4 strategies to maximize your workplace analytics for space usage



Do you feel pressure to get your office spaces right? A lot of companies do. Empty square meters pour money down the drain. Crammed spaces cause severe dissatisfaction. That’s why many are turning to smart office sensors to measure how their workplaces are used, and workplace analytics that let them make better space decisions. Here are 4 ways to get the most out of these methods.


Strategy #1: Aggregate, don’t aggravate

Your smart office technology can collect a wide assortment of data points. Occupancy trends from occupancy sensors. Utilization data from people counting sensors. Air quality metrics from indoor climate sensors. Booking behaviors from the room booking system. And so much more. There’s a lot to digest. To draw the most accurate conclusions from a workplace analytics system, these data points cannot be understood in isolation.
Imagine you want to understand why a certain number of rooms are being underutilized, but you’re missing the bigger picture. How many people typically use the rooms? Could it be poor air quality? Do people try to book the room, but don’t end up using it? Guesswork only leads to poor outcomes and frustration. With a workplace analytics system that aggregates all your smart office data, you’ll gain a holistic picture to answer workplace questions, spot long-term trends, and identify underlying problems.


Strategy #2: Let’s (inter)face it

All the data in the world isn’t useful if you can’t act on it. That’s why your analytics interface is critical. Poor interfaces can keep an organization back from being able to harness their data for office excellence. A few things might be the root cause. Avoid these types of analytics interfaces:


  • Interfaces that require extensive training or technical expertise: When every workplace decision-maker can log in and find relevant insights—without onboarding—your organization avoids adding staff and additional processes.


  • Interfaces that aren’t enjoyable to use: If logging into your interface feels like a chore, your organization will face an unnecessary hurdle to actually using your analytics investment.


  • Interfaces that make it time-consuming to find your conclusions: A conclusion should only be a few clicks away, and should not take hour-long processing or 15 open tabs.


  • Interfaces that can’t provide historical data: Digging into past trends is key to setting your offices up for future success.


Selecting a workplace analytics interface that is intuitive, and allows users to have quick access to insights about occupancy, booking information, and usage statistics, will ultimately make the right choices obvious.


Strategy #3: Really, really real-time

A range of different technologies exist in the modern smart office, from occupancy sensors to room booking systems. But to confidently draw conclusions from these technologies, it is vital that the data they collect is in real time. Why is that? Here’s an example to illustrate.
Let’s say you need to decide whether to keep or repurpose a meeting room. To do so, you want to figure out how much it is actually used, day to day, week to week. If there are hour-long gaps in your data, it might suggest the room was occupied for a full hour, when in reality it was only used for 10 minutes. With this low level of granularity, how confident can you actually be in the decision you make?

This level of uncertainty is common when companies rely solely on room booking systems, or use occupancy sensors with a low upload frequency. Instead, you need as detailed data as possible. True real-time, sub-second data is the standard today that empowers confident workplace decisions.


Strategy #4: Perfectly private

While there is a lot to gain from workplace analytics, it should never come at the cost of your employees’ right to privacy. Look for systems that respect employees and the regulations that protect them.
One dependable approach is to collect data for your analytics that is anonymized straight from the point of collection. For instance, with occupancy sensors that purely detect motion, and can’t identify individual employees. Of course, some types of data can’t always be anonymous from the start, such as room booking data. In these cases, ensure all data is anonymized within the analytics system, and that your smart office technology providers do not have access to any of the data you collect.

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