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ATL
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Atlanta
Digital

 

By Erin McDannald
From the December 2023 Issue

 

In the modern world, the workplace is evolving at an unprecedented pace. With the arrival of advanced technologies and spatial analytics, companies are beginning to understand the profound impact that these tools can have on their work environments. When properly harnessed, human-centric spatial analytics offer transformative potential, providing businesses with the means to optimize their spaces, improve employee well-being, and enhance productivity. Using these tools to reshape the workplace creates a human-centric, data-driven, and efficient environment that benefits both employees and employers.

Spatial Analytics
Human-centric spatial analytics give organizations the ability to optimize their spaces, improve employee well-being, and enhance productivity. (Photo: Adobe Stock / Stockgiu)

 

Unlocking Data Through A Humanist Lens

At the heart of spatial analytics lies a profound understanding of human capital. The workplace is no longer just a physical space but a dynamic environment replete with a wealth of untapped data. Human-centric analytics provide a data-driven lens through which organizations can better understand and protect their real estate investment.

What makes a certain metric or dataset human-centric? Collecting and analyzing human-centric data involves focusing on aspects of an environment that are directly involved in the occupant’s human experience of the space. Through a human-centric lens, you may notice that your air quality and lighting levels influence which desks and workspace are most frequently booked. Further, you would likely find that collaboration levels are highest and there is more cross-department teamwork in your most comfortable, flexible working areas. Working with this kind of data involves shifting to see the patterns and relationships of a built environment; the human side of your workplace’s story.

By collecting and analyzing data on various aspects of employee engagement, well-being, and productivity, organizations can make informed decisions across the spectrum of human resources, from hiring and talent development to performance management.

By collecting and analyzing data on various aspects of employee engagement, well-being, and productivity, organizations can make informed decisions across the spectrum of human resources, from hiring and talent development to performance management. For instance, the system allows leadership to track patterns in collaboration, which can help identify the team members or departments that are most actively involved within the work ecosystem as well as opportunities to improve cross-departmental interaction.

Human-centric data can also be leveraged in exciting ways to improve productivity and cost-effectiveness. Desk and room booking is nothing groundbreakingly new, but empowered with real-time data on desk and room usage, organizations can better optimize space allocation, promoting collaboration and efficiency. Energy metering and management is another benefit of these tools because they identify trends and patterns in resource consumption that allow for energy-saving measures, automation, and the tracking of usage patterns. Human-centric data also enables the efficacy of smart thermostats and intelligent lighting controls, reducing energy waste during low occupancy to ensure a comfortable, sustainable, and cost-effective working environment.

Workplace Management And Building Controls

Effective workplace management goes hand in hand with building controls systems. The integration of these two facets of business provides comprehensive insights, improves security, and enhances sustainability. Smart building controls offer a wide range of advantages in terms of energy efficiency, cost savings, occupant comfort, and flexibility. These benefits make them a valuable addition to modern offices seeking to enhance their operations and reduce their environmental impact.

Insights from heat mapping, desk bookings, and occupancy counting informs scaling and operational decisions, ensuring the workspace aligns with business needs. 

Real estate utilization measurement is one of the core benefits of data-empowered building controls, allowing organizations to understand the use of available workspace effectively. Insights from heat mapping, desk bookings, and occupancy counting informs scaling and operational decisions, ensuring the workspace aligns with business needs. By tracking heatmapping, business leaders can understand the least and most utilized areas of the office. For example, a company may discover that one section of their office is underutilized and opt to convert it into something that is more beneficial to the team, such as an on-site gym or meeting area.

Enhanced security through access controls and smart camera systems further safeguard staff and resources. Access controls provide secure, yet accessible spaces, while smart cameras identify trends and issues, adding an extra layer of protection.

Moreover, building sustainability performance data, a critical component of the more advanced building controls systems, empowers businesses to track and improve their sustainability practices, fulfill corporate responsibility, and create actionable insights for cost savings and efficiencies.

Supporting Brand Identity Through Data

Integrating spatial data with building controls does not merely enhance efficiency but also supports an organization’s brand identity. By fostering employee health, engagement, and culture, organizations can improve their image and retain top talent. The addition of human-centric data, and the employee wellness and company culture benefits it provides, can also provide hiring advantages in a competitive labor market.

This integration supports brand identity in numerous ways. Building controls can offer community announcement features, or virtual community spaces that foster engagement and connection. Employees can celebrate achievements, share news, ask questions, and promote a sense of community within the workplace. Beyond providing insights for stakeholders, desk booking technology empowers employees to design their workday, fostering collaboration and flexibility.

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When equipped with spatial data, building controls also enable more advanced air quality monitoring and controls. This ensures optimal CO2 levels that promote employee health and well-being, creating a more conducive work environment. The same can be said for smart lighting and thermostat controls. Proper lighting and temperature are essential for employee comfort and productivity, promoting a positive working atmosphere.

Human-centric spatial analytics are transforming the modern workplace into a dynamic, data-driven environment that prioritizes employee well-being and productivity. Unlocking valuable insights, bridging the gap between workplace management and building controls, and supporting brand identity, these tools allow businesses to create an ideal working environment that benefits both employees and the organization as a whole. Investing in this technology not only enhances the physical workplace, but also fuels innovation, engagement, and a thriving corporate culture. Embracing spatial analytics is not just a trend; it’s a fundamental shift in how we approach the workplace of the future.  

Spatial AnalyticsMcDannald is the CEO and Co-Owner of Lighting Environments and its sister companies, Elevated and Environments, and has guided clients throughout the entire lighting design and construction process for over two decades. A pioneer for IoT (Internet of Things) integration and building and workplace management, McDannald is leading today’s workforce through powerful digital transformation with the Elevated app.

Do you have a comment? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below, or send an e-mail to the Editor at jen@groupc.com.

Check out more technology and facility management news in previous Facility Executive Tech & FM Columns.

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