Creating a future-proof office
In 2019, TomTom decided to reevaluate the workplace strategy of its Pune, India offices, to enhance the employee experience. Their employees needed an office space tailored to the tasks they were performing. To create their ideal activity-based office, TomTom partnered with DSP Design, an international architecture and design firm based in Mumbai.
"Our departments were divided over multiple floors. Our office really needed an upgrade," noted Justin Eindhoven, Team Manager of Corporate Real Estate PMO at TomTom. "Then we found the space that we currently have—over 10,000 square meters on one single floor plate, helping to foster cohesiveness and connect all our employees with one another."
TomTom began the project with three key goals in mind:
- Host a centralized, cohesive office on one single floor.
- Improve the employee experience 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 the employees' ways of working and promote well-being.
"We looked at which tasks led employees to work on-site versus the tasks they performed at home. We encouraged the idea: 'don't commute to compute.' This helped us define the design requirements for 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 three goals to be addressed in the new space:
- Introduce a large number of task-based workspaces that allow for different ways of working.
- Ensure employee comfort by creating harmonious flow between the different areas.
- Design meeting rooms filled with activity-specific furniture to cater for different types of meetings.
The Covid-19 pandemic pinpointed the need for technology
Just as the new workplace strategy for the new Pune office was finalized, the global Covid-19 pandemic forced the project to a halt. The immediate shift to remote-first working changed DSP Design's design challenges. It presented new obstacles in terms of managing occupancy, booking workspaces, and making smart design decisions.
"Very early in the process, we recognized that we would need specific, hard data from the teams to allow us to make strategic design decisions," said Justin.
Mapiq's workplace experience platform proved crucial in understanding how spaces were used, while giving teams the autonomy they needed to manage their workdays. In light of this new context, TomTom decided that their new hybrid office would be a hub of collaboration and socialization, while focus-work would be conducted from home. Mapiq entered this project with four objectives in mind:
- Ensure that employees always have the right space to work and collaborate in.
- Understand how individuals and teams interact with the spaces throughout the day.
- Provide management with data insights to continuously update the office according to changing needs.
- Allow employees to benefit from all that the office has to offer via a single application.
In response to the global pandemic, TomTom adjusted its workplace strategy to adopt a hybrid working model. DSP Design thus 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. We are still figuring out the true meaning of a hybrid workplace," Bimal noted. "In terms of when TomTom expects staff to be on-site or off-site, we looked at what kind of tasks employees were requested 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 workplaces with a high priority on focus working. However, through research and employee insights, desk capacity was reduced to 35%, and the design was modified to reflect the new priority of on-site collaborative work.
Thanks to Mapiq, the new office was equipped with technology to ensure an ideal hybrid experience. Workplace management became seamless and continuous stream of data was unlocked to optimize the office further. The employees and the office now benefitted from:
- A single application that empowers employees to organize their office days.
- Over 400 sensors across the office to observe workplace occupancy.
- Integration with Office365 for optimized use of meeting spaces.
- Workplace intelligence to continuously optimize the workplace based on data.
“I believe that Mapiq will be a key tool for better designs going forward,” said Justin. “During the lockdowns when our offices were empty, employee input only impacted the design of new offices. But the hard data that Mapiq provides us with tells us how our workplace is actually used. Such information can thus be applied alongside employee input. This allows us to take a deeper dive into our designs and helps us to make strategic decisions.”