The Value of Workplace Analytics
Analytics is invaluable to the world of business. From sales to marketing to accounting and beyond, every business function needs data to understand successes and failures. But studying analytics doesn’t have to be confined to specific departments or activities. In fact, analytics is useful for understanding an entire company, how its employees operate, and what makes them succeed. This is called workplace analytics.
To keep happy, productive employees, their workplace environment must be comfortable. In other words, they need to have a workspace that supports the kind of work they do and gives them the tools they need to succeed. The time it takes for employees to complete their work in a suitable workplace is far quicker than in a poor workspace. Workplace analytics lays bare what is and isn’t working in the office. For instance, it offers solid proof of how workspaces are truly being used. After collecting the data, decision makers such as facility managers must decide what, if any, actions to take. If data reveals that an office reorganization will markedly improve workplace productivity and satisfaction, facilities managers should begin planning the new floor layout.
In today’s dynamic work environment, businesses that lack understanding into how the office is used will pay the price in terms of employee morale, work quality, and turnover. Today’s workforce expects a workplace that provides them with the tools for success, including good spaces, equipment, and amenities. Workplace analytics uncovers how your employees use their workspaces, perks, and tools. The biggest insight that workplace analytics provides is shedding light on what is and isn’t working. To improve the workplace, you must constantly evaluate it. Workplace analytics also includes real estate analytics (to be further discussed), an extremely valuable subset of the broader workplace analytics.
Achieve Peak Real Estate Optimization With VuSpace
Real estate optimization minimizes your building’s occupancy costs and maximizes ROI. But how do you achieve real estate optimization if you lack the data to fully understand your situation? Businesses should evaluate their operations against several important metrics that identify areas of improvement or concern. While most people imagine data as measuring financials or operations such as customers or sales, more and more businesses are leveraging space utilization metrics. Wisely managing one’s own real estate is crucial for reaping success in the future. Specifically, real estate analytics focuses on the office space that a company uses and includes space utilization. All facility managers should understand these five space utilization metrics:
Capacity and Occupancy
Capacity indicates the maximum number of people a space can hold. Occupancy indicates the number of people who are using it at a given point in time. While capacity never changes, occupancy does. Measuring capacity helps facility managers understand how many employees can use a workspace at any given time. Examining total capacity (a sum of all workspace capacities) determines how well the workplace can support the entire employee base, which is useful for other metrics like utilization. It is also helpful to examine occupancy trends by the hour, day of the week, or over a longer time period. These show usage trends and help identify which spaces are either too large or too small for the number of individuals who need to use them. Capacity and occupancy are the core metrics for most space utilization metrics.
To calculate overall office space utilization, divide the number of employees by total workplace capacity. Say you have 100 employees in a space that can comfortably fit 200. Your utilization is only 50%. Although this metric doesn’t measure space efficiency, it does show whether the space is being over or underutilized. Better information can be reaped from space-specific metrics. These include point-in-time trends, areas of underutilization, workstation occupancy, and peak usage data. When facility managers understand total workplace utilization and individual workspace use, they can greatly improve efficiency in using those workspaces.
Density tends to be a more specific utilization metric. It is useful for examining departments, floors, and business segments. Density data reveals whether a certain segment needs more office space or when business demands become too high for current workspace types. For example, say the accounting department has 40 people. If utilization metrics demonstrate that as many as 33 of them are in a conference room at any given time, accounting has a high need for conference rooms. However, if they only have access to one conference room with a capacity of 20, this creates a problem. Density is an excellent way to understand certain groups’ demands for specific spaces.
Cost Per Head/Seat
Companies not only have to balance employees and the types of workspaces they prefer but also control costs and create optimized floorplans. To understand the cost of housing your employees within your office, calculate the cost per head/seat breaks. This breaks the fixed lease down to a granular figure. The data can estimate the cost of facility growth, model a workspace’s productivity, and reveal inefficiencies in particular desking arrangements. They say that if it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed. That’s why cost per head/seat is an essential utilization metric.
Workplaces today are largely mobile. To accurately measure space utilization, you must account for this mobility. Calculate the numbers of remote workers, part-time vs. full-time workers, and average visitors on a day or week. These workers don’t require office space (usually). Nevertheless, they do impact utilization. If your workplace has 200 seats and 150 regularly occupied desks, it has a 75% utilization. If all the remote and part-time employees have to come in the office at once, however, this could create a capacity problem. Calculating mobility ratios can help businesses avoid these types of problems.
Real Estate Analytics Steers Companies Towards Success
Understanding space utilization through careful data analysis helps facility managers make better decisions. Real estate analytics demonstrates that a workplace plays a huge role in company success. However, real estate analytics is quite difficult to gather, unless you have powerful office sensors that gather the data for you. Facility managers can use these metrics to achieve real estate optimization and advance the company’s goals.
Let VuSpace Be Your Trusted Analytics Reporter
No matter what the benefits of tracking analytics are, your company may simply lack the time to track them. We save that time for you. Try VuSpace, our comprehensive analytics and sensor management platform. Take a look at our new enhancements:
- Set custom recurring notifications based on capacity, usage, and occupancy.
- Receive notifications in our web dashboard or via text and email.
- Use area rules to support custodial schedules and improve cleaning to better match usage.
- Extended reporting capabilities for larger, more efficient historical analysis.
- General support for increased health and safety focus for our clients.
VuSpace is here to help your company achieve peak space understanding and utilization. Watch your office undergo a transformation when you use our agile workplace technology. You’ll be well equipped with an agile workplace that can change according to company and employee needs.