Hybrid work is the buzzword around workplaces and offices today. This concept is fairly straightforward – provide employees the fluidity of working both remotely and from a physical office. And for those who work from the office, hybrid work is also about ensuring safety, productivity, sustainability and an overall better work experience for everyone. It’s natural to assume that offering all of this would involve an expensive deployment of hardware and layers of software to drive these use cases. Luckily, this does not have to be the case. 

Cisco’s answer to enterprises looking to adopt hybrid work, is Smart Workspaces, a combination of Cisco-on-Cisco technologies that results in control over all of these use cases from a single dashboard. This stackability and scalability that Smart Workspaces offers, translates into a high return on investment (ROI). In fact for every $1.21 invested, enterprises stand to gain benefits of upto $11. Let’s put this into perspective by analyzing how the ROI works for each hybrid work use case that Smart Workspaces offers…

Savings through Space optimization

Research indicates that nearly 42 per cent of commercial office space is underutilized and cutting back on the overheads for underutilized space alone, can result in significant savings for enterprises. Using historical space usage data, Smart Workspaces gives facilities teams an accurate and clear insight into exactly which spaces are being underutilized. Even a five per cent improvement in the utilization of this space can result in a cost savings of around $2.5 per square foot, per year.

ROI through improvement in employee productivity

For most enterprises, time is money and any decline in productivity directly translates to a loss in revenue. A hybrid workplace tries to minimize this loss by amping up employee productivity. Smart Workspaces achieves this by eliminating time spent on delayed or canceled meetings due to lack of availability and also the time spent on simply searching for available rooms and other resources.   

According to research, around 40 per cent of employees spend nearly an hour of their time every week, just looking for available conference rooms. This amounts to a total loss of over $1.8 million for a typical enterprise with around 1450 employees. Smart Workspaces offers a real time occupancy monitoring service, using which employees can avoid trips to already occupied rooms and instead, book conference rooms at available slots, in a single step. On an average, there’s an approximately 30 per cent reduction in wasted time, which results in cost savings of about $4 per square foot per year for enterprises.

Savings through HVAC and air quality monitoring

It is a scientifically accepted fact that the optimal use of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) can improve the productivity of employees significantly (by up to 1.7 per cent). Smart Workspaces takes this up a few notches by giving facilities teams a real-time overview and complete control of HVAC across locations. They gain the ability to set air quality and humidity parameters that are continuously monitored, with automatic alerts triggered when preset thresholds are crossed. The result is a boost in overall air quality by an additional 10 per cent, which roughly grants productivity benefits of around $2 per square foot per year.

Smart saving with Smart Workspaces

In addition to all of the above, one of the basic use cases of Smart Workspaces – occupancy monitoring – can be used to increase sustainability and energy savings. Sensors are used to detect unoccupied spaces and automatically power down lights, etc, thereby cutting overhead costs. All of these, when considered at scale – across multiple buildings and multiple locations – leave little doubt that Smart Workspaces offers a maximum ROI for every dollar invested. And with the hybrid work model here to stay, it makes sense for enterprises to invest in a solution that is stackable, scalable and assures maximum returns.