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Combine Workplace Analytics and Employee Input to Optimize Office Space

survey_image_medium_GLstock_600pxWhen deciding to renovate your current office or build new space, what sort of information should you consider?  

Ideally, you want actionable information that combines workplace analytics and anecdotal employee input so you can make well-informed decisions. Solid analytical and anecdotal data will allow you to minimize costs and maximize benefits.

That said, your deliberation should weigh the pros and cons from a variety of perspectives, not just financial.

Ask for Input to Improve Employee Buy-In

It's well-documented that workspace design has psychological effects on employees. If you expect your staff to put their hearts and souls into their work, consider the amenities they want. 

Are they bringing in their own desk lamps because your lighting is too dark or too harsh? Lighting is probably a consideration during your remodel or build-out anyway, why not weigh your employees' preferences before making a decision?

Surveys are a simple and effective way of finding out which aspects of the current office layout work for your employees – and which don't. And if asked at the beginning, those beneficial insights will not only save you money but also improve morale.

On the other hand, if you don’t seek their input you may end up with an unhappy workforce – and in a highly competitive labor market that could cost you talent. Think of it this way: You’re not just remodeling or building an office. You are building relationships.

The real power of employee surveys comes from learning the intangibles. You never know what you might find out, until you ask. Maybe your employees bring in their own space heaters in the winter because the office thermostat is set too low. Then you probably aren’t saving money on total utility bills, plus you're creating fire hazards. 

Your remodel or build-new decision will be better made if you are transparent in the decision-making process and keep your employees in the loop.

And once your decision has been made, let your employees know what to expect, especially if you plan on making major changes. Help them understand the “why” involved in your decisions. You’ll head off any cultural revolts and your employees will be happier throughout the process.

Actionable Analytics

Employee input certainly has a lot of value, and surveys about their needs and wants will likely influence many elements of the new or updated office space. 

Analytical data, however, can offer insights about the actual use of space. It's not unusual for people's perceptions of how a space is used to vary – sometimes drastically – from reality.

Tracking the use of meeting rooms with EventBoard analytics will give you a much better idea about the collaborative and group needs in your office. 

  • For example, you can determine the average length of meetings and the number of attendees. If your employees tend to meet frequently in small teams (such as for daily planning sessions), you could decide to build more small meeting areas throughout each floor instead of one or two large conference rooms.
  • Or let's say you realize the executive floor has multiple meetings of large groups every day. It could make sense to build one large, centralized board room in that area.
  • You might notice that the sales team's floor has meetings scheduled throughout the day, on the hour, and they use technology heavily and want privacy. That may lead to tech-heavy conference rooms with soundproofing. (Read more about current technology for conference rooms.)
Here at EventBoard, when we're talking about the value of workplace analytics we like to share a little story about one of our clients, Mozilla.

When Mozilla began using EventBoard analytics, they discovered that one small room was being used more than the others. As it turned out, it was because the room had an Apple TV and the other rooms didn't. Finding out that employees actually preferred affordable Apple TVs over expensive AV equipment saved them thousands in facilities expenses.

Together, employee input and the power of analytics can make your next office redesign truly remarkable.

If done right – and it can be done right with the proper information – your new office space could boost employee productivity and reduce costs. Those are two outcomes everybody can enjoy.

Wondering if analytics can really make a difference? Read this story from our customer Genysis Brand Solutions.

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