Oct 22, 2023

How Data-Driven Insights from Desk Management Enhance Office Productivity

Most people have heard about hybrid work, but few companies know how to leverage it to their advantage. We have great news for space and facility managers. Data-driven insights will simplify desk management and streamline your office processes. Here's how you can truly make a positive impact!

When you own a car, it is recommended to occasionally peek under the hood to ensure the engine is running smoothly. The same principle applies to the office, which is a complex ecosystem.

There are several components to inspect, especially given the changes in post-pandemic working patterns and the entry of new generations into the workforce. Work processes are influenced by social distancing and new safety protocols. Employees desire more autonomy and flexibility but are also willing to think outside the box.

People prefer working both in the office and remotely, in alignment with the hybrid work model. Even companies with entirely remote workforces have emerged. Company owners are more concerned than ever about improving company culture and simultaneously driving revenue.

  • Are the employees motivated and satisfied?
  • Is employee performance top-notch?
  • Is the office layout ideal?
  • What is the ratio between remote and in-office workers?
  • Are office costs in check?
  • Are profits increasing?

The flexible office requires meticulous planning and proactive measures, where many different aspects are part of the equation. This leads to the next paragraph, in which data-driven decision-making will be explained.

What are the benefits of data driven decision-making?

Data-driven decisions may sound abstract and overwhelming at first. The goal of using data is to make razor-sharp predictions, even though gathering appropriate data and interpreting it correctly can be challenging.

Most companies already gather data about the number of employees, retention rates, and salaries. Analysis is a crucial part of any business model, and the majority of financial decisions are based on numbers. But what about occupancy data?

Companies can benefit from both measuring occupancy and utilization data, which lays the groundwork for space management. This is especially important due to rising real estate costs and reduced in-office work. The number of desks needed in the office has become subject to tedious guesswork. Is there enough office space for everyone?

With the help of workplace analytics, you can track activity in every office space and see which desks are occupied at what times. Sensors on the ceiling and/or under each desk register the presence of an individual. This process does not threaten the privacy of the employee, as only movement is detected; their faces will never show up on camera.

Here are some examples of what workplace analytics can teach us:

Office space utilization

Take the opportunity to determine office occupancy rates and how spaces are being used. Your company can identify spaces that are not being used properly or are not occupied at all. For example, is there a bathroom on the top floor that is always empty, while everyone prefers seating by the big glass windows? Data insights will reveal whether a certain workspace layout is preferred over another.

Mobility data insights

In addition to room occupancy, it is also possible to measure mobility data. How do employees navigate during the day, and how long do they tend to stay in one space?

A comfortable office space

When many employees have the opportunity to work from home, it is crucial to provide a good physical work environment in the office. By collecting data on temperature, air quality, and lighting levels, the company can determine how these factors affect employee productivity.

The power of workplace data 

Data not only helps you make informed decisions but is also convenient when implementing changes. If you can present the facts and demonstrate a positive outcome, both managers and employees are less resistant to change. When people realize the benefits, they are more likely to change their mindsets. You can explain the reduced number of desks or the redesign of the lunchroom, for example.

Understanding the key metrics

After gathering data, the next step is to take action by understanding what it actually means.

Most space managers aim to understand occupancy on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It's natural for occupancy rates to fluctuate throughout the year, with lower occupancy during certain summer months and around Christmas. Perhaps yearly interns arrive every spring and leave in July?

In addition to collecting data about the movement of each employee, you could also compare different teams. Depending on the team, they might need different equipment and collaborative office spaces. For example, customer service might need to be seated closely together, whereas the marketing team requires creative hubs. Another suggestion is to analyze the average meeting duration and room cancellation rates.

These insights can, of course, be combined with other metrics, such as employee surveys and various annual reports.

The most innovative solution for modern desk sharing

Feeling confused yet? No need to. A truly innovative solution is just around the corner, which takes desk management to a new level.

Space management software is the go-to solution for all companies that want to improve space planning and meet the ever-changing demands of the employees. The goal is a more productive workplace.

One option is space booking software, for employees that wish to find a preferred seat or meeting room for the day. No more fighting over the window seats or the most relaxing armchairs. The employee is set for the day and has whatever equipment they need at hand. When colleagues can book seats next to each other, they find it easier to collaborate and work towards mutual goals.

Another advantage is the possibility to report faulty desks, which could get in the way of productivity. Managers can also limit access to different areas and seats, which is useful in certain situations, such as social distancing rules.

Flowscape’s space management software collects workplace analytics, which reveals where there is room for improvement. We call it - FlowAnalytics - it simply floats our boat. Data can be easily exported, and the software can be integrated with other IT-systems.

Seeking guidance on how to set up your hybrid office for success?

Don't hesitate to schedule a meeting with one of our product experts. They can provide valuable insights into our solutions and how technology can help streamline your office processes without disrupting employees' daily work.

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