Workplace analytics 101: What it is and why you need it
The beauty of having workplace analytics at your fingertips is that it can make your job easier, not harder. Here’s how.
Hello and welcome to your workplace analytics masterclass. We’re so glad you could join us! There’s a lot to cover in today’s class, so let’s dive right in.
Imagine this: you’ve been hired at a new company and they’ve tasked you with creating the ideal workspace for employees. You might be thinking, “Great! When do I start?” But, not so fast. There’s a catch: there’s no way to measure how many employees will use the space, when they plan to come in, or their working preferences. You’ll have to rely on guesswork.
If you’re thinking that sounds next to impossible, we’re with you. Luckily, workplace analytics offers an antidote to guesswork: data. With data, you can make smart, calculated decisions about your work space. The result? You impress your company with a plan to optimize the workplace and create a space that employees love. In this first course, we’ll introduce you to the basics of workplace analytics. We’ll cover:
- What is workplace analytics is and why is it important?
- Examples of workplace analytics
- 4 questions to consider when looking for workplace analytics software
What is workplace analytics?
Workplace analytics is a set of tools and dashboards that measure key workplace metrics, including space usage, employee attendance, and visitor volume. With access to these analytics, you can glean important insights to make more cost-effective decisions to optimize your space. You can assess real estate needs, make smarter staffing decisions, and improve the onsite experience—to name a few. Let’s dive into all of the benefits of workplace analytics below.
The benefits of workplace analytics
You may be thinking: do I really need another tool to manage? The answer is: yes—but the beauty of having workplace analytics at your fingertips is that it can make your job easier, not harder. By integrating with your workplace platform, you get a full view of how folks use your space, so you can reap all of the benefits below.
- Increased efficiency: Without data, optimizing the workplace is a slow, difficult process. With data, you see a clear picture of how people use the workplace and can quickly improve it. Even better: your employees will benefit. With the workplace optimized to meet their needs, they can be more productive and efficient while on site.
- Improved decision-making: You probably oversee many workplace projects—return-to office policies, onsite programs, internal communications, the list goes on. With workplace analytics, you can make decisions to support those projects confidently because you have data to back you up. Need to know how much food to order throughout the week? No problem. You can see employee and visitor attendance by day. Not sure how to reorganize your space? Easy. You can take a peek at space usage data to see what types of space your employees need most.
- A safer workplace: Having insight into who’s onsite, when, and what part of the workplace they need access to can help you identify gaps in your organization’s security. You can use this data to make smarter staffing decisions, and improve your visitor policies and sign-in procedures to ensure your workplace—and people—are safe.
- More employee productivity: You can empower your employees to work productively onsite by designing the workplace to support their different working needs. For example, workplace analytics can help you see which days of the week the workplace is busiest so you can adjust your space for onsite collaboration, casual hangouts, or heads-down work.
- Better employee and visitor experience: Creating a great workplace experience starts with preparation. With workplace analytics, you can see how many employees and visitors plan to be on site on any given day. With this information, you can create a top-notch workplace experience for employees and visitors. For employees, you can ensure there are enough amenities to go around, the space is optimally organized, and that your team is staffed to support the number of folks on site. For visitors, you can ensure anyone coming on site is welcomed and that their host is available to meet them upon check in.
Examples of workplace analytics
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of workplace analytics, let’s explore what you can measure with these tools in hand.
- Employee attendance: This data gives you insight into how many employees will be onsite on a given day and how attendance fluctuates throughout the workweek.
Why it matters: Analyzing attendance trends helps you plan ahead for catering, events, and collaboration between coworkers. It also gives you a picture of return-to-office trends so you can report to your executive team and prepare your space accordingly.
- Visitor foot traffic: This data gives you insight into how many visitors plan to come into the workplace and when. You’ll be able to understand who’s coming in by visitor type, whether it’s contractors, business partners, vendors, or others.
Why it matters: Having data on visitor foot traffic helps ensure you’re staffed properly for busy times and enables you to create a great first impression for visitors. Importantly, it also helps you identify gaps in your office security so you can make critical improvements.
- Meeting room usage: This data gives you insight into the types of meeting space your employees need. You’ll see data on which rooms are booked most often and which ones go unused.
Why it matters: Data on meeting room usage helps you get to the bottom of your room usage so you can make informed decisions about your space. You can make data-backed decisions about the number and type of meeting spaces your organization needs.
- Desk usage: This data gives you insight into desk booking patterns. You’ll be able to see how many folks are booking desks, filtering by team, department, or floor.
Why it matters: Data on desk usage helps you adapt your space to better suit employee preferences and ensure you use your space efficiently. You can add more desks in the areas that tend to get booked out and fewer desks where folks barely book desks.
4 questions to consider when looking for workplace analytics software
Still with us? Now that we’ve covered examples of workplace analytics, it’s time to help you find the best software to meet your needs. Here are a few questions to consider when you begin the search:.
1. Are you looking at point solutions or a comprehensive workplace platform?
You may have a specific need in mind for workplace analytics that a one-off solution addresses. But, ask yourself: is this short-term thinking? Today, you may want to understand employee attendance numbers so you can report on return-to-office trends. But next month you could have other requirements, such as needing to know how to optimize your space to support employees.
With a workplace platform, you’ll have a holistic view of what’s happening in the workplace. You’ll have access to comprehensive reports on space usage and onsite foot traffic. This data will be available in a single dashboard, so you won’t have to bounce from one tool to the next to piece together a single view. Not to mention, your IT team won’t have to review multiple solutions as your needs grow because a platform will have the capacity to grow with you.
2. Does the software integrate with third-party applications?
Along the same lines, you should consider the flexibility of your workplace analytics solution. Does it integrate with other tools (think: access control, wifi, and security tools) to create a seamless experience for your team and employees? If so, this will save you and your employees the time and hassle of switching between different workplace tools. Another upside to integrations: they reduce application complexities, which in turn helps tighten your organization’s security.
3. Will the software scale with your business needs?
Today you may need your workplace analytics to keep track of the onsite space usage of your single office. But as your business grows, your analytics will need to be sophisticated enough to keep up. Make sure your software can handle multiple locations and provide a global analytics overview. This way, your workplace analytics can continue to provide critical data points and insight no matter how much your organization matures.
4. Is the software employee friendly?
Sure, you need workplace analytics to drive your working decisions. But first you need to ensure that the software is something that your employees will actually use. Employee-friendly workplace software is easy to use and helps make their time on site more efficient and seamless. The result? A better workplace experience.
Congrats on completing your first class! Studying up on all things workplace analytics—what it is, why it’s important, and what to consider when purchasing software—is a great step to take to make your workplace even better.
Remember: workplace analytics help you work smarter, not harder. With the right tools at your fingertips, you’ll be able to optimize your space for your team, your employees, and your business.
Ready to learn more about workplace analytics?
Explore our other post, 3 return-to-office analytics to track to increase workplace attendance.Learn more