How ServiceNow Aims to Make ‘Back to Office’ a Smooth Experience

In 2021, organizations have been inclining towards a ‘hybrid’ working environment, and understandably so. This environment is characterized by flexible workplace functioning, with some employees preferring to work from home, others from the office, and some from both. Since companies seem to be gearing up to be able to accommodate such a mobile workforce, ServiceNow is prominently taking into this new and unchartered territory. 

In fact, ServiceNow has been updating its customer-grade employee solutions for facilitating hybrid work environments that could help businesses optimize their real estate portfolio. ServiceNow endeavors to assist organizations in navigating through the transition of returning to the office smoothly. Solutions such as Workplace Service Delivery and Safe Workplace Suite are explicitly designed to manage and run a safe hybrid workplace environment – and usher enterprises to keep advancing their digital transformation efforts in the new normal. 

Workplace Service Delivery for Unified Employee Experience

The higher the agility of the corporate culture, the higher the employee retention rate. Workplace Service Delivery, an extension of ServiceNow ‘Employee Workflows,’ manages to create an environment that’s both agile and cost-effective. 

Consider this; most employees before the pandemic remained deeply frustrated with the strict schedules, monotonous functioning, limited workplace facilities, etc. During the pandemic, the issues transitioned into a more subjective definition, with isolation and communication gaps challenging the very nature of ‘productive’ working. 

Favorably, amidst such chaos, one aspect came forth as a coveted standard – Hybrid working. But, for hybrid working to be realized in full force, it’s imperative that a smooth return-to-office is facilitated.

With ServiceNow Workplace Service Delivery, organizations are offered a collaborative platform where:

  1. Employees can reserve office spaces as per their preferences via an interactive floor map. This essentially means that they are provided with real-time access to office space availability (be it desks, meetings, or conference rooms). Moreover, they can book parking spaces and automate cleaning schedules. 
  2. Workplace teams can monitor space usage based on reservation schedules and meetings. For instance, they can visualize how much office is occupied on a given day and if the same space is frequently booked for multiple meetings. Acquisition of such data can come in handy for administrators to transform the spaces and optimize them to manage the real estate portfolio and consequently cut costs. 
  3. Workplace teams can address service requests via the workplace case management application. The application eliminates the need for analyzing and routing requests by allowing the employee to “request a workplace service” (like cleaning, HVAC-related issues, moving, etc.) and enabling the workplace administrator to:
  • Classify the solution as manual or automated
  • Approve the cases for resolution
  • Track and modify the case’s progress
  1. Employees can contribute to seamless visitor check-in via visitor management tools. Whenever employees need to host visitors, they can share the arrival details with the reception staff, assign parking space for them, and plan all the other important requirements. 

All-in-all, with Workplace Service Delivery, organizations are provided with a holistic view of workplace functioning, space utilization, and case management. As a result, they are equipped with the ability to promote a leaner hybrid workplace and encourage employees to frequently switch between home and office. 

Safe Workplace Suite for Extra Safe Office Reopening

The pandemic was a nightmare causing a substantial loss of human capital and a reduction in the overall productivity of both individuals as well as organizations. As a result, businesses have recognized that workplace safety encompasses an entire spectrum of facets, from ensuring proper pandemic planning to maintaining a hygienic and safe work environment. 

While taking an action-oriented approach to workplace safety is the need of the hour, it’s equally important that the organizations don’t lose sight of their core competencies and remain focused on their day-to-day tasks. Favorably, with ServiceNow Safe Workplace Suite, organizations are equipped with the ability to implement a full-spectrum safety strategy that ensures their employees are protected at every step – from the return to the office to the actual work being done. The suite covers the whole gamut of services related to safety, such as:

  1. Employee Readiness Surveys: These are specifically designed to help answer questions regarding employees’ current health status and willingness to return to the office. 
  2. Workplace Safety Management: Based on the readiness surveys and space reservation data, organizations can configure social distancing and workplace cleanliness.
  3. Employee Health Screening: The health screen application allows organizations to check employee temperatures, confirm employees’ usage of personal protective equipment (PPE), and accordingly approve their entry to the workplace. 
  4. Contact Tracing: Employees can be emailed by the respective administrators about possible concerns regarding their health during work. As such, they can be directed to get tested to ensure that they, along with their surroundings, are safe.

In his reflection of Safe Workplace Suite’s capabilities, Jeff Gore, Sr. Director of Product Management at ServiceNow, says that “Once you’ve been indicated a readiness to return, you might need to have employees self-attest that they are not sick…potentially that they have received a vaccine…we’re going to use this [data to] verify that [employees] are clear to attend.”

The good thing is that Safe Workplace Suite works well in alliance with Workplace Service Delivery as the objective for both is to facilitate a seamless and friendly working environment for employees and allow for cost-effective space utilization. 

The Future Workplace 

Involving employees with ServiceNow Workplace Services is a boon for businesses of all hues because:

  • Employees can safely return to work and do so within the “hybrid” context — meaning that they can switch and select spaces based on their comfort.
  • Organizations can track space utilization and usage and can accordingly make effective return-to-work action plans.
  • Organizations can consolidate their diverse and disparate work processes into one centralized platform that enables them to manage their thousand-fold operations more reliably.

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