Space usage data is critical for any business moving forward with their workplace strategy – if you can’t measure performance, you can’t address challenges and make necessary adjustments . By leveraging relevant data to analyze how your desks, rooms, and other office spaces are being used, workplace leaders can minimize wasted space, better control costs, improve employee experience, and better forecast future resource/real estate needs.
In the recent webinar, Office Analytics 101: Planning for the Future (free, on-demand video), Robin’s VP of Product Ciara Peter and Aishu Leitz, Sr. Product Manager for Data and Insights, discussed how workplace data can help organizations monitor workplace performance and plan for the future. They also gave a sneak peek at the brand new Robin custom dashboard feature designed to help leaders take action with their office data, rather than letting it sit on a shelf.
“Employees, employers, and visitors all have new expectations for the office,” said Peter, “they want flexible tools that make in-person work simple and successful, and they want these tools to just work.” By that logic, data needs to work too.
Workplace Data and the Basics of Improved Decision-Making
HR professionals are tasked with monitoring and improving employee experience and engagement. Facilities and IT professionals share that focus by ensuring that people have the office resources and integrated tools they need to get their work done. Feedback is always important in evolving solutions for a better workplace. But how do HR and workplace leaders collect, incorporate, and make decisions based upon data and people's feedback?
“Adapting to changing conditions can be a challenge,” said Peter, “but flexibility does not have to mean chaos. Relevant data to support better decision-making is actually available, but leaders don't always know where to begin.”
The first step to building a workplace people love is understanding how people are actually using the workplace and what’s working well (and what isn’t). Robin’s custom analytics platform gives workplace leaders the power of enterprise-grade analytics to help them optimize workplace management.
Custom Dashboards for Easy Data Access and Use
Leitz introduced Robin’s custom dashboard feature, which allows workplace leaders to easily configure and format data to support data-driven decisions. The goal of custom dashboards, says Leitz, “is to give workplace leaders much more time analyzing and acting upon office data and spend less time formatting and manipulating data.”
With the new custom dashboard feature, users can customize and share relevant data with workplace leaders and the C-suite. The custom dashboard tool enables users to monitor their workplace strategies at a granular level of customized performance data, so they can rightsize their office and evolve their strategic approach over time and based on relevant data.
Workplace Analytics: Real-Life Use Cases
Leitz described two real-life scenarios where workplace data provided significant value for actual Robin customers.
As Leitz explained, “none of this work with the custom dashboard tool really requires any special technical experience, it's just a matter of learning how to navigate the tool – it becomes intuitive once you get your hands on it.”
Use Case #1: Remedying a High Cancellation Rate
In the first use case, Leitz described an office that has a relatively high cancellation rate for room bookings: the space gets booked, but goes unused. Once the issue has been identified, an office admin would want to dive deeper into the data to clearly understand why it’s happening and how the situation can be improved. “The tool has this visualization that automatically dissects your utilization data in different ways,” said Leitz. “It looks at your space utilization by different space types. You can also see utilization rates by capacity, meaning different sizes of rooms, or by space type.” The admin could even drill down on utilization by day, by department, even by individual.
An office admin can quickly dive into the relevant data at a granular level to uncover root causes of a problem such as a high cancellation rate. The office admin “can look at utilization and check-ins for each room across different days,” says Leitz, “in order to gain a better understanding of what’s really happening and why.” She “can drill down into the cancellation data by department and even go down to the employee level to find out exactly who's been canceling these room bookings. She could then have conversations with those people about why they canceled and make improvements to the system accordingly,” said Leitz.
Finally, as the office admin delves into the relevant cancellation data and takes remedial action based on it, she should see whether the cancellation rate drops.
Use Case #2: Reporting Data to Senior Leadership
In the second use case Leitz described, an office admin’s leadership team has asked her to share workplace data regularly so leadership can monitor and manage employee compliance with a new RTO policy. “Let’s assume the organization has recently rolled out a policy where it wants employees to come into the office a certain number of times per month and wants its managers to encourage people to come in. Leadership is looking for a report that’s easy to view and digest,” said Leitz. The office admin can go into the custom dashboard feature and create her own bespoke dashboard to share compliance-related KPIs regularly with leadership.
Leitz showed that even though the organization had a lot of people planning to come into the office, it actually had a relatively low check-in rate – “that's something we’d want to highlight to our leadership team when we're sharing the data,” she said. The custom dashboard tool offers users a number of ways to manipulate, format, and share the data.
“For example, if leadership doesn't want a monthly breakdown, but wants a quarterly or weekly breakdown, you can share the data that way. You don't have to go to multiple places in a dashboard and keep changing your date range and the data – it's all synced together via the tool,” noted Leitz.
The office admin could use the custom dashboard tool to create a table showing all employees and the number of check-ins they have each week or month or quarter. You could also organize the table by department. Leitz said that the admin could even create a rule that pulls out employees who have checked in less than the required minimum amount of days per month or quarter.
“So the tool provides a great way for leadership to evaluate how often people are coming into the office and who's coming in,” Leitz says, “With that data sent automatically by the office admin each week or month, leadership could then make relevant decisions or adjustments around its policies.”
What KPIs Should You Monitor?
Leitz concluded the webinar by answering questions from attendees. One attendee asked what key performance indicators/KPIs an organization should be tracking through its workplace analytics tool. Leitz offered the following advice:
“Utilization by floor is obviously a key area to track, but so is your office attendance rate and your retention rate. Are you seeing people stay at your company longer at different locations? That attendance and retention data can help you understand whether you have the right office environment in place. Seeing department level utilization is another key indicator, because having managers and departments coming together in the office can really boost engagement and productivity. Being able to measure and analyze all these KPIs, with the help of a custom dashboard, is really important for creating value through your data.”
When you can see the full picture of your office, with all the right context, you can be more confident in making data-driven decisions that will support your teams.
Watch the full webinar here.