It seems this has been "the year of workplace data", with IoT and analytics taking a swing from nice-to-have towards necessity. The ultimate goal of data is to simplify large decisions made by corporate real estate and facilities professionals, and it turns out it provides much more than just numbers, it provides knowledge. I sat down with two data experts, Ari Kepnes and Melissa Marsh, and covered why data should be on the top of your list for the coming year.
The Data-Driven Workplace For Corporate Real Estate & Facility Management Leaders
Ari Kepnes | Director of Market Research, Density, Inc.
"When we think about data and making these decisions, this balancing act between efficiency and experience, it can sound pretty abstract and overwhelming. But we're going to focus specifically on how do we actually understand how people are using space as a way to steer ourselves through this maze of data."
To watch the complete recording of The Data-Driven Workplace, click here.
Social Research, People Analytics and The "Science of Delight"
Melissa Marsh | Founder of PLASTARC & Director of Occupant Experience at Savills Studley
"We have more technical capability, more data and information around an ability to measure delight in relation to architecture. We are on the doorstep of the science of delight."
Melissa Marsh, Founder & Executive Director of PLASTARC, a company dedicated to increasing the flexibility of space using social research and occupant engagement, really blew my mind with her scientific approach to analyzing workplace effectiveness and measuring employee satisfaction.
We discuss the thought behind "Science of Delight", which Melissa believes is necessary to make informed decisions about your workspace that will benefit your employees. From gathering data to understand the number of people that occupy your space, to analyzing social media to see how visitors respond to a new building, looking at information gathering as a science proves effective. It's even possible to use cognitive monitoring to measure responses someone is experiencing in an environment on a subconscious level.
In her research, Melissa has seen a new trend towards "consumerization of the workplace", which she defines as a shift in decision making about real estate and the workplace experience. We used to see the c-suite making decisions about renovations or what technology to adopt, but now individuals are making those choices.
"Originally, real estate decisions were made by the organization...maybe by a CFO...increasingly what we see is those decisions are being made through workplace models like activity-based working...or the interests and preferences of the employee based are being taken into consideration in a new way."
The c-suite is listening to where employees want to work, and how, and is using data backed by science to make decisions that benefit the most people. Considering we spend so much time at work, and we're more likely to do a good work if we enjoy the workspace, I'd say that's a gift we all could appreciate.