How space data impacts employee experience, like a fitness band for work

Big data empowers organizations to measure the effectiveness of the workplace, and improve it based on actionable data. The Internet of Things has reformed the way companies use people analytics to improve employee experience. HR is refocusing effort to build a holistic employee experience; a general perception is not as credible as data analysis.

Praveen Rawal May 10th 2018 A-A+

Cracking the code of employee experience is crucial to every organization’s retention strategy. A happy employee results in a win-win situation for both parties, and is the key to overall culture, most businesses will agree.

What’s the secret to a happy workforce?

An office gym, WorkCafe, more vacation time, or a performance bonus?

The recent surge in office design is a wakeup call to leaders who believe that work environments are not a high priority. Globally and in India, organizations are designing for engagement and leveraging data + insights to better support their teams.

Competition for talent has led many organizations to invest heavily in transforming work settings. When you make this onetime large capital expenditure, it’s critical to understand how space is being used and what employees are really looking for.

Forward-thinking organizations are looking for data-driven solutions to help drive better reporting and decision-making around real estate utilization. Data-driven solutions refer to using sensors to collect insights that monitor and analyze space usage. For about a decade, there has been an increase in computational power and the volume of available data.  Here’s how data-driven spaces have the potential to transform your company culture.

Recognizing various work modes

We can all agree that offices of the past, built to pack as many desks as possible into the least amount of space, were not human centered. Cookie cutter layouts can’t support today’s different ways of working.

Making connections between usage and space traits enables organizations to understand and support various work modes that exist within the Indian workforce. Today with the help of the analytics team, companies are able to connect space with personalization.

Analytics track spaces that employees are majorly working in, whether they are designated desks or shared seats in an open floorplan. This in turn aids employees to understand their favorite spot and helps employers decide which spaces to accommodate. Increased diversity in backgrounds, culture, education and gender have led to different workplace preferences. The evolving ways people work are changing how organizations support their workers. If the workplace isn’t providing people with what they need, there will be no room for in-person collaboration and comfort.

Reducing real estate cost

As our urban population is fast growing, more space is needed to accommodate workers. In most of Asia, especially in countries like India, there are real estate constraints and limited space for large employee populations. This hinders the possibility to create effective workplaces and force tough decisions about how to maximize space.

Therefore, it becomes more critical to effectively utilize robust data analytics to make more informed decisions about what kind of spaces to invest in. Real-time sensing and reporting enables companies to pinpoint overused and underused spaces, to accurately create spaces.

Creating an engaging space

How can you keep your employees satisfied?

The answer may be as simple as ‘by engaging them on a daily basis’.

Big data creates better, more effective places and the people will reap the benefits by having a workplace that lets them do their best work. For instance, data helps you detect an unutilized space and benefit from the popular workplace tools or areas.

You may discover from data that a large conference room is rarely used or rooms with whiteboards are more frequently used. Other aspects such as private desks, breakout spaces, video conferencing, standing height tables, are all able to become data points to help reveal how to create a better, more engaging workplace. It is no secret that there is a strong positive correlation between employee engagement and the workplace.

HR is refocusing effort to build a holistic employee experience through the power of analytics. For a better performance from your top talent, a general perception is not as credible as data analysis.

The art of viewing workplace analytics through a human-centered lens is a trend that is here to stay. Big data empowers organizations to measure the effectiveness of the workplace, and improve it based on actionable data. The Internet of Things has reformed businesses in every industry, and companies need to focus on people analytics to lift up their employee experience.

Praveen Rawal is Managing Director, India and Southeast Asia, Steelcase 

Disclaimer: This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the contributing authors and not of IDG Media and its editor(s).