Understanding workplace utilization is a key factor when planning for more optimized offices and/or a more cost-effective real estate portfolio.
As companies tackle implementing and optimizing hybrid work, they need robust utilization data that shows where they are today. and where are they going?
Hybrid leaders know their corporate real estate needs to be right sized without it Sacrificing employee experience and engagement.
And most companies are actively looking to improve their hybrid offices and make them desirable places where employees naturally congregate.
This requires decision makers and space planners to understand current workplace usage at a granular level using the integration of complex workplace data from various sources. Presence data collection should be at the top of the list, as described below.
This article discusses workplace usage and why including presence data (and other data) in your workplace metrics is essential.
The Importance of Understanding Workplace Utilization
With the rise of hybrid and flexible ways of working, understanding and optimizing workplace usage is becoming more important.
In the past, we simply looked at the size of an office, compared square feet to the number of desks, and called it a day.
But in a dynamic work environment where office uses are always in flux, knowing your square footage is not enough. For example, if an employee shares a workstation and works on a rotating hybrid her schedule, how many are actually in the office at a given time?
For example, as outlined in the OfficeSpace 2023 Workplace Strategy Report, 50% of desk appointments in the system are made within 48 hours. That means most desk bookings are relatively last minute decisions.
Employees appreciate this flexibility. Not surprisingly, the report also shows that leaders are roughly evenly split on whether or not to mandate office use. Many companies still want to give their employees choice. This is thanks to positive ripple effects on corporate culture, workplace benefits, and efforts to retain and attract talent.
But of course, true employee flexibility also means that it’s much harder to predict how many people will use the office in any given day. Also, when facility managers (FMs), space planners, and other decision makers don’t have proper space utilization metrics, they struggle to create engaging spaces that enhance the work experience.
That’s why today’s space planning needs data on actual workplace occupancy. In other words, which parts of the office are being used by which employees and when?
office space CEO David Kochiara highlighted these challenges in a recent discussion on workplace indicators in a post-pandemic environment.
“It’s difficult to understand when, where and how people are using the space,” he says. “Do people come on certain days of the week, months, or quarters? And are they coming in relation to a project? Looking for space?
You need to be able to answer these questions and measure how people are using your hybrid office in real time.”
Ultimately, understanding nuanced office space utilization requires space occupancy data that is not available from traditional data collection methods or historical linear models. You can’t get an accurate picture of utilization just by walking the floor.
Measuring workplace utilization
What if simply walking the floor doesn’t work?
To support decision-making, smart businesses can use space management software to combine data from a variety of data sources to create actionable workplace reports and analytics.
These reports can collect and analyze any (preferably all) of the following:
Presence data is becoming very important, especially in a dynamic workplace, as we’ll see next.
Importance of presence data
With businesses of all shapes and sizes grappling with optimizing space for the future of work, presence data is emerging as the new best practice for real-time, accurate space utilization.
For all of the above reasons, corporate leaders and other decision makers recognize the importance of collecting pertinent presence data to improve the in-office experience. In fact, of her 150+ leaders surveyed for the OfficeSpace 2023 Workplace Strategy report, 70% want to measure and track goals for office use. And 86% plan to use badge swipe data.
In this scenario, assuming they have a badge system in place, the company can collect badge data to determine when and where employees are logging in and out.
Much more cost-effective than using occupancy sensors, using badges in this manner can describe workplace usage more specifically than many other metrics.
As evidenced by the Workplace Strategy Report, offices remain highly fluid. His 49% of leaders are still unsure what to benchmark and what goals they want to achieve in the year ahead.
However, despite this uncertainty, teeth Consensus is about the value of presence data in assessing space usage.
The Importance of Combining Workplace Utilization, Presence Data, and More
Yes, badge data is becoming the go-to for measuring workplace usage, and for good reason.
But that’s just one piece of a much larger and more complex puzzle. The more companies can access multiple data sources and avoid data silos, the more they can make cost-effective decisions about their real estate portfolio while improving the employee experience.
Combining multiple data types gives workplace analytics a more complete picture of activity in the office. As such, badge data will emerge as the top data source, followed soon by desk and room reservation data. In fact, 73% of his workplace leaders plan to track this data as well.
Given these numbers, many companies are considering using badge data (“Who attends data that broadly answers the question “Are you doing?”). ).
“When you think about engagement and the more nuanced use of the room, when you think about what kind of projects are being done where, what part of the office are people actually in?” asks Kochiara. “You can’t get this nuanced image by swiping a badge or walking the floor alone. Real-time presence dataAre you at your desk, in a conference room, in an open space, or high up near the kitchen?
To do this, we need to break down the silos between data and aggressively stratify different datasets.
For example, seeing if someone has checked into their desk (and if they’ve been there or moving around all day) can answer a variety of questions that aren’t accessible by just swiping a badge. See not just if the employee is physically present, but how she moves through the floor plan throughout her day.
So overlaying badge data with desk reservation data helps decision makers understand their true presence. Also see if employees are keeping reservations, if the percentage of employees with reservations is changing over her week or month, and how far in advance reservations are being made can also do. All these statistics can indicate the suitability of proposed changes.
Combining all these background points and being able to survey your employees and see what they pick up from walking the floor can give you confidence in your hybrid workplace change strategy. Whether it’s saving money by reducing your business by 25% or remodeling your conference room to enhance collaboration at work, you’ll get the relevant information you need to support your decisions.
“When we bring together these various workplace metrics and data points, we can be confident that if we make a change, we will have all the data to support this decision and it will not negatively impact our employees. says Cocchiara. “This is why I believe space management software will become essential as you start making these decisions.”
Importance of agility
Ultimately, having access to a variety of workplace reports and analytics allows FMs and decision makers to experiment with new ideas and options. True workplace agility comes from being able to test new configurations and, importantly, measure the results. This allows leaders to learn, iterate and adapt. Especially iterations can lead to better workflows and office setups.
Workplace transformation doesn’t happen overnight. So if leaders want to improve their workplaces, they need to understand real workplace usage.
What’s really going on in your office?
This clarity allows us to focus on what matters most: creating a better workplace for our employees.
Knowing what’s really going on in the office requires going beyond just simple occupancy. Complex presence data layered with different subsets can reduce real estate costs without compromising employee engagement.
OfficeSpace combines presence data with other data sources to get a more complete picture of real-world workplace usage. reach out For free demo.
There are various ways to measure workplace utilization. In traditional offices, occupancy may be easily measured. But offices with flexible seating and hybrid work need to combine multiple data sources that show how employees are using the space. This often includes Wi-Fi logs, employee self-reports, and manual office census, as well as badge data, desk and room reservations (called “presence data”).
In an office environment, presence data refers to metrics that highlight both whether employees are in the office and where they are in the office. Clear visibility into presence data, often collected through badge swipes, sensors, or desk/room reservations, opens up new opportunities to improve workplace utilization without compromising employee experience. can be shown.
Not to be confused with workplace presence data. Existence-only data are used in ecological studies to create species distribution models. When scientists study biodiversity and species occurrence, determining species absence can be difficult and/or prohibitively expensive. Popularized by Elith et al. In a 2006 paper, scientists can use algorithms to develop better models of geographic distribution and use presence/absence data.
Short for Maximum Entropy Modeling, it is a machine learning technique used for modeling and prediction. It is often used in environmental science.
photograph: Gorodenkov, photo talk, harbucks, Emil Memedovsky, nd3000