In today’s rapidly changing and competitive world, it is critical that organizations have high employee motivation and productivity to achieve their vision and mission statement. However, research suggests that today the average worker is only productive for around three hours in an eight-hour day; which is ironic considering that about a century ago Henry Ford had cut daily work hours to eight and had doubled wages. The idea was to enable each employee to have eight hours of work, leisure and rest respectively with the aim of driving productivity while striking the perfect work-life balance. Admittedly, a lot has changed since the 1900s, especially in terms of our demands which has seen a progressive shift from buying products to receiving a service and now to gaining an experience that is more exciting and memorable. 

Employee engagement has been a part of the Facility Management services. The impact of this shift towards an experience economy is apparent in how employees, just like consumers, assign equal importance to the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ in terms of the tangible and intangible benefits that an organization provides. There is a growing preference among employees for having provisions for health food at the office cafeteria, flexible work hours to accommodate social and family needs, indoor gaming or leisure zone to de-stress while at work; all of which have now been proven to enhance workplace satisfaction. As a result, user experience at the workplace is assuming greater importance for employees in choosing where they would prefer to work and affects their satisfaction and efficiency levels  as well

A number of employee engagement companies in Mumbai have taken the initiative to create a workspace desirable for the employees’ productivity. Understanding this desire for uplifting experiences, employers need to facilitate in consistently providing positive and inspiring experiences at the workplace to help drive better employee loyalty, motivation and productivity. Obviously, upgrading a workplace’s physical and digital environment to achieve the above entails an investment in the real estate which can be more efficiently used in driving business growth. With increasing amenities, there also comes an added onus of ensuring regular upkeep and timely maintenance in addition to routine activities like housekeeping, security, and waste management. Therefore, organizations that aim to maximize profits while balancing the above preferences are opting for long-term leases on real estate that have all these requirements pre-built into space. 

Having recognized this need, Real estate service providers globally are transforming workspaces from an arrangement of mundane office cubicles to being mixed-use sites that provide a holistic space for living, working and playing. This paradigm shift has been brought about by the concept of SPaaS, an abbreviation for Space-as-a-Service, which broadly encompasses rental models like Co-working, Co-living & Brand-boxing in which the CRE landlords provide the requisite furniture & fixtures and a slew of services including facility management, housekeeping staffing requirements and communication management through a SPaaS provider. Globally, WeWork is arguably one of the best-known examples of a SPaaS provider and has been a rage in most developed countries as it addresses the needs of both, the employee and the employer. In India, we are now witnessing a surge in the number of firms engaging in providing this service with in-house research on workplace experience and design with the dual focus of enhancing workplace satisfaction while driving cost-efficiencies for organizations leasing the real estate.

Considering that about 50% of the non-productive time at a workplace is spent in communication or accessing information, SPaaS providers are bringing about a set of technology-enabled solutions using enablers like high-speed data connectivity, the ubiquitous use of smartphones coupled with cloud computing and IoT technology to unlock more productivity at the workplace. Through effective usage of spatial structuring and adoption of such digital technologies, SPaaS providers are integrating user experience with the physical work environment; and this empowers employers to offer an engaging and seamless experience for staff with standard benefits and amenities across all their operating locations. Due to this integration, organizations can foster shared or collaborative learning amongst their employees due to the improved social interaction which greatly reduces the time for overcoming common challenges, thereby driving both productivity and efficiency at the workplace. This shared learning is touted as being an important factor in building strong teams that can adapt to the volatility, complexity, and ambiguity that has now become the ‘new normal’ across industries and can help organizations to successfully tide over the challenges posed by the business environment.

Most of the Facility Management companies are adapting SPaaS as a new and growing vertical. It is thus amply clear that SPaaS can effectively help in driving employee productivity by facilitating optimum space management and also bring about operational costs optimization which comes as an added bonus. What is the most tangible benefit, however, is better living and working; and that is the eternal pursuit of humankind.