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 floorplans?

 

What is an interactive floor plan in a workplace environment?

By providing interactive floorplans, employees can get an instant overview of the floor plan in their office and see availability of meeting rooms and desks. They can also book meeting rooms or desks on the go, often on any device. A Sexy solution to solve an often heard pain in corporate offices. 

Floor plan vs Interactive floorplan

The difference between a static floor plan and an interactive floorplan is the possibility to see live availability, and possibly book recourses. A static floor plan can for instance be a drawing from facilities management or your contractor. 

What are the benefits of an interactive floorplan?

  • 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 often referred to as sexy an is specifically relevant for few use cases.
  • Interactive floor plans ”draw a picture” and can help simplify and present your floorplans 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 floorplan?

Utilization

Interactive floorplans drive a certain behaviour, 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?

Implementation

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 you Meeting management tool, where you have to upload the floorplan of your location and floor, and/ or neighbourhood. 
  • On these floorplans your meeting rooms and desks are 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. 

No issue when having under 20 meeting room, but it could potentially become a major operation when having multiple locations, many floors, meeting rooms and desks.  

Maintenance

Workplaces are constantly evolving, to adapt to the needs of employees and businesses. When adding, removing or changing desks or meeting rooms, floorplans 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 floorplans, 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 not too long ago; " Thanks for sharing this consideration, your the last in a long row of vendors we have talked to, and none of them mentioned this, I which we would have been aware of this before."

Considerations when choosing an interactive floorplan

  • Do you want to have your employees book any resource, or the right resource?
  • Choose between sexy 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 behaviour 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 floorplans 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 floorplans. 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 floorplan 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;

  1. We have customers using a company called…. (LCS) Where they supply the interactive floorplan functionality to complement our solution.  
  2. Dashboards in list or grid view on screens on the specific areas
  3. In some use cases we have recommended one of our fellow meeting management solutions like Teem or Robin Powered.

Conclusion

There is no right or wrong, the only thing that matters is what is right for your situation. We´re happy to help guide you, we have thousands of client conversations to leverage our advise to you on, so use us to ensure you´re well educated before investing.

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