With vaccine rollouts underway, return to office (RTO) planning has become a key strategic priority for corporate workplace leaders.
For many workplace teams, RTO planning is no longer just about creating COVIDSafe environments for employees but also re-imagining the design of their spaces to attract and entice people (now comfortable working from home) back into HQ.
Couple this with the increasing cost pressures companies are facing from now emptier offices (due to the popularity of new hybrid working models), and the way corporate property and facilities teams capture, interpret and apply workplace data has never been more important.
In this article and quiz, we’ll explore the changing role of occupancy and utilization data in workplace strategy and help you benchmark your own data maturity against the most common requirements for a safe and effective 2021 return to work.
From surveys to sensors: The evolution of workplace data
As workplaces have evolved over the years so have the ways in which workplace teams capture both qualitative and quantitative information (aka data) about their spaces. This data is used to benchmark occupancy for space planning, inform CRE decisioning and improve workplace experience.
Up until five years ago, the richest sources of workplace utilization or occupancy data for property teams was still:
Employee feedback surveys
Observational studies (counting heads/bedchecks)
Lighting sensor data or wifi usage
Employee badge or swipe-in systems
Unfortunately, these methods could only provide limited insights as they were often a ‘one off’ point in time study and required significant time, expense and skills to set up and manually combine/ interpret the data.
As WiFi and IWMS technologies have become more advanced, workplace teams have been able to layer in network access/traffic and space booking data to provide a somewhat more accurate picture about the number of people using office spaces and on what days. But insights about how people were using space across time (e.g. paths of movement, data-driven capacity planning) have still been largely out of reach (without an expensive, once-off observational study).
All of that has changed in the past year or so with a number of specialized workplace sensor solutions (like XY Sense) coming onto the market whose whole purpose is to provide precision-accurate, real time spatial and occupancy data.
Why real time matters in 2021
Where before these technologies solutions were seen as longer term strategic solutions, in 2021 the stakes have been raised and capturing accurate real time occupancy data has become critical to helping to make the post-pandemic office ‘COVID-safe’.
Companies are now turning to office occupancy sensors/tools to plan physical separation between workers (floor plan changes) and cleaning activities, measure people’s temperatures, and in advanced cases to deploy real-time occupancy tracking and alerts to help maintain social distancing.
Let’s compare the use cases you can execute when you have real time vs. batch or historical occupancy data.
*It’s worth noting that not all sensors are created equal. See how XY Sense compares with alternatives.
Introducing the workplace data maturity curve
How ready are you to execute many of the 2021 workplace management use cases described above?
Harnessing the power of next generation occupational sensor solutions like XY Sense can be a game changer when it comes to accelerating your workplace’s digital transformation journey. But adopting a more data-driven workplace culture doesn’t happen overnight.
That’s why it can be helpful to think to visualise the typical stages workplace teams go through as a workplace data maturity curve.
Here’s an example:
Click on the image to expand.
Where does your company fit on the workplace data maturity curve?
Take the quiz to find out.
Where to from here?
In 2021, there’s never been a better time to adopt a data-driven mindset to your workplace strategy.
If you’re interested in learning more about how XY Sense could help you accelerate your workplace data maturity, book a demo with our team.