Gone are the days where employees sit within cubicles and set desks to work. COVID-19 forced a shift in employees to adapt to working from home. Fortunately, this shift has created efficiencies in terms of focused, individualised working with less distraction.
However, the movement to work from home has emphasised the need for collaborative, activity based workplaces. The critical work that cannot be reciprocated from home, are the activities undertaken within collaborative teams and spaces. The significance of interaction and collaboration between employees when completing team based tasks goes a long way in creating greater business outcomes, along with stronger connections between coworkers and company culture.
In order to enable the future of work through activity-based working, workplaces need to reflect and support the values of flexibility and agility. None more important than lockers, the structure that enables flexible open plan spaces, by providing employees with their own compact personal space so they can work wherever they need.
Whether you call them Office lockers, Activity-Based Working (ABW) Lockers, Flexible Lockers, Workplace lockers or Hot lockers, they all have one thing in common. Flexibility.
So what are the critical features of a locker within today’s workplace?
Keyless Access: Traditional lockers with key or code based locks have been common within workplaces in the past. Although what is not considered when purchasing these lockers, is the inequity of choosing who gets allocated a locker and the hours upon hours it takes to allocate and manage access.
App based systems with SSO login provide the best experience for employees to access their locker, and for facilities to manage their lockers without worrying about lost keys and insecure codes.
Minimal Management Time for Maximum Flexibility and Access: The optimal flexible locker experience starts with hot lockers that can be used at any time without friction. This means all employees can book, open and use a locker without any assistance at any time. This reduces any burden on current facilities staff and provides confidence to employees, for when they need a locker, they will be able to use one immediately and without doubt. Thus, providing all employees access to a locker.
However, what becomes critical in providing an on-demand shared locker system is the ability to prevent hoarding.
Anti-Hoarding Mechanisms: It is important that the locker system provides anti-hoarding mechanisms, such as setting shared use to a set amount of time, e.g. 24 hours, having bookings auto-end at a particular time or to notify facilities staff when a user has been keeping a shared locker without having used (opened) it for an extended period of time.
It is typically recommended that a hybrid system is put in place for both shared and permanent use. But how would you understand what would be the optimal ratio?
Analytics: Data is the key to a smart office and workplace. The data generated will provide the ability to understand how the lockers are being used, then visualising fluctuations in usage over the days of the week and time. This informs the optimal permanent to shared locker ratio that will ensure the office assets are being used efficiently, whilst maximising employee satisfaction.
These features form the fundamental pieces to establish a flexible environment, fit for today’s workplace and into the future. Yellowbox is a leader in smart locker technology, having installed flexible smart locker systems within the smartest buildings in the world. Contact the team for more information.