Workplace analytics 301: Transform your space with data in 4 phases

Mar 12, 2024
Learn how workplace analytics can help create a highly-efficient space where employees are productive, innovative, and happy.
Tiffany FowellEnvoy Logo
Content Marketing Manager
Marketing Specialist

Welcome back to your workplace analytics masterclass. In this class, we’ll break down the process of transforming your workplace using data—it’s easier said than done. Creating a highly-efficient space where employees are productive, innovative, and happy takes iteration. In order to iterate confidently, you’ll want to make informed decisions based on workplace analytics.

In this article, 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, it’s time 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.

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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 appropriately, plan onsite events, and provide the right amount of resources. Automatically integrating your access control data with your workplace analytics platform lets you get a clear picture of your employee attendance alongside other occupancy data.
  • Average days employees work onsite each week/month: Get an accurate headcount and be able to plan ahead and predict demand 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 versus ad-hoc meetings: Know how employees like to work so you can better accommodate them. For example, say employees schedule most 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 needed for a successful meeting.

3. Desk usage

Your organization’s and employees’ needs should determine your desk layout. Here are some metrics you should measure if your office doesn’t have assigned seating:

  • 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 in 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 that we’ve covered the type of baseline metrics you can look at, next 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 earns your employees’ commutes.

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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:

  1. 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. Fun fact: some workplace management tools allow you to set an attendance policy and track it
  2. 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 in and encourage them to use areas of the workplace they typically don’t book.
  3. 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. You can then convert this unused space into new layouts folks actually need, and give them more of what they already know they love.

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Phase 3: Elevation

So far, you’ve learned a lot about your 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 spaces (e.g., casual, collaborative, heads-down areas)
  • New workplace policies and processes
  • A cross-functional workplace experience team
  • New workplace technologies  

Whatever you introduce, it should serve the purpose of helping your team reach its goals.

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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 the most productive version of your 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 elevate your workplace further.

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—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. Take a look at our final masterclass, “Workplace Analytics 401: How an integrated platform powers better data-driven strategy,” to learn about the benefits of choosing an integrated platform to capture, understand, and leverage workplace data.

Pro tip: Want to dive deeper into the metrics below? Refer back to our 101 and 201 classes.

Pro tip: Choose KPIs that you can measure using your workplace platform data analytics dashboard. Also, be sure you’re aligned with your executive team before finalizing them.

Pro tip: Pull monthly and 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 celebrate your wins and call out the actions you plan to take to keep the momentum going.

Pro tip: Survey your employees to find out which programs would make them happier and more productive onsite. Give them several options to choose from and implement the most popular ones.

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.

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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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