The Leader Magazine

JUN 2019

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d o we still need utilization metrics? Yes. Utilization metrics are still a very useful part of our work. However, we typically focus on workstations, which can be utilized at 30 to 40 percent, and conference rooms, which are usually too big for the average meeting. But with predictive analytics we can do more with the data than simply right-size conference rooms and recommend benching solutions. 'My organization needs to be more discreet in how we capture data!' Many organizations don't or can't embark in the research described above for various reasons; among them: • Survey fatigue ("Not another corporate survey!"). • Using sensors or conducting utilization observations in the workplace will confirm the perceived Orwellian plot to track presenteeism. • Leadership discourages employee engagement when it comes to workplace because it is concerned that employees will impose too many demands (i.e., free, Michelin-star lunches and massages). If you need less intrusive methods to capture feedback, consider an all-hands or company gathering as way to solicit feedback in a more informal way. For example, we had one client set up a cornhole competition at an all-hands BBQ. Contestants had to answer a workplace question for every bean bag given; we captured over 100 workplace responses. Another client set up a "Workplace Jenga" game in which all the Jenga pieces had a "yes" or "no" workplace question on it. Participants and teams had to answer the question to continue; a prize was given to the winner. The games may sound gimmicky but the value lies in the opportunity to explore participants' opinions and thoughts without asking them to sit through focus groups or an hour-long interview with a consultant. These methods are different and therefore have their challenges. Readers might object to the use of Multimer and iMotions technology on the grounds of privacy, data hosting/sharing, and the proverbial, "We can never do that!" But the challenges follow any new technology and are fundamentally design problems that need organizational attention. It's up to us to make sure they get the attention because, after all, experience does matter. (through cameras or third-party sensors) • How often they are distracted from their primary work by environmental/workplace factors or fellow employees • What the top five distractions are (especially useful for software engineers who are on a constant quest to eliminate bad distractions). Jerde a nalytics Who are they? A firm that uses machine- learning algorithms and predictive analytics to develop insights not available from survey or utilization analysis alone. What do they do? Leverage multiple objective data sources on behaviors such as time spent in meetings, duration of meetings, number of meetings, time spent writing email, time engaged in deep-focus work, time interacting with customers, assignment information, calendar data, internal network data, and attraction/retention rates. Why you should care: You learn how much space and what kind of space your organization will need over time using science vs. intuition. This is done through a normalized scoring system unique to each organization, one that evaluates workplace performance around space, individuals, teams, and businesses. This methodology enables cross-site and cross- business comparisons, trending over time, and, ultimately, the ability to learn from one's past failures and successes using predictive analytics. th E l E ad E r JUNE 2019 43 a lbert d e Plazaola is a global principal for strategy at Unispace, a global strategy and design firm. generation of data-capture Facial-tracking technology and overhead cameras can record data around distractions.

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