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The Office Evolution: What is Workplace Experience?

We’re back in the office, but things have changed. How can you give your employees what they need, want, and expect? How can you create a truly “happy” office?

The click of fingers against keyboards. The smell of fresh coffee. Voices – whispers, laughs, shouts – from meeting rooms, cubicles, canteens. For more than a year, the sights, sounds, and smells of the office faded away, replaced instead with silent hallways, darkened rooms, and emptiness.

But we’ve returned, as humans do. We struggle and adapt and move forward. We also understand that things have changed, with the professional landscape high among them. Words such as “office” and “work” hold new meaning, and new phrases like “workplace experience” have emerged. This is because employees are using the office in new and different ways. They expect different things from their employers and the places they work in. So, how can you provide for them?

The Original Workplace Experience

To truly understand how you can adapt to the new meaning of workplace experience, we must first take a look at its original definition. Previously, workplace experience focused on how employees used and interacted with their office or building – whether it be through space, people, technology, or a combination of all three. In theory, by offering employees an optimal place to work, employee productivity rises, collaboration increases, and your organization will attract higher-quality talent.

But developing a workplace experience that transforms your office into a “go-to” destination has never been an easy task. To do so, you need tools that give you quick, convenient oversight into how your employees are using their building – as well as data that guides your decisions as your office evolves. This becomes even more challenging when employees spend only part – or, in some cases, none – of their time in the office.

The New Workplace Experience

Changes to the workplace bring significant opportunities. By helping redefine the workplace experience, we can realize it. We can also analyze and react to data that offers deep insight into employee behavior.

For example, a survey conducted by office communications app Slack, which focuses on the future of work, yields striking results:  

  • 12% of workers plan on returning to solely office-based work
  • 72% plan on incorporating a mix of office and remote work

The same survey also shows how remote work has affected employees. Their sense of work-life balance (in some cases) has improved. Their sense of belonging to a team? Not so much. We can reasonably assume that people want to use the office as a space to meet, learn, and collaborate. HqO’s data confirms this assumption, showing an increase in meeting and desk room bookings – even during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve also noticed that average meeting times are on the rise, proving that employees are actively seeking out the in-person interactions they miss out on at home.

An Office Evolution

We have a pretty thorough understanding of how to adapt the “place” in “workplace.” But what about “work”? A McKinsey & Company survey reveals: “COVID-19 may propel faster adoption of automation and AI.”

Hybrid work is the future. To help employees achieve their best work, you now must offer a convenient, effective, and safe way to use their buildings. You will also need a way to oversee your building’s usage, which will help guide decisions that improve the overall workplace experience.

This is important, as the new workplace experience is broader and more connected than ever. You can go to the office, or it can come to you. Or maybe you choose both. Regardless, it is critical that your employees are able to use the office how, when, and where they want.

Enter: the Workplace Experience Platform. HqO can not only coach employers through the best ways to enhance their employee experience in the workplace, but we can provide the necessary tools and support to achieve these goals.

For more information on how HqO can transform your company’s workplace experience, schedule a demo today.


The Happy Office is all about the people who are making workplaces great. Driven by industry insights, customer feedback, and our own experiences as a growing company, The Happy Office covers the wants and needs of employees and the everyday challenges facing employers in an ever-evolving landscape. Want even more? Click here to learn more about how HqO can help enhance your workplace experience.