Sep 08, 2020 in Viewpoint

3 ways smart technology enhances autonomy in the workplace

Autonomy in the workplace refers to how much freedom of choice employees have while working. Autonomy is not just something that teens crave, a sense of autonomy is a big driver at all ages. Luckily, result-only work environments are on the rise, and employees often work whenever and however they want, as long as it gets done. Great autonomy leads to increased well-being of employees. But what types of autonomy are there and how can smart technology play a part?

Esmeé van Vliet
by Esmeé van Vliet
Workplace well-being
Autonomy is not just something that teens crave, a sense of autonomy is a big driver at all ages.

Let employees pick a workplace they like

Let’s start with employee autonomy. For employees, it’s about the feeling of responsibility for the quality of work. Being able to work when and where they like, without being dependent on other colleagues. When employees can choose their workplace in or outside the office, they already feel more in charge. Activity-based working gives employees autonomy, because they are not stuck behind the same desk every day, but they can move around. The result? Happier and motivated employees.

“A sense of autonomy starts off a chain reaction to confidence, happiness, and productivity in the workplace.”

Anne Wernand, Head of Research at Mapiq

Let teams be autonomous

However, it’s not just about the autonomy on an individual level. Teams should feel autonomous too. Companies should make sure teams can move at their own pace. Autonomous teams are self-managed and receive little to no direction from a supervisor. When the team members work well together, they can enhance each other’s strengths and compensate for each other’s weaknesses. Employees who work in these kinds of environments are more productive as well.

Enhance autonomy with smart technology

There is one last question that remains unanswered. How can technology help give employees autonomy in the workplace? We’ve summed up 3 ways.

  • First, think about the way employees interact with smart technology. Make sure the technology is easy to use for employees in their already busy working days. That means that it should never take ages to log on, and employees don’t need 15 different systems or strict usage rules to get some things done. One smart office platform can do the trick.
  • Then it’s all about intuition. Choose technology that feels intuitive and flexible, so employees feel empowered instead of confused. The tool that employees use, should make the working day of employees easier. It should also be possible to adjust it to their preferences. That’s where the importance of good UI comes in.
  • And lastly: make it personal. Employees want to feel part of a group, and technology should support that. It has to match the identity of the company and the individual. Technology can enhance this by adding personal options, for example, a personal profile picture. This has been especially important in the last months of remote work.

Bring smart technology into play

For us, it comes down to this: if employees have autonomy not only over the way a job is done but also over the environment in which it is done, you work on a whole new level. You create the space employees need to do their job without dependencies or in other words; without friction. Our smart office platform intelligently matches employees with spaces, facilities, and colleagues. Empowering them to work in a flexible, autonomous way. Do you want to elevate your office experience?

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