Man presenting data-sets to co-workers

How can data shape the workplace of tomorrow?

How do you know if you’re making the right decisions about your corporate real estate?

The answer, simply put, is data.

Businesses and teams are faced with complex decisions every day and having access to accurate and timely data enables those decisions to be better informed. The information comes in many forms, from many different sources and the right systems can integrate this data into powerful insights which enable businesses to understand space utilisation, improve asset management and monitor workplace air quality.

Such data supports workplace design, employee experience and is playing a huge role in the success of our clients’ workspaces. It supports and helps define the future purpose of the workplace and is integral in the tool set used to run large and complex corporate portfolios.

Having that big picture view is vital but also having an ability to analyse activity at a site level is just as important and that’s where integrated reporting comes in – Nick Garniss, Macro’s Centre for Excellence Director, explores the concept and how it will influence the workplace of tomorrow.

Transforming the process

We’ve witnessed a transformation of the industry during the last five years, with facilities management evolving towards workplace experience management and employees adopting a more flexible, hybrid approach.

Many businesses are still relying on guesswork and assumptions to shape their workplace strategy, often creating excess expense as different solutions are trialled, and inconclusive results received.

In 2022, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) launched the International Building Operation Standard (IBOS) - a framework designed to improve building use, but more importantly, one that puts people at the centre of workplace decision making.

The framework’s approach to supporting organisations is the first of its kind on this type of global scale and provides a clear definition of the data that businesses should capture to enable consistent building operation and performance.

With a clearer view of the data that is needed, businesses now need a method to report and present it in a way that delivers actionable insights for building teams. That’s where visual insights using integrated datasets enables a both a world view and a granular lens on the data. That’s where dashboard reporting comes in.

Dashboard reporting incorporates every aspect of the workplace, from services and service performance, to cost and risk. With the right skills the data specification in the IBOS framework can be translated into actionable intelligence for businesses to shape strategies and support optimisation.

Our management reporting suite, Prism is our solution. Prism collates and displays key operational data, KPIs and maintenance tasks, energy data, occupancy and a host of other systems giving an ‘at-a-glance’ breakdown of performance. It’s the culmination of our experience and expertise in the industry, providing our clients with the data to support their strategic and operational decision making.

Using the data for good

Corporate real estate leaders are increasingly asking questions about their workplace design, occupancy and space utilisation – ‘Do I have enough desks?’, ‘Are all my meeting rooms being used consistently?’ - not to mention the pressure on meeting sustainability ambitions ahead of 2030 targets.

And data can be used to measure performance against three key areas of workplace strategy: employee experience, sustainability, and optimisation.

More businesses are acquiring data across a spectrum of platforms. Capturing consistent, real-time intelligence in a single dashboard is key to tracking trends, identifying opportunities for cost savings and optimising portfolios.

By using an integrated reporting platform, businesses can remove that creeping doubt, by displaying a real-time, picture of portfolio utilisation and performance, providing the necessary insights to make informed decisions.

Putting people at the heart of decision making

As more businesses look to encourage colleagues back into the workplace as well as attract new talent, understanding their needs alongside the workplace performance will ensure a harmonious environment for all.

And while employee surveys provide a great look into the wellbeing and experience of employees in the workplace, it is integrated dashboards of building data that will provide a full picture of their behaviours, and a clearer insight into how the space is really used.

On top of this, holding data on the office environment - like air quality and CO2 levels - will enable workplace teams to adapt their approach to the continuous comfort and safety of employees, and in turn create a setting that supports productivity.

While data alone won’t solve every workplace challenge, an informed, holistic data-led perspective enables corporate real estate leaders to make better decisions, reduce cost, reduce risk and create workplaces employees are keen to return to.

With a full picture view of the data, every single factor can be accounted for, delivering employee satisfaction, and allowing for meaningful change across the workplace.

More perspectives

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