Welcome back to your workplace analytics masterclass. In the final class of the series, we’ll break down the process of transforming your workplace using data.As much as we wish you could snap your fingers and voilà create the perfect workplace, unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Creating a highly-efficient space where employees are productive, innovative, and happy takes iteration. In order to iterate confidently, you’ll want to make decisions based on data. Which brings us right back to, you guessed it, workplace analytics. In the final class of the series, we’ll explain the four phases of workplace transformation: evaluation, refinement, elevation, and post transformation. We’ll cover:
- The baseline data you need to set your workplace targets
- Key areas to focus on to improve your space
- New programs and initiatives to take on to hit your workplace goals
Phase 1: Evaluation
In the evaluation phase, you want to gather baseline data on how employees use the workplace. You’ll use this data to measure your progress as you improve the workplace and move from one phase to the next. Below, we cover three key metrics to measure along with examples of how you might use them to improve the workplace.
1. Employee attendance
Understanding employee attendance trends will prepare you for peak times and give you insight into how to improve your space to encourage more folks to work onsite. Consider tracking:
- Average attendance per day: Know when your workplace is busiest and slowest to staff your sites correctly, plan onsite events, and schedule maintenance repairs.
- Average days employees work onsite each week/month: Get an accurate headcount and be able to plan ahead/predict needs for lunches, desks, and office amenities.
- When different teams and departments work onsite: Prepare the workplace to meet the needs of specific teams so they can do their best work while onsite.
2. Meeting room usage
Meeting and conference rooms take up valuable real estate. Knowing how employees use this space will help you optimize it. Here’s what you should track:
- Most frequently booked rooms: Find out which rooms are most popular and why. For example, you may find the most commonly booked rooms are mid-sized or equipped with conferencing technology. With this information, you can optimize the rest of your spaces to meet your team’s needs.
- Most popular days and times to book rooms: Know when your team might have to convert large conference rooms into smaller meeting spaces to accommodate the higher demand.
- Average number of in-person attendees per meeting: Understand how many people your meeting rooms should accommodate. For example, if the average number of in-person attendees is five, the majority of your meeting rooms should accommodate at least five people.
- Percentage of scheduled v. ad hoc meetings: Know how employees like to work so you can better accommodate them. For example, say employees schedule the majority of their meetings in advance. Your team can make it a best practice to keep an eye out for larger or cross-functional meetings to ensure the space has the equipment and technology folks need to have a successful meeting.
3. Desk usage
Your organization and employee needs should determine your desk setup. Here are some metrics you should measure:
- Average percentage of desks employees book each day: Know whether you have too many, too few, or just enough desks so you can adjust accordingly.
- Which teams and departments book the most desks: Know which groups like to work together so you can customize their experience.
- Most popular desks to book: Understand which areas of the workplace people like to work most so you can replicate the environment elsewhere. For example, are desks near natural light most popular? If so, you can add more desks near windows.
Now, you should have a better understanding of the kind of baseline metrics you can choose. In the next phase, we’ll go over how to set goals to improve them.
Phase 2: Refinement
In this phase, you’ll establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for the workplace and begin to refine your space. We recommend focusing your KPIs on employee attendance, space usage, and workplace experience. Why? Improving these areas allows you to create a more efficient, cost effective workplace that employees love.
Once you’ve established your KPIs, it’s time to refine your space. Your aim should be to move closer to your goals by making incremental changes to the workplace. (Larger changes will come later in the transformation process.) You should focus your efforts on three key areas:
- Workplace policies and procedures: Update these in support of your goals. For example, if your workplace policy states that employees must work onsite at least twice a week, and your team aims to increase employee attendance by 2X in the next two quarters, you might update your policy to have employees work onsite an additional day each week.
- Space efficiency: Make incremental changes to the workplace to increase space efficiency and maximize the value of your current investments. For example, if you have a KPI tied to increasing the space efficiency of meeting rooms, you might change up several of your least booked rooms so they more closely resemble your most popular ones. This will give folks more optimal space to work and encourage them to use areas of the workplace they typically don’t book.
- Workplace experience: Apply employee attendance and space usage data to improve the workplace experience. For employee attendance, look for trends in high and low foot traffic. Use this data to better plan for onsite amenities and activities that make folks happy to go into the workplace. For meeting room and desk usage, look for space that’s most popular or underutilized. Use this data to convert unused space into space folks actually need, and give them more of what they already know they love.
Pro tip: Pull quarterly reports to show your executive team how employee attendance and space usage trends change over time. Highlight areas of growth and opportunities for continued improvement. Don’t forget to call out the actions you plan to take to move closer to your goals and the wins from the changes you’ve already made.
Phase 3: Elevation
So far, you’ve learned a lot about the workplace—how employees like to use it and the tactics that have been effective at improving it. While you focused on tactics in the previous phase, now it’s time to turn things up a notch. In this phase, you’ll introduce new programs aimed at closing the gap between today’s reality and your target KPIs. For example, you might introduce any of the following to help meet your goals:
- Monthly after-work activities (e.g., a happy hour or movie night)
- Quarterly onsite events
- New food and drink programs
- New types of space (e.g., casual, collaborative, heads-down areas)
- New workplace policies and procedures
- A cross-functional workplace experience team
- New workplace technologies
Whatever you introduce, it should serve the purpose of helping your team reach its goals.
Pro tip: Survey your employees to find out which programs would make them happier onsite. Give them several options to choose from and implement the most popular ones.
Continue to use the metrics you defined in phase one to evaluate how these new programs are helping your team hit its goals. Again, don’t introduce too much at once. Over time, testing and refining will lead to elevating the workplace.
Phase 4: Post transformation
By now, you’ve put a lot of effort into evaluating, refining, and elevating the workplace. You’ve set baseline metrics using your workplace analytics platform. You’ve made improvements to your policies and procedures, space, and workplace experience. Finally, you’ve introduced new programs in support of your workplace goals. Phase four is about keeping your foot on the gas pedal by continuing to measure and optimize your workplace efforts. You’ve got a handle on the basics, having made significant progress toward—or even reached—your goals. More importantly, you have the data to show for it. In this phase, executives are likely to be more willing to approve a higher budget or support an innovative initiative because you have data-backed, proven success. Leverage all of your wins to make a case for what you think will help to elevate your workplace further.
Pro tip: Continue to track and record your workplace wins and adjust your strategies according to what the data shows—and don’t forget to share your wins as they happen.
—That’s a wrap! Thanks for attending our workplace analytics masterclass. We hope you’ve learned a lot about how to use analytics to improve your space and the workplace experience. As you dive further into this work, keep in mind that transformation doesn’t happen overnight. Luckily, with the right plan of action and the support of workplace analytics, you can make progress toward creating a workplace where employees can be efficient, productive, and happy.