Workplace analytics 201: How to save costs by optimizing your space

Aug 1, 2023
In our 201 class, we’ll build upon what you learned so far. You’ll discover how to use analytics to optimize your space and save on your business’s bottom line.
Tiffany Fowell
Content Marketing Manager

Welcome back to your workplace analytics masterclass. If you took our first class, Workplace analytics 101, you learned what workplace analytics is, its benefits, and what you should consider when looking for analytics software. If you missed it or need a refresher, now’s the time to go back and get up to speed.In our 201 class, we’ll build upon what you learned so far. You’ll discover how to use analytics to optimize your space and save on your business’s bottom line. We’ll cover:

  • What is space optimization?
  • How inefficient space costs your organization
  • 3 ways to use analytics to optimize your space

What is space optimization?

Space optimization is the process of making a space work to its fullest potential. With real-time space usage data provided by workplace analytics software, employers can make decisions that save on costs and create a better workplace experience for employees.

How inefficient space costs your organization

You already know that optimizing the workplace is important, so let’s dive a bit deeper and explore why. In this section, we’ll cover why space optimization matters so you can make a business case for investing in tools that’ll help you improve the workplace.

  • It increases cash burn: Wasted space (unused or inefficient space) is wasted money. By optimizing your space, you save on costs and free up some of your budget to put toward other areas of the workplace.
  • It hinders productivity: When employees can’t find (or can’t easily find) the best space to do their work, their productivity lessens. When they can, they can move from one workflow into the next with fewer distractions and more productivity.
  • It lessens operational efficiency: When the workplace doesn’t operate efficiently, your business wastes important resources, such as people’s time and effort. In turn, this can negatively impact your organization’s bottom line. An operationally efficient workplace is more agile, productive, and, as a result, more profitable.
  • It results in a poorer workplace experience: Your employees can’t have a great experience onsite if the workplace doesn’t meet their needs. A poor onsite experience can lower morale, cause frustration, and dampen the experience for others working onsite. On this flipside, a great workplace experience can ensure folks have a positive time onsite, make them more willing to come back, and support company culture.

3 ways to use analytics to optimize your space

By now you know that inefficient space isn’t just bad for your organization’s wallet, it leads to a poor onsite experience for employees. In this section, we’ll show you how you can use analytics to create a more efficient space and improve the workplace experience.

#1: Analyze return-to-office trends

With workplace analytics, you can see when employees work onsite, filtering by individual, team, department, and even location. Breaking the data down in this way helps your team measure its return-to-office efforts more precisely, and equips you with important insights to share with executives. For example, you can use these insights to understand trends in when different teams or departments work onsite. With this information, you can customize the workplace for the folks who’ll be onsite, ensuring they have the space and amenities they need to be productive, efficient, and happy. You might prepare the workplace for the engineering team by making sure their desks have monitors and ergonomic keyboards. Or, you might prepare the space for the marketing team by having whiteboards and other collaboration supplies ready for use in your larger meeting rooms.

#2: Prepare for fluctuations in foot traffic

Workplace analytics provides a more precise headcount of employees onsite. You can see data on actual arrivals to the workplace, walk-ins (folks who don’t register in advance), and no-shows. This information gives your team a more accurate headcount than employee registrations alone, so you can better prepare space and amenities for employees. You’ll be able to:

  • Ensure you’re staffed appropriately. For example, if you know the workplace is busiest during the middle of the week, you can increase your staff on those days. This way, you’ll have enough support to make changes to the workplace so it better accommodates employees. You might have your team convert large conference rooms into smaller meeting spaces or rearrange desks so folks have more space to do heads-down work.
  • Plan onsite events. For example, if you want to plan a midday social hour, knowing how many folks arrived that day will help you decide how much space to reserve for the gathering. An accurate headcount will also help you choose a spot in the workplace that can accommodate attendees while creating the least amount of disturbance for those who might be working through the event.
  • Schedule maintenance repairs. When onsite tools and technology break, it can create inefficiencies in your space. For example, you may have two large conference rooms, but if the technology isn’t working in one of them, folks won’t use it. By knowing how many employees to expect on any given day, you can plan your maintenance on quiet days or know who to reroute to a different space if needed. Bonus: look for smart room scheduling software that will rebook space for you, automatically.

#3: Create a more flexible workplace

Workplace analytics also allows you to see how employees use different types of space, such as meeting rooms and bookable desks. With this information, you can build a more flexible working environment for employees. As a refresher, here are some examples of the types of space you can measure:

  • Bookable desks
  • Meeting rooms
  • Work pods
  • Lounge space

Analyzing your data, you might find that on quiet days folks tend to book more heads down space—hot desks away from teammates and smaller meeting rooms, for example. In contrast, on busier days, employees might book more collaboration spaces—hot desks near teammates and larger meeting rooms. With this in mind, you can change your space up throughout the week to accommodate the fluctuating needs of employees. By being responsive to your employees’ needs you can create a space that allows them to be productive, efficient, and happy whenever they’re in the workplace.—That’s a wrap on this workplace analytics 201 class. To recap, inefficient space is costly: it increases cash burn, cuts down on productivity and efficiency, and results in a poor onsite experience. When you optimize your space, employees can use it to its fullest potential. That’s a win for your team, your employees, and for your organization’s wallet. Stay tuned for our final class of the series: How to use workplace analytics to transform your space.

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AUTHOR BIO
Content Marketing Manager

Tiffany is a content crafter and writer at Envoy, where she helps workplace leaders build a workplace their people love. Outside of work, her passions include spending time with her greyhound, advocating for the Oxford comma, and enjoying really great tea.

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