17/08/2022

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One of the most important things to remember about the recurring questions around modern uses of the office is that measurability is key. You can provide the best productivity solutions, apply enterprise-grade security, install the best sensors and more, but unless you can measure and monitor exactly how those components are actually working and being used, you can’t make accurate forecasts or adapt to the fast-evolving sector. This means you can’t flex your service appropriately or align to tenant requirements, which may leave you either losing money or wasting money.

How do you find out what’s going across your spaces, buildings and overall portfolio? It can be a challenge to measure the right data. Mick Heys, VP of Future of WorkSpace and Imaging for IDC, Europe, tells the story of one flexible space provider that took an impressively pragmatic approach to this subject. They chose a single building from their portfolio, installed as many sensors as they could buy – from motion to temperature to CO2 – and measured everything they could think of.

Then came the clever part. They took this vast set of results and analysed them to identify what was meaningful and what wasn’t. They could then drastically reduce the number of sensors in the rest of their estate. In other words, they started with a whole load of data and transformed it into actionable information.

This was the holy grail. It enabled them to answer some important questions. How do occupiers feel? What is the employee experience like? Do we have a security issue? Can we predict when the building is going to be too busy? Does the food truck attract too many people on a particular day of the week – and should we move it to another day? It has completely changed the way they think.

Naturally extra data adds new levels of complexity, and many companies struggle to bring the information together in a digestible way. Deploying a digital backbone across a workspace portfolio – provides the foundation to generate deep insights and reports from across the asset and to react, at scale, to meet evolving customer needs.

For example, if you measure Wi-Fi usage against meeting room bookings, you can tell whether someone is in a particular room. You don’t need a separate sensor to tell you. In turn, you can use the information in a smart way to predict future demand.

Of course, you must move carefully. Employees can’t feel like they’re under surveillance. The process must be seamless and comply with data privacy and security standards. But the bottom line is this: if you can analyse yesterday, identify what’s happening today, and pre-empt tomorrow’s requirements, you can make huge improvements to the in-building experience, retain tenants, and reduce vacancies.

Understanding how today’s occupiers are using spaces and services is critical to their success, however, being able to quickly adapt to those findings, without having to rely on outsourcing to technical teams is very powerful. Through intelligent network automation landlords and flexible space providers can simplify the delivery of digital services and activation of spaces across their buildings, spaces and portfolios, whilst having complete visibility of network activity and management from a central solution.

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