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Welcome To Workplace Agility: Why Your Business Needs A Corporate Workspace SaaS An SaaS platform, can enable the mapping of an entire office, including the number of desks and the number of employees, as well as the consumption of additional workspace requirements and check-in and check-out times.

By Jareer Oweimrin Edited by Aby Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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In many large organizations, there are roles for workplace services and lease administration managers who have a responsibility to understand, analyze, and recommend solutions for their employees' workspace footprints. That means they manage how many offices there are, the number of desks, who's occupying these desks, and who isn't. They are also tasked with understanding the financial implications of these workspaces, how much is spent, how these costs can be optimized, and how to make them better for a more productive, efficient, and happier workforce. However, in 2020, their lives changed significantly. People in these roles have probably felt no greater pressure than in the past two years as they tried to integrate hybridization and flexibility into their colleagues' requests. They were required to rewrite a playbook that had been quite stable for decades. That process has proven quite rigorous and demanding.

However, not all companies have the luxury of employing people in such positions, and in many situations, it's the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or General Manager (GM) of a small and medium-sized business who has to make these decisions. In the UAE, the reality is that 70% of the economy is run by SMEs, and it's these companies that struggled to make quick decisions for their lease obligations and workspace journeys for their employees. That was devoid of years of lease administration profitability metrics, workspace experiences and behaviors, and, ultimately, repercussions. One consequence has been "The Great Resignation," which has been talked about in the US and parts of Europe for the past few months.

The question is: had there been a solution that helped corporate leaders within the SME segment, would that have contributed to remedying this challenge? Would an SME leader have known to optimize the lease requirements in real-time, instead of procuring a large office space and a set of coworking spaces on a longer-term basis? Would that decision allow more money to be freed for more revenue-generating activities? Could an SME leader improve HR retention rates by offering more flexibility with an office software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that values flexibility? We have witnessed that SMEs want offices for their employees, and that's been their solemn belief for decades, and that hasn't changed. They are open to offering more flexible time to work from home or work from outside the office. So, to enable that change, SME leaders want to ensure that employees are still productive during these periods.

This is why we at fluidmeet, in anticipation of the tremendous changes coming to the way all of us work, have developed an extension of our platform that allows corporate leaders greater oversight of the employees' workspace behaviors. From an overarching structure, this SaaS platform manages the current office including the number of desks and the number of employees at these desks. Then, it would map the consumption of additional workspace requirements, like a meeting room within their offices. We'd also have the mobile professionals who use offices or coworking options outside of their workplace. Mapping that behavior would include check-in and check-out times along with possible ancillary consumption.

Related: A Roller Coaster Ride: The Ups And Downs Of Building A Startup During Uncertain Times

The fluidmeet SaaS platform would provide a CEO or GM a dashboard with the kinds of metrics they need like when are employees are working, where are they working from, is it too much, too little, are they on time, when is their peak times of work production, etc. More importantly, how much are they spending on these workspaces, whether internally or externally. Since these are part of their work, these costs can be expensed back to the company. The company can then deduct these expenses' taxes from their tax position to Uncle Sam or, rather, Sheikh Sam in the Middle East.

The management can also enable different hierarchies in an organization to control the types of workspaces that can be booked, the frequency of booking, and the extent of spending for workspaces. These expenses matter! But more importantly, empowering managers and CEOs with tools that will help manage their employees' workspace behavior can enable them to concentrate on what matters: growing their business, and developing the right values within the organization. These perspectives are great for leaders who don't have the luxury of a lease administrator on their payroll.

Meanwhile, from the perspective of the mobile professional or individual employee, they would now have a fluidmeet-empowered, real-time tool to help them understand how they're performing within the workspace journey. Not only is there a real-time booking system to book office spaces, meeting spaces, and co-working spaces on demand, they will know which workspace location offers them their great output with reviews, suggestions, amenities, ambience, parking, and proximity to additional services. They'll know how they're performing at their offices versus a café versus the home. They'll also know which neighborhood or area within their respective cities offers the best inspiration for greater efficiency and production. They'll also know the times they do the best work, and they can measure their performance in correlation with their workspace behavior. They'll also be better placed to know how much they're spending, and they will be at a higher empowerment level to manage their own expenses when speaking to their finance and accounting peers.

When you, as a business leader, consider the significance of these factors, such a workspace SaaS platform would mean more to you. In times when your employees, near or far, have become more technologically enabled, and their demands for more flexibility have increased, it behoves you to empower them accordingly. With the fluidmeet SAAS-enabled workspace management system, you'll have clearer oversight of your expenditures, and you will also be nimbler in your decision-making process with real data and analytics. You will know how to forecast workspace costs with lower variance in comparison to your larger organizational peers, which will improve your competitiveness in the face of a more grueling competitive environment. You'll soon realize that having more people doesn't automatically translate to more workspace costs, as you'll have a tool to understand your workspace footprint and employee profitability. Welcome to workspace agility.

Related: Hybrid Offices: The Prospects Of A Permanent Shift In The Workspace

Jareer Oweimrin

Founder and Executive Director, fluidmeet

Jareer Oweimrin is the founder and Executive Director of fluidmeet.

Jareer has worked in entrepreneurial settings for most of his professional career. He’s enthusiastic about technology and its application on real estate and the hospitality industry. Previously, he led the new market business development for a large transnational pharmaceutical company. He has established entrepreneurial ventures in the UAE and USA.  

Jareer has also served as a management advisor for an entrepreneurial consulting firm that had engagements with government organizations, government-related entities, and private companies. He has led multiple large-scale consulting engagements and managed large teams. When he’s not running fluidmeet, he enjoys the company of his family and books. 

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