Making the Most of Your Office Real Estate

make-most-of-your-real-estateWhat’s the average time you spend in the apps on your smartphone? Which do you use on a daily basis, and how often do you visit each one?

A statistical analysis of your screen-tapping patterns would reveal much about your personal and professional priorities. This data, combined with input on how and when you use some of the more neglected apps on your mobile device, provides an interesting picture of what motivates you, what would make you more efficient, and which tools are required to ensure your productivity. 

Now think about your office in the same way. Which of the meeting rooms are used most often, and which communication and control technologies are accessed consistently in each of those spaces? 

Analysis of enterprise usage patterns can provide more than a philosophical treatise on how team members operate in the modern workplace. This information can provide insights that could save your company money and boost ROI on technology purchases.   

Data Enhances Enterprise Design

A new trend in enterprise audiovisual design is helping companies optimize their real estate/technology mix in ways that improve space utilization, increase productivity, and boost the bottom line. An array of analytics tools and methods provide valuable insights on how people prefer to work and which tools enable the most effective use of collaborative spaces.  

Now that everything is on the network, there is a centralized means to collect technical information on how equipment and applications are used. A mix of data, sourced from hardware and software, as well as environmental controls for lights, shades and thermostats, can be cross-referenced to create a picture of popular meeting styles. Even the number of participants can be included in the equation. 

The anonymized data is not meant to track specific behavior, but rather analyze general trends. This analysis can help determine how teams like to work and how rooms are actually used. 

Once these data points are processed, enterprise usage analysis can produce recommendations that are sometimes surprising. In an office where users are frustrated by the lack of meeting room availability, sometimes the solution may be the addition of more technology. Other times, data might indicate a need for more types of meeting spaces, and the problem can be solved by reconfiguring underutilized real estate into smaller meeting areas and “huddle rooms” to fill the need for impromptu meeting spaces. 

Sometimes it’s just that simple—provide more rooms equipped with the most frequently used tools, and productivity and team member satisfaction increases. 

How Does Your Team Collaborate Best?

Office real estate was once a fairly simple design problem. Calculating the total number of employees, divided into departments, provided a fairly clear blueprint of how many desks and meeting rooms were needed. But in these days of remote workers, increasing collaboration among various intra-company teams, and a general trend toward open-office plans, the equation becomes more difficult. 

The ratio of desks to meeting rooms and other types of collaborative work spaces will vary by department. Factors such as who is meeting where, with whom, how often, and for what purpose will vary greatly. 

It’s important for ongoing design collaboration to occur between IT, AV, and integrated enterprise technology solution providers. Together, these experts can provide a needs analysis that, when combined with the usage data, provides an accurate picture of how “collaboration” is defined in your workplace. Then, given the rapid pace of change, consider what the future might look like. What will happen as more employees from the younger generations move in and some of the foundational team members retire? 

An audiovisual technology integrator can also provide ideas about how new collaborative technologies can change the office landscape. 

Data and design can combine to create optimal working environments that are used often and by many. An added benefit is that the more the solutions are used, the fewer questions and IT requests there will be. Make meeting and collaboration spaces fun and useful and you’ll boost your ROI on equipment. 

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