space based on the type of work they need to do, or to choose a space near people they need to work with. They might also choose to work in a particular area of the building due to comfort issues, such as proximity to amenities or a window. With the right tool, they can find the perfect space in seconds, right from their smartphone.

Implementing wayfinding apps can also be useful for reducing people’s anxiety about changing to a new style of working. Demonstrating these modern tools during the planning stages for a move to agile working is a way to increase comfort level, by showing how quick and easy it will be to find a space in the new environment.

Related article: What does the agile work environment look like?

Wayfinding apps: a secret weapon for CRE teams

Corporate real estate teams may have even more to gain from having modern wayfinding apps. These useful tools can provide the much-needed leverage to gain cooperation from business units about reporting their usage of space.

That’s because wayfinding apps are powered by data about your company’s space and up-to-the-minute data about how it’s being used. Property teams need the same data to handle space requests, manage moves, and work towards right-sizing the workplace to reduce real estate costs. However, getting business units to agree to provide or even validate data about their space usage can be a challenge.

Wayfinding apps can be an enticing carrot that motivates business units to comply with requests for data, since they gain a useful tool that uses the data they provide.

Features to look for in wayfinding apps

To get the most benefit from wayfinding apps, choose a reliable system with these essential features:

Ease of use. If it’s cumbersome or time-consuming to use, employees will be unhappy, putting your workplace transformation project at risk.

Multiple platforms. Don’t force people to use a wayfinding system that’s only available on their laptop. To be truly useful, wayfinding apps must be available on kiosks in convenient areas such as lobbies and elevator banks. Even better, give them access to the app on their mobile phones and tablets.

Powered by accurate data. Wayfinding apps are only as good as the data behind them. They must be powered by a workplace management system that tracks occupancy as well as near real-time utilization data from multiple sources such as badge readers, networks and sensor technology.

Learn more about the utilization tracking technology that powers wayfinding tools from this useful guide to Managing Workplace Utilization.