Top of mind during many of our conversations with our potential customers are interactive floor plans, especially when discussing hot desking or desk hoteling. What are they? What do they solve? What should you consider? And what about AskCody and interactive floor plans?
What is an interactive floor plan in a workplace environment?
By providing interactive floor plans, employees can get an instant and interactive visual overview of their office space. With just a few clicks, they can easily navigate through the virtual floor plan, gaining valuable insights into the availability of meeting rooms and desks. This not only saves time and effort but also eliminates the frustration of searching for a suitable workspace.
The convenience doesn't stop there. Employees can now book meeting rooms or desks on the go, whether they are using their desktop computers, laptops, or mobile devices. This flexibility empowers them to make reservations anytime, anywhere, ensuring that they have a dedicated space for their important meetings or tasks.
The introduction of interactive floor plans addresses a common pain point in corporate offices. Gone are the days of relying on outdated static floor plans or wasting precious time searching for available spaces. With just a glance at the interactive floor plan, employees can instantly identify the closest meeting room or strategically choose a workspace with the best view. This level of convenience and efficiency greatly enhances the overall productivity of the workplace.
However, it's important to consider the potential trade-offs that come with interactive floor plans. While they empower employees to choose meeting rooms based on personal preferences, there is a risk that they may prioritize proximity or aesthetics over the right capacity or purpose of the meeting. It's crucial to strike a balance between employee autonomy and optimizing space utilization.
Static floor plan vs. interactive floor plans
The difference between a static floor plan and an interactive floor plan goes beyond just live availability and booking resources. While a static floor plan may provide a basic visual representation of the office space, an interactive floor plan takes it to the next level by offering a dynamic and immersive experience.
With a static floor plan, employees may only be able to see a basic layout of the office, with little to no information on the availability of meeting rooms or desks. It is essentially a static image that provides limited functionality. On the other hand, an interactive floor plan allows employees to not only see the layout of the office but also access real-time data on the availability of meeting rooms and desks.
What are the benefits of an interactive floor plan?
- Quickly get a visual overview of the location, floors, and availability of meeting rooms and desks. It enables employees selecting meeting rooms in the closest proximity, or strategically place with the best view.
- This solution is specifically relevant for different use cases.
- Interactive floor plans "draws a picture" and can help simplify and present your floor plans in a visual way that’s easy to digest.
- Because interactive means users must be involved, they can easily move through a property with the floor plan, cutaway or map as a guide.
- Interactive floor plans create a great looking, information-packed virtual tour of any property.
- Prevents the need for "old" Static floor plans, hidden away on a server, or being printed and being dated as soon as they leave the printer.
What are the trade-offs of an interactive floor plan?
Interactive floor plans drive a certain behavior, say it being the closest meeting room, the corner office, or the one with the best view. Great for your employees that get to choose a meeting room of their liking, potentially dangerous for your utilization; Wouldn't you like employees to book meeting rooms based on the right capacity, for a specific purpose internal/external meetings, keeping your most presentable meeting rooms for meetings with external guests?
Setting up an interactive floor plan requires an accurate drawing of your floors, meeting rooms, and desks. After which one manually adds every individual room, and desk as a clickable overlay on the drawings.
- It starts within the admin Portal of your Meeting management tool, where you have to upload the floor plan of your location and floor, and/or neighborhood.
- On these floor plans, your meeting rooms and desks need to be marked with an overlay, many vendors have a drag and drop functionality, but no AI that automatically identifies rooms and desks.
- Every floor, every meeting room needs to be manually configured.
Having below 20 meeting rooms in total should not be an issue, but it could potentially become a major operation when having them spread across multiple locations, floors, meeting rooms and desks.
Workplaces are constantly evolving, to adapt to the needs of employees and businesses. When adding, removing, or changing desks or meeting rooms, floor plans need to be adjusted timely accordingly. If not, they become inaccurate, useless having an effect on your employees' efficiency, but not the least their patience and frustration when not being able to find those rooms or desks, or finding out the relocated.
Updating an interactive floor plan usually entails uploading new floor plans, and having to go through the same process as in the implementation Phase. The fact that we mention this as a trade-off is not because this fits us well, but it is actually feedback we get from our customers often. Quoting an IT-manager from a large cooperation we have been in contact with:
"Thanks for sharing this consideration, you're the last in a long row of vendors we have talked to, and none of them mentioned this, I wish we would have been aware of this before."
Considerations when choosing an interactive floor plan
- Do you want to have your employees book any resource, or the right resource?
- Choose between nice looking visuals vs. efficient and low on maintenance
AskCody and interactive Floor plans
An interactive floor plan contradicts with our filtering tool and the goal we help you achieve at your workplace; getting the best utilization of the workplace and empowering users to find the best available room with the right purpose, equipment, and capacity for the specific meeting you are having.
A floor plan drives a behavior towards: what is nearest? What is close by? What is available? But it doesn’t give you the best room based on your needs for the purpose of the meeting you are having.
We have therefore decided not to offer Interactive floor plans in our meeting room booking and resource management platform. We actually once had a solution with similar functionality called WayFinder. Based on many years' experience and customer cases we decided to retire the functionality.
This is also the direction we are continuously developing in. Making it more and more intuitive for users to get it right the first time, and for the workplace to get the most out of their resources and facilities. There are 100% sure, use cases where it makes a lot of sense to work with interactive floor plans. An example is a client that had 8 different locations in London, they employed many new and young employees with a relatively high turnover and they a need to be present at the various different locations multiple times a day. here an interactive floor plan would make a lot of sense to reduce time spent on finding rooms and desks.
In these cases we usually suggest one of three things;
- We have customers using a company called … (LCS) Where they supply the interactive floor plan functionality to complement our solution.
- Dashboards in list or grid view on screens on the specific areas
In some use cases we have recommended one of our fellow meeting management solutions like Teem or Robin Powered.
Conclusion - Should you invest in interactive floor plans?
There is no right or wrong, the only thing that matters is what is right for your situation. Interactive floor plans can be a valuable tool in the workplace, providing employees with a visual overview and the ability to book meeting rooms and desks on the go.
However, there are trade-offs to consider, such as the potential for employees to choose rooms based on personal preferences rather than capacity or purpose. Implementing and maintaining interactive floor plans can also be time-consuming.
At AskCody, we have chosen not to offer this functionality in our platform, as it contradicts our goal of optimizing workplace utilization. Instead, we focus on intuitive solutions that help users find the best available room for their specific meeting needs.
Ultimately, the decision on whether to utilize interactive floor plans depends on your specific situation and requirements. We're happy to help guide you, we have thousands of client conversations to leverage our advice to you on, so use us to ensure you're well-educated before investing.