How does modern office management change with a decentralized workforce?

By Scott Mitchell

October 13, 2021

Manager working with remote team via webconferencing

Many of today’s business leaders have realized the importance of giving employees flexibility in how they work. Modern businesses have been working hard to provide a worker-first experience to combat the uncertainty around public health concerns.

For many businesses, this has meant building a decentralized workforce with workers around the globe. Others have adopted a hybrid office where employees can come and go as they please.

While having a decentralized workforce brings a lot of benefits, it can create many unique management challenges. Managing a decentralized workforce is a struggle many modern office managers are exploring today, and we wanted to offer up some helpful tips we've learned from our own experiences.

Why businesses love decentralized work

There are a lot of reasons why employers are interested in creating a flexible workplace.

Many workers got a taste of remote work during the early months of COVID as employers scrambled to keep up with evolving public health concerns. That initial switch showed a lot of life-long office workers the benefits of working remotely.

Employers have also realized that by building a decentralized workforce, they can recruit workers from more diverse backgrounds with a wider range of skills. The allure of finding higher-skill staff was one carrot for businesses considering decentralized work. Another was potential savings on real estate and equipment.

All of these benefits can come to a grinding halt if you aren't prepared to manage a decentralized team.

Access control still matters in a hybrid environment

Shifting more staff to remote work seems like it would shift the emphasis away from the physical security of your space. Yet, a lot of offices are adopting a more "come-as-you-will" mentality for team members, letting them decide if and when they will come into the office.

This can cause utilization and availability problems without the right management solutions in place.

Hybrid workspaces that have variable staff attendance need a way to keep track of who is in the office as well as allowing staff to reserve desks or meeting rooms. This is why access control becomes increasingly important in a hybrid workspace, as it allows you to easily keep track of utilization while making it easy for staff to access the parts of the office they require.

Combine reservations with access

Many hybrid offices aren't built to support a full on-premise team. Even in the case of coworking or desk rental businesses, they have a maximum amount of space available that is smaller than their full list of members.

This tightening of the availability of physical space means businesses need a way to manage reservations and access together. For instance, desk reservation solutions like Envoy or resource booking software like Optix can integrate with your access control solution to seamlessly tie together reservations with access.

This allows staff or members to reserve a desk or space and be granted access that is tied to that reservation. You can also track the capacity of your spaces with the right access control solution, ensuring you don't accidentally exceed the max legal capacity of your office.

Manage physical and digital access with SSO & SCIM integrations

Businesses spend a lot of time managing their active directories and staff identity systems. Whether it's Azure, OneLogin, or Okta, you can set up automated access management with the right integration.

This means whenever a team member is added or removed or even given a promotion, their access permissions can automatically update as soon as those changes are reflected in your SSO/SCIM solution.

Physical and digital access aren't mutually exclusive concepts, and simplifying the management of those two ideas with a solution already in place can be a great time saver.

Keep up with the evolution of hybrid work

Managing decentralized workforces take a lot of dedication, and you always need to be on the lookout for new or improved solutions that can make your life easier.

In the past two years alone, solutions that help manage and connect remote workers have exploded, offering more options than ever before. This proliferation of new approaches and fresh software makes it important to keep a "finger on the pulse," so to speak, so the ideal solution for your business doesn't slip by.

And if you want more insights and recommendations for the hybrid workspace, be sure to keep checking in at www.getkisi.com/blog. We're always updating with new content!

Scott Mitchell
Scott Mitchell

Content marketing strategist with specializations in IT and managed services.