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Added value of data analytics in workspaces

13 September 2023

Data collection is now ubiquitous, and has extended to workplaces, enabling us to better understand them so that we can offer flexible, scalable environments.

 

1. What can workspace analytics achieve?

  • A better understanding of your workspaces:

Optimising workspaces starts with a good understanding of usage and work habits.

The data collected will enable us to analyse flows of people and answer a number of questions, such as the occupancy rate of a meeting room, the actual use of a particular type of equipment, or how busy employees are depending on the day of the week or the time of day.

All this data forms the basis for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your workspaces.

If, for example, we find that one meeting room is under-used but another is always booked, then the former is not meeting the actual needs of employees. There may be many reasons for this: it is the wrong size, the location is not optimal, it is not adequately equipped, etc. The decision-makers can then choose to modify it or rethink the space to make it more productive.

  • Anticipating needs:

Data on occupancy and use of workplaces provides insight into their performance. An overview both in real time and historically makes it possible to gather long-term information to make predictions.
By tracking changes in the use of workspaces, you can identify trends and anticipate the development of your property portfolio in line with your medium- and long-term growth objectives.

 

2. Return on investment

  • Improved management of your property portfolio:

In many cases, the collection and analysis of occupancy data can significantly reduce a company’s second biggest cost centre: workspace expenses.
Information on employee behaviour and habits enables informed decisions to be made on how to use workspaces intelligently.

With teleworking, it is now estimated that, on average, 60% of the offices of a company with one fixed workstation per employee are used. The cost of a workstation is estimated at €16,500 per year.1

To get an idea of how much unoccupied workstations cost a company on average each year, here is a concrete example:
For a company with 100 workstations, reducing the number of workstations by just 10% would result in the following savings per year in unused space:

(100 x €16,500) (initial cost) – (90 x €16,500) (new cost) = €165,000 in potential savings.

> To learn more, read our dedicated blog post: The offices of tomorrow: more flexibility for fewer square metres?

  • Optimising energy consumption:

Reorganising your floor space so that you only keep what you need is also a way of better controlling your energy expenditure by optimising your consumption. By analysing the flow of people, you can apply ecological levers in three ways (list not exhaustive):

– Close a floor or an area when you know that staff are teleworking. Why continue to light, ventilate or heat a floor if you know that it is not occupied on certain days of the week?
– Organise a flexible teleworking/on-site presence timetable so as to spread out the days when employees are present to avoid “usage peaks”.
– Group employees together in a smaller area on certain days of the week or during holiday periods.

Given today’s energy costs and the global climate situation, these issues are more relevant than ever.

  • Higher productivity:

Making better use of unoccupied space does not have to be to the detriment of employees – quite the contrary. Transforming traditional offices into smart offices, made possible by the use of data, helps to reduce the daily constraints on team productivity.
Making available space visible and adapting it according to need frees up employees to concentrate on what they do best: sharing and creating.
This is the niche of what is known as Activity Based Working2. This approach consists of providing employees with à la carte spaces according to their tasks during the day in order to:

– Support exchanges between teams (meeting and conference rooms).
– Stimulate creativity (brainstorming area and semi-lounge).
– Encourage concentration (individual areas, huddle spaces).

Only an in-depth analysis of the use of workspaces will reveal whether these three needs are supported by the existing organisation or whether there is room for improvement.

 

3. ROOMZ Advanced Analytics: a data-driven decision support tool  

ROOMZ Advanced Analytics allows you to create flexible, custome reports based on the data that is relevant to you:

  • What scope should the analysis cover?

Choose between analyses for an entire building or for individual floors:

ROOMZ advanced analytics

Benefits: management by floor provides a digitised map of the distribution of types of workspaces (e.g. permanent, reservable, huddle, etc.), while management by building helps to determine more global trends (e.g. analyses by zone or department).

  • Which time period?

ROOMZ Advanced Analytics allows you precisely define your analysis periods. You can select a custom time period, a specific month or even just specific days of the week.

Benefits: highlight the busiest periods in your offices and organise flexible schedules for your staff based on people flows.

  • What types of workspaces?

Create your analyses by selecting the type of workspace you are interested in: meeting room, office or huddle space.

Benefits: Analyse the workspace usage according to their type. Use the data to realign the balance between individual and collaborative workspaces to better meet needs.

  • What are my company’s needs?

The precision of the analyses depends on what you want to find out for your company. ROOMZ Advanced Analytics allows you to create analyses relating to types of workspaces, meeting rooms or office equipment, for example.

Benefits: Highlight employees’ real needs. For example, if a workstation is booked all the time and has a dual screen, perhaps other workstations should be equipped in the same way.

  • Privacy protection

Finally, it is important to note that ROOMZ technology in general and IoT sensors in particular have been designed to respect the anonymity of employees. A ROOMZ sensor knows whether a meeting room is occupied or not, but does not know who is inside. The aim here is to install a discreet and responsible technology that does not interfere with employees’ daily lives, and to collect occupancy data in a totally anonymous way.

> To learn more, please visit our ROOMZ Advanced Analytics web page.

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Whether you want to better understand your spaces, optimise them or anticipate how they will evolve, the essential role of analytical data is undeniable. Redesigning offices to meet the challenges posed by new ways of working is of utmost importance to businesses.


[1]  Wisenet I The utilization imperative report. (Original in USD).
[2] CBRE I The Complete Guide to Activity Based Working.

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