Creating a future-proof office
In 2019, TomTom decided to reevaluate its workplace strategy for its office in Pune, India, to enhance the employee experience. Their employees needed an office space tailored to the tasks they were performing. To create their perfect activity-based office, TomTom partnered with DSP Design: an international architecture and design firm based in Mumbai.
"Our departments were divided over multiple floors. It needed really an upgrade," noted Justin Eindhoven, Team Manager of Corporate Real Estate PMO at TomTom. "And we found the space that we currently have—over 10,000 square meters on a single floor plan, which helps with the cohesiveness while connecting all the employees together."
TomTom began the project with three key goals in mind:
- Host a centralized, cohesive office that would exist on a single floor
- Improve employee experiences through dynamic spaces that promote team interactions
- Create spaces based on an activity-based working model
Identifying employee needs
The strategy for TomTom's new workplace incorporated global design principles to accommodate employees' ways of working and promote well-being.
"We looked at which tasks led employees to work on-site versus the tasks they perform at home. We encouraged the idea of 'don't commute to compute.' This helped us define the settings in the space." said Bimal Desai, founder and principal of DSP Design.
After analyzing desk and meeting room occupancy, sensor data, and interviewing different departments, DSP Design identified the three aspects to be addressed in the new space:
- Instate a large number of task-based workspaces that would respond to employees’ different ways of working
- Ensure workers’ comfort by designing a harmonious flow between the different areas
- Construct meeting rooms filled with purposeful furniture that would cater to peoples’ different types of meetings
Pandemic presents the need for technology
Just as the strategy for the new Pune office had been finalized, the global pandemic forced a quick halt to the project. The immediate shift to remote-first working changed DSP's design challenges and presented new obstacles for managing occupancy, booking workspaces, and making intelligent design decisions.
"Very early in the process, we recognized that we would need specific, hard data coming from the teams that would allow us to make strategic design decisions," said Justin.
For this, Mapiq's smart workday software solution would be crucial in understanding how spaces were used while providing teams the autonomy to manage their workdays. This new context helped TomTom decide that their new hybrid office would be a hub of collaboration and socialization, with focus work conducted from home. Mapiq entered this project with four objectives in mind:
- Ensure that the office is a safe place for people to work
- Understand how people are moving about the office and interacting with their spaces throughout the day
- Provide management with customized analytics they need to make future changes
- Allow the office to be understood and accessed through a digital medium
In reaction to the pandemic, TomTom adjusted its strategy to adopt a hybrid working model. To do this, DSP consulted with employees and field experts to see how the new work structure would impact the redesign process.
"Every company has a different purpose for their office, so we are still trying to figure out the true meaning of hybrid workplace," Bimal noted. "In terms of when TomTom expects on-site or off-site, we looked at what kind of tasks they would request employees to come into work for, versus what kind of tasks they could continue to do from home."
Initially, the Pune office was meant to have fixed desks with a higher priority on focus spaces. But through research and employee insights, desk capacity was reduced to 35%, and the design was modified to cater to more collaborative work.
By implementing Mapiq, the new office was equipped with technology to ensure an ideal hybrid experience, seamless space management, and continuous data to optimize the office further. This technological implementation included:
- A desk booking solution that ensured safe occupancy in the office to avoid health concerns and overcrowding.
- The installation of over 400 sensors across the office to observe workplace interactions to initiate future improvements.
- Access to hard data to continuously optimize their workplace.
- A 3D digital map of the office to help employees navigate the space.
“I believe that Mapiq will be a key element for new designs going forward,” said Justin. “During COVID, when our offices were empty, employee input only impacted the design of new offices. But the hard data that Mapiq provides us with really tells us how the space is used, which can be applied alongside employee input. It allows us to take a deeper dive into our designs and helps us when making strategic decisions.”