The change in people’s behavior over the last two decades in relation to technology has progressively changed day-to-day life, both at home and at work. While generations like baby boomers and Generation X have seen this change happen gradually, the Millenials generation, which is already in the job market, was born amidst the routine use of technology. As such, tools and concepts of work such as home-office, emails, web meetings, CRMs, ERPs, Direct Messaging Systems, simultaneous editions of files in the cloud, among others, begin to support the concept of the digital workplace.
Nowadays, the corporate environment without computers, emails, and cell phones is unimaginable. Teams can be global, and meetings are easily handled via video conferencing; people can work from anywhere and stay connected and productive. Many companies also formalize the use of WhatsApp as a work tool.
However, corporate spaces remain primarily the place where people spend most of their time. From a people management point of view, it is where the personal relationship among employees is developed. From the productivity point of view, it is where lighting, environment, scents, ergonomics of tables and chairs, among others, influence positively or negatively the professional experience. Even so, most investments are directed to tools with a focus on virtualization and not the improvement of these spaces, which can be transformed through technology.
Based on the concept of Phygital (PHYsical + digiTAL), where it provides user experiences in the physical world through digital technologies, it is possible to improve employees’ journeys in an office or workspace. All this while maintaining the essence of the physical environment, sorelevant for the human being, that can result in a much more positive impact than just focusing on virtualization of everything.
For example, instead of sending internal communications by email, you can make available, in strategic locations of the company, a digital bulletin board that can customize these messages interactively and adapt them to the employee. This alternative allows dissemination of more detailed information and can be more efficient than sending numerous daily emails, which often overload and scatter the attention of professionals.
However, when employees walk through the physical space, whether in a coffee break or on the way to a meeting, the possibility to interact with the digital bulletin board can significantly increase engagement. Also, through the integration of systems and channels, we avoid overlapping information; that is, if the user has received information via email, or corporate app,they will not be impacted again by the digital bulletin board. This customization of what is displayed or not, is part of the Omnichannel concept, provided by Phygital.
Another example isthe journey of a new employee, which can be more enriching and satisfying based on the Phygital concept, where one can easily access simple information such as bathrooms and the printer, to more complex ones such as internal procedures, leaders of the company, etc. This is possible using a Bot humanized by an avatar that can generate voice interactions in platforms spread throughout the facility, allowing employees to ask questions easily and intuitively.
The possibilities are countless; through tangible interfaces, the user can compare and choose their benefits such as a health plan, dental plan, food vouchers, meals, and more using icons for more information. For example, an icon of a card representing the food voucher, when placed on the table, displays more information about the benefit. A second card could be used to display a comparison.
Regarding comfort and productivity, you can apply smart building concepts that improve the employee experience. Artificial intelligence algorithmscapture people’s moods and adapt the environment by adjusting lighting, opening and closing windows, and adjusting the temperature. Bad posture patterns of professionals working from production benches to computers can also be identified by artificial intelligence and generate reminders to the employee directly, as well as provide data and reports that can be used for improvement programs.
Meeting room bookings can be made quickly and intuitively by a centralized application. Information about the best lunchtimes can be obtained, avoiding queues in cafeterias by using an application based GPS; the same concept as a traffic monitoring app. Once in the cafeteria, it is possible to use facial recognition technology so that the employee pays using facial biometric authentication as the amount is charged to the food voucher. Artificial intelligence can estimate the size of the group of employees who are interacting in line, understand if the group will have lunch together and direct them to the tables, optimizing the use of the seats, and avoiding one employee occupying a table with several seats alone.
When thinking about the possibilities of Phygital, with a focus on employee experience, a world of possibilities emerges to raise the level of the digital workplace; thus transforming it into the Phygital workplace, raising that experience to a much smarter and more satisfying degree.