Office changes should drive productivity, encourage collaboration and positively impact an organization’s bottom line. The placement and allocation of desks, resources and departments changes how employees work and communicate. Evaluating office changes to ensure that there is no reduction in productivity is essential to a successful workplace. Here are some areas where facility managers should track changes and ensure that their decisions are driving the bottom line.
Using an inventory system and gathering utilization data can show you how your office assets and resources are being shared and accessed. Look at printer and copier utilization rates and conference and break room use to understand which departments are running effectively. Review data on request management—what kinds of requests are being made? Are there any trends?
Analyzing this data will help you to make informed judgements on how resources are affecting overall workflows.
For example, you may need to move a commonly-used printer to another part of the office due to fire hazard concerns. While this may be a small change, it can cause a shift in employees' habits—if employees do not have the tools they need on hand, they may experience a decrease in productivity. Monitoring data on resource usage and requests can help facility managers to better understand specific departmental needs and track how office changes affect employees' output.
Assess office layout and wayfinding practices
Another way to measure the impact of office changes is to monitor employees' wayfinding abilities. Wayfinding, a set of tools and processes that determines how individuals navigate a given space, is often taken for granted when done properly. A well-designed office takes ease of orientation, route decision and destination recognition into account. For example, in larger offices, employees should be able to easily locate other departments and have clear information about where certain resources are located.
It is important for your office layout to have smart wayfinding and design so that your teams don't waste time figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B. In order to measure successful wayfinding, you should gather data about your current design and pathways, identify common and busy routes and look for patterns of usage. For instance, if one communal workspace is overcrowded, is this because the other communal spaces are hard to access? This information can help you determine if your layout is working as intended.
The ultimate way to assess employee productivity is to look at project performance over time. Work with department managers and individuals to determine productivity before, during and after an office change to see if there was any impact. Look at reports frequently used to measure employee productivity such as error logs, observations of behavioral changes, employee feedback surveys and logged requests for resources or support. Use this data to identify anything that should be changed immediately and to revise your processes for the future.
Measuring these factors will help facility managers to make sure that any changes are benefiting the company. With the right data on how employees react to office changes, facility managers can continue to positively impact productivity and ensure the success of their organization overall.
Article by David Spence, OfficeSpace