Regardless of industry, there are several considerations all businesses must make to optimize operations. It’s not enough for a company to simply know how and where they are allocating resources. For an organization to optimize its costs and overall business processes, it’s critical they also have objective data to back up major decisions and understand why they are investing where they are.
Here are the three areas I recommend all businesses review to optimize their operations: people, FF&E (furniture, fixtures, and equipment), and commercial real estate assets.
The most important asset of any business is its people, which make up an estimated 90 percent of expenses for the average business. Therefore, employers need to understand employees’ workstyles and preferences to provide the best possible environment to optimize their work.
Workplace trends evolve with people, and with millennials and Generation Z now entering the workforce, organizations are adjusting to cater to their expectations. Recent studies indicate that an estimated 79 percent of current employees prefer a better work environment–or a “live, work and play” atmosphere–to a higher paycheck, which makes workplace setup critical for attracting and retaining employees in this age group. For example, the current workforce tends to favor open and collaborative workstations versus traditional closed units, giving them the freedom to move throughout the day and work where they’re most comfortable. Understanding what employees are looking for will boost job satisfaction and morale, saving time, and resources that would have been wasted on job training and development.
In addition to addressing what’s important to employees, businesses also need to be cognizant of how employees operate within a space to maximize efficiencies. The average modern workplace only utilizes 50 percent of its available space, which means any unused area–including FF&E–can be a significant and unnecessary expense to a business.
Rather than simply observing how workers use an existing setup, many businesses now rely on IoT platforms that collect data on space utilization to provide objective insights for how employees work. With results that show the areas that have the most activity, which furniture is being used, and when, and even how employees work across departments, businesses can make the most of their FF&E, allocating resources towards what’s important for their particular business.
These IoT platforms are also necessary for making informed decisions and avoiding human error regarding commercial assets, which are the second-largest expense for most businesses. As needs change, many businesses will either expand or downsize these assets at some point. However, making significant location changes without objective data to back up decisions can result in major financial loss.
With data that interprets workplace operations patterns, businesses can see the true occupancy of their space and make data-based decisions about how much square footage they actually need to run their business efficiently. It’s not worth the risk to guess and check with approximately $2.1 trillion lost last year in failed corporate change initiatives.
The modern workplace is becoming a smart workplace. New IoT platforms, such as 4SITE, use sensors to harness and analyze real-time data to clearly indicate how to best allocate resources moving forward. With these insights, businesses can have confidence when making significant decisions regarding the type of workplace environment they want to create to keep employees happy, FF&E, and commercial real estate assets.