Welcome to the latest WorkSpace Connect News Wrap, our regular recap of the news related to the modern workplace, the professionals that make it happen, the products and services that enable it, and the research to inform workplace and workforce strategies. In this edition, we share the latest on a real estate utilization tool, a mobile benefits app, and funding for an office furniture startup.
Cisco Reveals Smart Workspaces Tools for Real Estate Optimization
In a blog post last week
, Cisco revealed Smart Workspaces, a tool to monitor real estate utilization and promote space optimization.
Part of its DNA Spaces app, Cisco Smart Workspaces features several tools for employees and workplace leaders in IT, HR, and facilities. These include:
- 3D Maps of office spaces: With 3D maps of office plans, users can monitor various office spaces, locate empty meeting rooms, and highlight other points of interest in the office. These maps can be used in conjunction with Webex boards and digital signage.
- Safety and well-being metrics features: Smart Workspaces users can access real-time occupancy and environment updates, including indoor air quality, volatile organic compounds, temperature, humidity, noise levels, and other metrics across a building, floor, or meeting room. IT and facility teams can also set space limits and receive notifications if more people are in a space than is allowed.
- Meeting room reservations: Users can check desk availability and use digital signage in an office to reserve meeting rooms.
With Smart Workspaces, workplace planners can measure the impact of layout changes on space utilization with A/B tests, and they can find spaces to consolidate or reconfigure.
Jellyvision Releases Mobile App
Last week, benefits software provider Jellyvision launched
its mobile benefits app, Alex Connect. With Alex Connect, employees can access their benefits information, including healthcare plans, ID cards, health saving accounts/flexible savings accounts, in-network providers, telemedicine resources, and retirement accounts, from their mobile device. Additionally, employees can receive personalized push notifications on benefits and access company announcements, memos, and videos on top company initiatives.
Branch Announces Latest Funding Results
Office furniture startup Branch announced
this week that it raised $10 million in Series A Funding in a funding round led by Springdale Ventures. With the new funding, Branch plans to expand its team, shore up its supply chain, and accelerate the development of its products and office design services. Currently, Branch offers a line of conference room furniture, ergonomic chairs, filing cabinets, standing desks, space dividers, and workstations for teams. Branch products are available in the U.S. (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada, with other channels and partners forthcoming.