When deciding to renovate your current office or expand and grow your space, what sort of information should you consider?
In a world where circumstances are undergoing rapid transformation, making this type of decision can seem rash, and potentially, may even feel paralyzing.
Kinks still need to be worked out. And until they have been, it's not completely apparent what a hybrid workplace entails or what the next era of work will require. Solid analytical and anecdotal data will allow you to minimize your costs and maximize the benefits provided to your employees.
Charting your way forward requires actionable information combining workplace analytics and anecdotal employee input. That way, you will be able to make well-informed decisions without forgetting the single most important factor you have to account for: Employees.
Here's how to use your workplace analytics to improve the workplace experience as the future of your workplace unfolds.
It's well-documented that workspace design has psychological effects on employees. If you expect your staff to put their hearts and souls into their work, consider the amenities they want to see in your workplace.
Are they bringing in their own desk lamps because your lighting is too dark or too harsh? Lighting is probably a consideration during your remodel or build-out anyway, why not weigh your employees' preferences before making a decision?
Surveys are a simple and highly effective way of finding out which aspects of the current office layout works best for your employees — and which do not. And if asked at the beginning, those beneficial insights will not only save you money, but they will also improve overall morale.
On the other hand, if you don’t seek their input you may end up with an unhappy workforce — and in a highly competitive labor market, that could very well cost you talent. Think of it this way: You’re not just remodeling or building an office. Ultimately, what you are doing is building relationships.
The real power of employee surveys comes from learning the intangibles. You never know what you might find out — but each time you ask, you get an opportunity to deliver something that will improve the workplace experience for your employees. Maybe your employees bring in their own space heaters in the winter because the office thermostat is set too low. If that's the case, you probably aren’t saving money on total utility bills, plus you're creating fire hazards.
Most of the time, there's a very simple solution that benefits everyone involved.
Your remodel or build-new decision will be better made if you are transparent in the decision-making process and keep your employees in the loop. More than that, you need to keep their preferences front and center as you make the decisions that will inevitably affect them.
And once your decision has been made, let your employees know what to expect, especially if you plan on making major changes. Help them understand the “why” involved in your decisions. That helps ensure that you can head off any cultural revolts and your employees will be happier throughout the process.
Employee input certainly has a lot of value, and surveys about your workforce's needs and wants will likely influence many elements of the new or updated office space.
Analytical data, however, can offer insights into the actual use of your space. It's not unusual for people's perceptions of how space is used to vary — sometimes drastically — from the reality.
Tracking the use of your meeting rooms with Teem's Workplace Analytics will give you a much better idea about the individual, collaborative, and group needs in your office. For example, you can determine the average length of meetings and the number of attendees.
If your employees tend to meet frequently in small teams (such as for daily planning sessions), you could decide to build more small meeting areas throughout each floor, instead of just adding one or two large conference rooms.
Or let's say you realize the executive floor has multiple meetings of large groups every day. It could make sense to build one large, centralized board room in that area.You might notice that the sales team's floor has meetings scheduled throughout the day, on the hour, and they use technology heavily and want privacy. That may lead to tech-heavy conference rooms with soundproofing. (Read more about current technology for conference rooms.)
When we're talking about the value of workplace analytics we like to share a little story about one of our clients.
When they began using our workplace software and workplace analytics, they discovered that one of their small rooms was being used more often than the others. As it turned out, the reason was because that particular room had an Apple TV — while their other rooms did not.
They tested out their discovery, by adding the technology in other meeting rooms. Et voila! The problem was solved. Finding out that employees actually preferred a particular set up over different — in some cases, more expensive — AV equipment wound up saving them a significant amount of money in their facilities expenses.
Together, employee input and the power of workplace analytics can make your next office redesign (or reconfiguration) truly remarkable.
If done right — and it can be done right, as long as you're prepared with the proper information — your new office space could boost employee productivity and reduce your costs. Those are two outcomes everybody can enjoy.
Wondering if analytics can really make a difference?
Find out how Teem can support your return to work strategy every step of the way by booking a complimentary demo with one of our knowledgeable product experts. Book a risk-free demo today.