As a workplace manager, you’re used to juggling a lot—planning onsite programs, optimizing your space, creating a welcoming experience for visitors… The list goes on and on. While the sheer volume of responsibilities that you handle is impressive, it’s the impact of your work that matters most.That’s where workplace data can help. Workplace data can serve as solid evidence of your impact and help you make a compelling argument for more autonomy in your role, a larger budget, a broader scope of responsibilities—even a promotion. In this post, we’ll show you how to create a data-driven workplace so you can prove the impact of your work. Let’s get started.
What is workplace data?
Workplace data refers to the information an organization collects to understand how people use its physical space. Employee and visitor foot traffic, meeting room reservations, desk bookings, and delivery volume are all examples of workplace data. With workplace data, you can capture a comprehensive snapshot of how people use your company’s physical space. This gives you valuable insight into resource utilization and foot traffic patterns, empowering you to make data-driven improvements to your space.
Why is workplace data important?
Think of workplace data as a crystal ball. It gives you a glimpse into how folks use your workplace, enabling you to make informed decisions based on what you see. With good workplace data, you can:
- Measure the effectiveness of your in-office policy: Let’s say you expect employees to work onsite three days a week. By analyzing foot traffic data, you’ll know if folks are sticking to the plan or if you need to try new strategies to help boost attendance.
- Improve your workplace strategies: Data allows you to be confident in the efficacy of your strategies and show off your wins to executives. When something isn’t working as planned, workplace analytics can help you pinpoint the issue and make improvements to your strategy. This will help your team remain agile and prevent them from spending too much time on a strategy that isn’t producing results.
- Gain a competitive edge for your business: Workplace data can help you build the optimal environment for employees to work. The result? They’ll be able to collaborate more effectively and, according to a recent Gallup study, accomplish better results.
- Become a trusted financial steward: With data, you can understand how your company’s real estate and workplace investments are paying off. You can use it to justify spend, optimize space to reduce costs, and identify where your budget can be better allocated. This will help ensure you’re making the best decisions with your budget while also proving to executives that their costly investments are in good hands.
It’s important to note that not all data is created equal. To reap all of the benefits above, you need the right data—data that’s accurate, comprehensive, and unified. Collecting your workplace data from disparate sources, as opposed to a single comprehensive platform, leads to inconsistencies and discrepancies. The result? Unreliable, unusable data. We’ve dive into this more below.
3 steps to creating a data-driven workplace
Ready to harness the power of workplace data? With the right planning and tools, you can create a data-driven workplace where employees are effective, productive, and happy. To get started, follow these three simple steps.
1. Consolidate your disparate data using a workplace platform
The first step to creating a data-driven workplace is having a single source of truth. Relying on multiple sources of information is not only time consuming and frustrating, it can also lead to untrustworthy data. A workplace platform, on the other hand, provides:
- A unified view of your data: You can access real-time, trustworthy data whenever you need it from a single platform. Rather than waste time consolidating fragmented data, you can quickly gather data on foot traffic and space usage across all of your locations.
- Data consistency: A single source of truth ensures that there is only one authoritative and accurate version of the data. It eliminates inconsistencies and discrepancies that can arise from multiple sources, reducing the risk of errors and misinterpretation.
- Improved collaboration and communication: When everyone within an organization refers to the same source of truth, it fosters better collaboration and communication. Teams can rely on consistent and reliable data, which helps ensure they’re aligned and can focus on using the data to solve company problems.
- Better decision-making: Having a single source of truth provides decision-makers with accurate information to base their choices. The result? Better outcomes for your workplace and organization.
- Time and cost savings: Using one platform eliminates the need to merge disparate data sources, which can be a lengthy, frustrating process. It also streamlines the process of managing workplace data, which can reduce the number of tools your organization needs and, ultimately, save on costs.
- Scalability and agility: Relying on one platform can help workplace teams and employers respond quickly to changing space and real estate needs, as well as new business requirements. If your organization has multiple locations, you can get centralized insights on foot traffic, capacity, and space utilization for each location all in one place.
It might be tempting to think that more tools means more and better data. But the truth is, multiple sources of data can make it less reliable, harder to collect, and more difficult for your organization to use effectively.
2. Establish your goals and baseline metrics
The next step is to get clear on the purpose of your workplace. What are your organization’s workplace objectives? One might be to drive collaboration by having employees work onsite a certain number of days each week. Whatever the case for your organization, it’s important to define your general goals and understand what you’re going to track to determine your success. Once you’ve established your goals, it’s time to gather baseline data. This is important because it provides a starting point for comparison so you can measure your progress over time. This helps establish benchmarks, identify trends, and evaluate the effectiveness of your strategies.Once you have your baseline metrics, you need to get specific with your goals. If you decide to measure employee foot traffic, your goal might be to have an average weekly attendance of at least 80% over a quarter. Whatever your goals, remember to make them SMART:
- Specific: What exactly do you aim to achieve?
- Measurable: How will you know when you achieve it?
- Attainable: Is it truly possible to achieve?
- Relevant: Does it align with the business’s broader objectives?
- Time-bound: When do you aim to achieve it?
3. Look at reports regularly to spot trends and areas for improvement
Finally, regular monitoring of your workplace data will help your team track progress toward its goals, identify areas for improvement, and address issues or challenges before they escalate. It’s also a great way to maintain an ongoing conversation about the workplace with your stakeholders. Your workplace platform should enable you to easily download and share your reports with your team and stakeholders. Consider scheduling a regular meeting to discuss your workplace data each period, how your team is pacing toward its goals, and what you’re doing to meet them. Call out any patterns and trends you see—and don’t forget to celebrate your wins! Establishing a regular cadence to have these conversations is a critical step to creating a data-driven workplace.—Simply having access to workplace data isn’t as powerful as knowing how to put it to work. To use your data effectively, you need to adopt a comprehensive workplace platform and set up the right processes. This doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, keeping things simple—using a single platform to gather your data, establishing a handful of north star metrics, and checking in on a regular cadence—will help you make the most of your workplace data.