Measuring property and workplace productivity

I read with great interest the findings from the recently published Stoddart Review – The Workplace Advantage.

StoddartIt is a most informative report which highlights the role working environments play in organisational and UK productivity. An area many of us believe that has been neglected until now.

I would urge those of you who have not read the report to do so. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some of the highlights and my personal thoughts.

From the start of the report, Alison Nimmo, CBE CEO of The Crown Estate, points out that measurement has been about utilisation of space rather than the productivity of it and believes this is a misleading metric – a view that I endorse.

This point is further strengthened when you consider that the workplace is the second largest cost in any organisation after salaries. Only 53% of respondents agree that their workplace allows them to work productively (source Leesman).

So, you could conclude that those organisations are only getting half the value of your property investment! Or paying double what you should?

The findings also illustrate how important it is to combine workforce productivity with property operational costs as a key to future success. As organisations continue to strive to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs, the emerging trend is how to combine these traditional metrics with what people think about the workplace and what it is like to work there.

There’s nothing new here, but if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it and if not optimised, can represent a barrier to productivity.

The point made earlier, echoes what CDS as a technology business are continuing to see when we are engaged with organisations to deliver property solutions and insight into the performance of their estate.

How do I compare the performance of one building to another? How do I combine this different goal and subjective measures to gain a more strategic and holistic view across my property estate to achieve maximum optimisation? Such questions are at the forefront of many people’s minds. The answers are not easy as many organisations have grown through a silo-based culture which makes sharing and aggregating different data a massive if not impossible task. Managing property by one dimension (cost) will have an inevitable consequence!

Another interesting point made in the study is that the office and work environment is an asset. The perception that mobile working is the norm is untrue. The findings show that 91% of UK employees still work from the office (Source Leesman Index, 2015). The workplace environment is becoming a major differentiator in the attraction, development and retention of talent.

Asset Factory

Asset Factory screenTo respond to this need, CDS, recently developed a strategic property reporting solution called Asset Factory. Asset Factory allows organisations to combine both objective and subjective measures – the first of its kind!

The insight driven from the application allows property and FM managers to come together with HR and Talent Managers to better understand what is working well and what requires improvement.

By combining space utilisation data, we can get an even richer view of the workplace to inform future design and increase productivity.

In Asset Factory, we use the Leesman survey and the LMI index to benchmark and compare the suitability of an organisation’s workplace alongside the traditional objective property measures (costs, values, size, the number of etc.).

This screen shows how our Asset Factory reporting solution allows you to join the dots between property and workplace productivity – which we see as the new metric and the key to future property decisions.

To show CDS’ creative approach, Asset Factory has been shortlisted in the national i-FM awards for innovation.

Blog author: Jonathan Astin, Business Development Manager at CDS.

To learn more about how Asset Factory can combine and aggregate both objective and subjective property measures to uncover intelligent actionable insight that helps drive future strategic decisions, contact the team today to organise a demonstration.

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