Every year, Santa's Workshop is in full swing preparing for the big event, and just like any other workplace, office productivity, employee satisfaction and the customer journey are at the forefront of their workplace experience. The North Pole has to run smoothly and efficiently in order to ensure a smooth customer journey. We were lucky enough to have 30 minutes over a cup of hot chocolate and a mince pie with ol' St Nic to discuss his workplace strategy.
Q: You recently transformed your workplace, can you talk us through your strategy?
A: We have a lot of space at the North Pole, but we needed to ensure it was being maximised to its full potential. As you can imagine, we have a lot of legacy technology, after several discussions with the Elfs Safety Department. Through consultations with the Leadership Team, we introduced an agile working environment, including flexi-desks through a desk booking kiosk; removed the Elf hierarchy system; ensured that there were breakout spaces for the teams to collaborate; brought in a mobile working policy and six months ago, we took our Condeco meeting room booking systems to SaaS.
Q: Customer experience is vital to your operation, how do you ensure you are at the top of your game?
A: You're right, the customer journey is vital, so many businesses fail at this on many levels, we pride ourselves on being able to understand our customers’ needs as well as providing them with an end to end customer journey. If you want customers to stay loyal to you, it's critical to invest in the customer experience. Gartner predicts that by next year,
more than 50% of organisations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations.
We've achieved this by investing in workplace technology, from the moment we receive a customers’ request to the moment of delivery, everything is tracked on our CRM. We take pride in our mobile customer service units where we are customer facing once a year, each mobile unit has been prebooked and all teams use their mobile apps to check in and out of their workspace. Our brand is on point, front of house staff are fully trained and each customer is registered on our Kiosk.
Q: Biophilic design is a concept which many workplaces are introducing, what are your thoughts?
A: Your employees are the engine which keep your business turning, and creating an environment in which they are productive is vital, that's why we've incorporated a Biophilic design as in the research by Paramount Interiors, and we've seen a 12% increase in employee productivity.
We have achieved this by creating the perfect temperature, airflow and humidity. My workforce enjoy quite a warm environment, but according to research paper, Indoor temperature, productivity, and fatigue in office tasks:
"The ideal temperature in office environments is 70.88 degrees Fahrenheit (21.6 degrees Celsius) with a 1-2 percent decrease in performance for every 1.8° F (1° C) above or below."
We have large windows which allow access to daylight and for the workforce to see the surrounding views, we incorporate sensory change and give the workforce access to see the Northern Lights. It won't come as any surprise to you that brighter colours (reds, as well as blues and greens) are associated with higher focus and task accuracy. We have strategically painted the workshop different colours to stimulate different work based activities. It does get pretty noisy on the workshop floor, which is why we introduced small breakout rooms with doors, which allow the team to regulate the noise control.
Q: And finally, Santa, what are your predictions for the workplace for 2018?
A: I've seen a lot of technology changes over the centuries, and what we are able to do today is amazing, I think facial recognition and auto responsive workspaces will be something we will see in the future. I recently watched a TED talk which was fascinating, Alessandro Acquisti, Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy at the Heinz College, conducted a study in 2010 using 2.5 million tagged Facebook photographs, Alessandro and his team took photos of college students and using off-the-shelf facial recognition technology they had a 30% accuracy rate. That is amazing!
Watch the full length Ted Talk here.
Workplace technology has a very exciting future, and giving your workforce the tools to be productive will help your business grow, from the front of house teams, the warehouse, distribution, administration and sales & marketing, to quote St. Nic,
"your workforce is the Engine which keeps the business moving."
Have a festive holiday season from all of us at Condeco!
*This article was written by Claire Roper, UK Digital Marketing Manager at Condeco