What does omnichannel mean?
Omnichannel, also spelled omni-channel, is a philosophy that generally applies to business experiences and refers to a seamless, ubiquitous brand experience across multiple channels. For the last several years, the term has applied to the growing need for businesses to focus on the entire customer experience — from the initial touchpoint to the final sale and every channel in between. In our digital age, customers expect to receive a unified experience and seamless service between all platforms and communication channels. Omnichannel is a term used to describe this approach and a mindset that removes barriers to communicating, whether face-to-face or otherwise.
What is an omnichannel workplace?
COVID-19 has brought about major changes in all areas of our lives, including the workplace. The physical boundaries of our work environment and how we communicate have changed dramatically in a short period of time — pushing us to think beyond the four walls of our office space. In many cases, businesses have been forced to quickly migrate to a fully digital working environment, and in some ways, this has opened our eyes to what is possible.
An omnichannel workplace is simply the natural progression of our modern world — fusing our physical and virtual work environments into one cohesive, functional unit. It’s the amalgamation of culture, strategy, values, communication, and yes, environment.
It’s important to note that this isn’t the future of the workplace; it’s the current state because we’re living it at this moment. For most of 2020, we have had to get creative and find ways to work together — separately. Now, as offices are reopening and we’re all trying to adjust to a new normal, it’s critical to carry this same level of creativity back to our respective workspaces.
How to adopt an omnichannel mindset
As our jobs are fundamentally changing, so, too, is the workplace. This means that businesses are adapting to include both physical and virtual workspaces, where teams are split across multiple locations (and possibly time zones). For businesses looking to remain agile in an era of uncertainty, it’s important to understand how this evolution is impacting your workforce. With so much instability, employees are in need of balance, flexibility, and safety. One way to provide employees with a level of security and freedom is by setting their workspace up for success, wherever that may be.
Regardless of whether employees are working in the office or from home, it’s important to make sure they:
- Have the ability to work seamlessly across platforms
- Can communicate effortlessly with coworkers
- Understand expectations for work-life integration
- Have a safe, comfortable workspace
- Have access to efficient and easy-to-use technology
Flexibility is key.
Employees are most concerned about losing their ability to work remotely after COVID-19, second only to health concerns from the virus. This is important because it indicates how critical flexibility is in the new workplace and how remote work will factor into overall job satisfaction moving forward. Because of this, companies must rethink basic assumptions about the workplace while building greater flexibility into employee policies and working arrangements. Even within the office, employees are demanding greater flexibility in the form of agile workspaces. Standing desks, dynamic open spaces, modular walls — these are all essentials in an omnichannel workplace.
Employees need connection.
Despite the value employees are placing on flexibility and remote work, they also appreciate time in the office. Employees want a space to gather and to interact with coworkers. This is a critical component of the omnichannel workplace — being able to seamlessly transition from remote work to in-person collaboration without interruptions, glitches, or unnecessary hardships. Beyond Zoom and Slack, employees need collaborative spaces to interact with coworkers.
Productivity over play.
Yes, having a ping pong table is a cool office perk, but more than that, employees are looking for a workplace that gives them the tools they need to do their job. For businesses, this means listening to employees and working to achieve an office environment that makes them feel productive and valued. Of course, the environmental needs will vary greatly based on the type of industry and the type of work being done, but it’s important to provide office solutions that genuinely feel like perks — and in today’s office environment, the biggest perk is something that helps employees to do their work with ease. Ask your employees what they need to be successful and then find ways to make those improvements.
Let us help.
Our team at Workplace Furniture is dedicated to providing smart, sensible, and affordable solutions that work and grow with you. We offer services that help you make the most of your space. From planning services and budgeting to move management and installation, we’re committed to ensuring your office space is set up for success.