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Most Important Workplace Analytics Needed to Scale a Hybrid Team

For companies looking to scale their hybrid teams, it is essential to understand which workplace analytics are needed to make effective and efficient decisions. Without the proper data, it can be difficult to determine whether or not a hybrid team is working well and meeting its goals. Thankfully, several workplace analytics can be used to measure the performance of a hybrid team, especially around office space utilization.

What Are Workplace Analytics?

Using workplace analytics is a powerful tool for leaders to help them make informed decisions about their teams, resources, and workspace. Data can range from email usage to attrition rate to office occupancy.

Data about the workspace is especially critical for hybrid teams because it helps them plan a safe, collaborative, and productive space for their employees who come to the office.

How Workplace Analytics Improves Your Team's Productivity

By understanding how employees interact with each other and their work environment, companies can make informed decisions about optimizing the workplace for maximum productivity.

For example, if you notice that your busiest day in the office is Thursday, it's best to plan for that to avoid frantic people looking for desks.

Gif from The Office Show showing an empty desk

First, make sure to have enough desks available for the number of employees working in the office. Or try to arrange for meetings or brainstorming days on Thursdays, so people coming to the office will be booking conference rooms instead of individual desks. Next, try to add a space specifically for quiet, individual work, and a separate place for socialization.

This is just one example of how you can make changes based on the data. By tracking various metrics, you can identify patterns and trends that can help you make better decisions on creating the most optimal office space for your hybrid teams.

Office Analytics: Which Ones Are More Important to Scale a Hybrid Team?

Before measuring any specific data, one thing is critical to scaling a hybrid team. Laurel Farrer, CEO & Founder of Distribute Consulting, said in our Accomplished Peeps interview:

"There are obvious differences between scaling a remote-first company vs. scaling an office-first one, but one main key stands out - Agility."

Agility is especially crucial for measuring and monitoring workplace analytics metrics. But what are the most crucial metrics in the first place?

Well, it depends on your goals, hybrid setup, and expansion plans. For example, if you have an employee-led schedule wherein your team can come in any time to the office, you might be looking at how often and how many desks are being used.

In general, you should look at your capacity, occupancy rate, space utilization, and mobility.

Capacity Analytics

Capacity is the total number of desks and people a workspace can hold. Most of the time, this number stays the same unless you regularly add new desks, rooms, and spaces.

Photo of an office with conference room and work station
Photo by MEDIA PROFILE on Unsplash

Capacity is one of your core metrics, as it dictates the rest of your planning. It’s even more critical when considering social distancing protocols during pandemics. During social distance mandates, most office capacity is cut in half to accommodate plenty of space between desks.

Occupancy Rate

Now, your capacity may be static, but your occupancy rate is always a moving number. Measuring your occupancy rate weekly, monthly, and even quarterly helps you plan accordingly.

How do you calculate your occupancy rate? According to Measuremen.io:

"An occupancy rate is the ratio of used space to the total amount of space that is available. You can calculate it by dividing the total number of rooms or space occupied by the total number of rooms or space available."

So, if you have 100 desks available, but only 50 desks get booked regularly, your occupancy rate is 50%. If you're not planning to grow your team in this office space, you can make the conclusion: either encourage hybrid employees to take advantage of the desk space, via a hot desk set up. Or you can turn some desk space into a space where people can brainstorm and collaborate.

Mobility

If you have a hybrid company with multiple headquarters, your employees are largely mobile. For example, international teams may occasionally join your main headquarters. Or you have a combination of full-time in-office, remote, and hybrid employees. Remote employees don't usually utilize office space, but if all employees come into the office at the same time, then it's going to be a problem.

That's why mobility should be part of your equation, too. Calculate the number of remote, on-site, and hybrid employees and how often they use desk space. It just adds more room for error and unexpected events when you include it on top of the occupancy rate.

Frank Cottle
Photo Credit

For example, Frank Cottle, Founder and CEO of Alliance Virtual Offices, has access to more than 30 offices. He wrote in our interview:

"I'm the king of remote working in that regard. I can float around anywhere and just walk into conference rooms that are available. We have booking and reservation systems that we utilize internally and externally for our clients and for our own team."

He added that all of these tools and processes are necessary to effectively manage a remote and hybrid working environment.

Office Space Planning: How to Forecast the Office Space You'll Need in the Next Year

If there are no significant changes in your team size and no expansions in the works, it's easier to forecast the office space you'll need, using your existing and past data occupancy data.

However, if you’re planning to expand internationally, you need a better infrastructure to measure your global workplace analytics. Kate Lister, Global Workplace Analytics President, said that “hybrid work requires more intentionality than fully remote or fully in-person work.”

Analyze Your Past Workplace Analytics

 Where.team Analytics Dashboard
Analytics Dashboard on Where

Depending on your tool, you should have easy access to your capacity, occupancy rate, and desk utilization data. For example, if you're using a Slack desk booking tool like Where you'll be able to see:

  • Which days of the week are most popular to be in the office
  • Distribution of employees in terms of working remotely, on the go, or in the office
  • Desk utilization by headquarters

It also offers workplace safety analytics, such as contact tracing. Essentially, Where provides you with the most important metrics that matter for hybrid teams. On top of that, it also makes it easy for your employees to collaborate in person because you can easily see common days with anyone on your team.

Enough of this sheet!

Ditch the spreadsheet, ‘Where’ is a more social way to schedule your days in the office and see where everyone’s working from....all right in Slack.

Determine Your Future Goals

Even if you're not planning any expansion, it's still worth thinking about your future goals. Let's say last year most people opted to work from home. But next year, you want to encourage more face time among employees. If you have this goal, think about the in-person events or activities and how you want people to spend time in the office.

Dropbox Studios Office
Dropbox Blog

A great example is Dropbox. They switched to a fully remote operation, so they got rid of all of their individual work desks and turned them into fun, collaborative spaces. You don't have to go to the extreme and get rid of all your desks, but understanding your future office goal helps you decide what to do with your space.

Wrapping It Up

Workplace analytics is important to help your employees stay productive and forecast your space. By understanding how people use the office, you can better decide where to put things and how much space to allocate for different activities. You can also get a sense of what might be causing productivity problems and address them before they become bigger issues. Ultimately, choosing the right tools can significantly impact what you’re tracking and making decisions based on the data.