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How Can Companies Use Spatial Intelligence to Guide Workplace Strategy?

Feb 4 2022

As employee needs and preferences for the workplace change, CRE leaders and business owners have faced challenges in developing effective work environments. The need for more sophisticated analysis of building utilization has increased interest in spatial intelligence capabilities, and additional investments in workplace analytics.

Tapping into spatial intelligence analyses of properties or real estate portfolios provides the insights needed to craft a workplace strategy that succeeds in supporting a hybrid or flexible workforce. Instead of operating off of assumptions about the workforce or outdated employee behavior patterns, spatial intelligence allows leaders to make informed decisions based on how facilities are actually being utilized on a day to day basis, both actively and passively.

Here is how your company can begin leveraging spatial intelligence to support your workplace strategy.

Why should companies leverage spatial intelligence?

Spatial intelligence depends on data visualization of physical space and creates an awareness of how people use spaces in real-time, revealing behavior patterns and opportunities for improvement. The business application of spatial intelligence centers around the ability to analyze space utilization and occupancy patterns to guide decisions and building management. 

Spatial intelligence is a holistic understanding of real-time employee workplace data generated by workplace analytics platforms, sensors like VergeSense Signs of LifeTM, and other workplace monitoring systems. When leveraged effectively and incorporated into workplace and employee experience strategy, spatial intelligence is the complete optimization of the workplace. 

By providing property managers with a bird’s eye view of their assets, they can make decisions in the best interest of their workforce. Spatial intelligence tools can lead to smarter workplaces that employees can use more intuitively. When sensor technology integrates with workplace tools, employees have access to automated room reservations, need-based seating assignments, and personalized employee experience recommendations, and employers have access to rich insights about how their teams work.

Workplace analytics platforms like VergeSense offer spatial intelligence capabilities by aggregating workplace data, enabling companies to solve for use cases like:

  • Wasteful and costly building management processes
  • Inefficient facility operations
  • Meeting sustainability and ESG goals
  • Improving a poor employee workplace experience

How to Leverage Spatial Intelligence to Analyze Building Utilization

The workplace is more flexible than ever before. Spatial intelligence allows company and CRE leaders to stay ahead of ongoing employee workplace preferences and behavior patterns in order to better measure accurate building utilization. Here are the steps you need to take to effectively begin leveraging spatial intelligence.

1. Determine your smart real estate goals.

What are you hoping to achieve out of your real estate portfolio? Are you right-sizing your global CRE portfolio? Looking to increase the utilization of office spaces, and adjust your office design to maximize employees’ use of space? Or are you part of the sustainability team and want to take steps towards reducing your organization’s carbon footprint?
For example, if you will be using spatial intelligence to measure employee behavior as a precursor for an office redesign, you’ll need to invest in sensors that can accurately detect active and passive occupancy, then cross-reference that data with meeting software. If one of your smart real estate goals is to create a more energy efficient workplace, you can integrate temperature and light sensors to begin analyzing where your buildings have the greatest environmental impact.

2. Implement spatial intelligence solutions.

Spatial intelligence solutions are tools that leverage physical workplace activity data from a variety of locations and input sources to make more informed workplace strategy decisions. As employee workplace behavior and preferences continue to evolve, spatial intelligence provides organization leaders with the intel they need to make sustainable (and employee-driven) workplace changes.

Spatial intelligence solutions include:

3. Collect workplace analytics data.

Spatial intelligence data is a combination of employee behavior data and overall workplace usage trends. 

To collect spatial intelligence data, implement workplace sensors powered by AI to measure active and passive occupancy, utilization rates in spaces like buildings, floors, or departments, carbon footprint and energy use, and meeting efficiency. Then, feed that data into a workplace analytics platform with real-time dashboards and regular reports to maintain efficiency across the entire CRE portfolio and be alerted of issues as soon as they happen. Advanced spatial intelligence solutions can even trigger alerts before issues arise.

When collecting this data, return to the smart real estate goals you created for yourself at the beginning of this process. By measuring your spatial intelligence data against your goals you will be able to create a workplace strategy for your organization that is an accurate reflection of how the space is being actively used.

Example Spatial Intelligence Report

A spatial intelligence report or dashboard should identify the key metrics as they relate to real estate, building or facility management, operational efficiency, or employee experience goals. 

An example spatial intelligence report might include:

  • Active occupancy rates
  • Passive occupancy rates
  • Building, space, or department utilization and capacity
  • Peaks, valleys, and averages for employee use of office spaces
  • Energy use and carbon footprint
  • Unused or under-utilized spaces
  • Daily, hourly, or aggregated office utilization
  • Meeting efficiency or meeting room use
  • Desk use

When analyzed across an entire real estate portfolio, spatial intelligence can uncover actionable opportunities to improve utilization and efficiency, while contributing to more streamlined real estate portfolios and a lower environmental impact. Spatial intelligence is at the forefront of business leaders and CRE managers’ minds as we enter the new year. To ensure you have everything you need to adapt your workplace strategy to the modern world, use this Workplace Strategy Checklist for 2022.

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