In a way, 2021 is the year for everyone to start fresh. Not long ago, executives were focused on finding ways to reduce their real estate footprint, and/or grow headcount within it. Now, business leaders have the opportunity to embark on a thoughtful pivot to create flexible spaces that will boost productivity, ensure safety, and serve the needs of employees.
The way forward is to redesign offices that consider:
- Business objectives and growth plans
- Company culture
- The physical space itself
In order to create this plan, which must be accessible to employees, demonstrate ROI, and secure executive buy-in, workplace and facilities leaders must be able to measure and track a wide range of variables.
They can do so by using indoor location data.
Slashing real estate footprint not the answer
It makes sense for companies rebounding to cut costs – but drastic real estate decisions are not ideal. If not executed well, a dramatic reduction in resources can actually hinder an employee’s desire to be in the workplace and impact their productivity overall. Instead, assess the space you have and determine how it can support the needs of tomorrow’s Dynamic Office.
Most workplace experience teams prioritize occupancy and capacity planning. Managing the total number of people in an office or on a specific floor is a strong step forward in managing the office re-opening. At a high level, it reveals general density metrics like number-of-people/sq-ft, peak occupancy trends, and occupancy over time. Many use this data to reduce the office space based on the number of visitors.
The challenge is that rationalizing a real estate portfolio (and subsequently slashing resources) based on occupancy doesn’t consider the individuals in the space, how they interact, and how the company evolves over time.
For example: typical occupancy data may show that 25 percent of a floor or zone is occupied each day. But that’s not the same 25 percent of your team; instead, it’s around 70 percent of your employees coming to work periodically.
WiFi-based analytics can foster the right decisions
The data needed to make the case for this thoughtful shift is already present through existing WiFi networks. WiFi-based analytics can help business leaders understand how a space is being used and who is using it – vital insights to transforming the office from a destination to a value-added resource.
These insights go far beyond occupancy alone. They create rich user stories to underpin resourcing, colocation, and flex work strategies.
It dives deeply into pathways, and understands how often people visit the office, for how long and where they go while they are there. This information is game-changing when considering how your company will step forward to compete for talent, align growth and leasing strategies, and create new services for employees and guests.
This is where the power of indoor location technology can go far beyond just measuring people in a space to help uncover trends and insights that are critical to resourcing, productivity, business continuity – all of the elements needed to make the right decisions and the right pitch for executive approvals.
Rebound from COVID with always-on data strategy
Forward-thinking business leaders will rebound from this crisis by not only focusing on their bottom lines through cost-saving measures and market adjustments, but by adopting a new way of thinking about the space in which they operate, and how that is best suited to serve employees.
Implementing an always-on data driven strategy will differentiate the companies that can successfully reopen offices, keep those doors open and ensure their people are safe and healthy – from those that leave operations to guesswork.
WiFi is the first piece of the puzzle. It enables businesses to get more of their data, which is inherently unbiased, enabling managers to make defensible, objective data-driven decisions based on the true reflection of what is happening in each office, floor, zone, or conference room.
The key is to start early, and track what’s happening in the office now – and how it evolves in weeks and months to come. These are early data points that will point to where that office needs to go, for the good of the business and of the people.
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