Workplace Insights

How to ensure your people return to a better work experience.


To start planning for a safe and fruitful ‘return to work’ here are 3  tools to organize your Real Estate, HR and IT data driven teams and workstreams.

  1. Develop Learning Goals: Every workplace should have a purpose and goal. In the post-pandemic world, your workplace purpose likely has changed from trying to be the workplace for all needs, to trying to be the workplace for specific goals. Before you determine what data to collect, consider this: what will be the value of the workplace in the future? How will we learn if our hypothesis is true or not? Use this framework to organize what you want to learn, on behalf of whom, using what data collection method. This will help unravel data workstreams by department or discipline and reorder data workstreams by learning goals.
  2. Follow the Data to Actionable Insights Pyramid: The data to actionable insights pyramid concept is an important reminder that quantity of incoming data is not the same as the quality of actionable insights outbound. Setting up clear learning goals will help your HR, IT and RE teams determine what data is important to chase. Having a way of ingesting your data and cross comparing what you are seeing will ensure you know how to take action on what you are learning. 
  3. Consider the Knowledge Matrix: The knowledge matrix*, is a way to make sure we are not just re-looking at what we already know in order to build a faster ‘horse’. In the ‘return to work’ effort, the value in this framework is helping organizations and the HR, IT and RE teams within more confidently ask new questions, explore the unknowns and take risks. From pre-pandemic to post-pandemic- Are we still trying to learn the same things about workplace experience? Or are there new learning goals or metrics we should chase that help us better understand the evolving work and workplace ecosystem.

    *Source: The knowledge matrix was originally used as a cognitive Psychology tool referred to as the Johari Window but more recently has been adapted in strategy planning and risk assessment frameworks.  We’ve adapted it here to reflect the knowns and unknowns of workplace needs and data collection.

Data insights will be the new planning currency.

Gleaning insights from multiple data streams is hard work. As the world re-opens post pandemic, corporate leaders will want to know- How are our people performing? How is our space performing? Is the real estate we pay for still going to be worth it? Where should we invest next? In response, HR, IT and Real Estate teams should develop clear learning goals connected to workplace data to prove their point– this is why people come and this is why place is still important.  This data proof is a kind of currency- an allowance to make the next bold workplace move on behalf of your employees. If you can prove the value of the workplace through your metrics, you can continue to accurately forecast future needs- ensuring every decision is a smart one. Now is the time for organizations not only to prepare their future workplace to be data rich, dynamic and a choice- but to know what to do next when the data starts coming in.