Workplace Management: 3 Strategies for an Enhanced Office Environment

On Mar 15, 2024

What are the objectives of workplace management? Taking a broad, high-level perspective, the aim is to optimize the balance between productivity and costs associated with the workplace itself. When we delve into the first aspect, numerous studies underscore the connection between employee engagement and individual productivity, motivation, and turnover, closely tying it to a company’s overall performance. But what does the physical office have to do with all this? Despite the rise and normalization of remote work and the concept of “distributed work,” the office remains a a central hub in the corporate ecosystem—a place where corporate culture thrives, connections are forged, and interaction flourishes. It’s the embodiment of a company’s history, values, and mission.

For these reasons, the physical workspace still holds sway and significantly impacts engagement. Factors such as space design, offered services, integrated technology, and organizational structure all play a role. While these considerations may seem trivial, the repercussions of a poorly designed workspace can be profound—imagine an open space where concentration is impossible due to constant noise or a meeting room with consistently malfunctioning air conditioning. The factors influencing engagement and, consequently, a company’s results, are nuanced and multifaceted, ranging from unbookable meeting rooms to siloed structures hindering collaboration, and even areas of a building with excessive temperature or humidity.

Defining the Meaning of a Sensible Place

Enter the concept of a “sensible place“—a space that, thanks to advanced technological tools, collects and analyzes real-time data, both environmental and social. This data, crucial from a workplace management perspective, help to enhance every aspect of the work experience. A sensible place is a sentient place, which metaphorically listens to its occupants, detects signs of discontent, and facilitates decisions aimed at maximizing engagement. These decisions don’t necessarily entail costly renovations or technological overhauls; sometimes, small adjustments suffice to enhance engagement—it’s just a matter of having the right data to work with.

Tackling Workplace Management Costs

Moreover, earlier we discussed costs. A sensible place also has a profound impact on cost optimization by drastically reducing inefficiencies. With access to data and visibility into office dynamics, it becomes possible to identify underutilized services or spaces that currently contribute to costs but could be repurposed for revenue-generating activities. Workplace management hinges on visibility into office operations and the ability to leverage this data to react effectively to the insights provided by the sensible place on a daily basis.

Leveraging IoT and Data in Workplace Management

Exploring the practical implementation of workplace management strategies naturally prompts the question: what tools are necessary to transform a traditional workspace into a sensible place? Although numerous tools exist, they can be grouped into three main categories:

Workplace Management and IoT: Without data, discussions about a sensible place are futile. Fortunately, IoT sensors and devices abound, facilitating the acquisition of essential data for optimizing the work experience. From basic humidity and temperature sensors to measuring devices for sound pressure to advanced systems employing Computer Vision techniques for interpreting occupant sentiments, these systems can even guide individuals within facilities via indoor navigation systems, communicate through personalized messages sent via apps, and more. Today’s technology offers a wealth of information on office life, encompassing spatial usage, services, and overall work experience.

Feedback in Workplace Management: While data capture is crucial, understanding emotions requires a different approach. While current computer vision techniques can capture sentiment, traditional feedback mechanisms remain indispensable. A sensible place must engage with users to gauge satisfaction levels and address any shortcomings promptly. For example, a workstation booking system could solicit user feedback on their experience and offer alternative options based on preferences including orientation, average temperature, noise level, and more.

Moving Beyond Raw Data in Workplace Management: The journey from raw data to actionable insights is where artificial intelligence comes into play. While raw data alone is insufficient, underlying insights are instrumental in decision-making and automating office management. While an IT platform may not single-handedly revolutionize office layout, it can efficiently manage workstation assignments to meet user needs proactively. The key lies in transitioning from reactive feedback to proactive suggestions, optimizing the various components of the work experience.

Forging Ahead Towards a More Productive Workplace

In essence, the journey towards a more effective and engaging workplace is paved with opportunities to leverage technology, gather insights, and prioritize user experiences. By embracing the concept of a “sensible place” and integrating feedback mechanisms into workplace management strategies, organizations can foster environments where productivity flourishes, employee satisfaction soars, and costs are optimized. As we continue to navigate the evolving landscape of work, let us remain committed to harnessing the power of data, dialogue, and innovation to shape workplaces that inspire, empower, and propel us towards a brighter future. Together, let’s build the workplaces of tomorrow, today.


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