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July 27, 2022

Build a Better Workplace Strategy with Data and Space Planning

Key takeaways from our webinar, "Build a Better Workplace Strategy with Data and Space Planning."

Recently, Saltmine partnered with VergeSense to host a webinar with two expert speakers to discuss how data and space planning can empower your organization with better insights that enable more informed workplace decisions.

Fernanda Belo is Head of Workspace Strategies and Insights at VergeSense and Maksim Golub is a Senior Product Manager at Saltmine. Both Fernanda and Maksim were excited to discuss their ideas about how businesses can use data to build a flexible workspace that fits their needs in a constantly changing work environment.

What are the key aspects of workplace strategy?

Empowering your business with actionable insights can help you optimize your space. There are three key aspects of workplace strategy that evolve with changes to your business:

  1. Centralized: Data is stored on a secure platform that you can access from anywhere, at any time.
  2. Strategic insights: Data is used to give your enterprise valuable insights that help drive value and support your initiatives.
  3. Actionable: Data is real-time and supports workable decision-making.

A workplace strategy that is driven by data starts with collecting data from various sources, cleaning that data, and storing it in a centralized location. Once you have that data merged in one location, you can manipulate it and analyze different slices of it to find valuable insights. Based on those insights, you can plan the actions you will take with a workplace design based on patterns of employee behavior.

Many businesses may already be familiar with some of their current data from a bird’s-eye view through badging for overall utilization of a building. However, by only using this specific type of data, workplace teams lack the understanding of how each space type in a workspace is utilized.

With the data provided by more advanced sensors, workplace teams can zoom in and understand utilization at a granular level. They can break down data and the insights gathered from it down to the building section, floor, space type, and even seat level to discover how teams are using spaces.


Why are data and space planning relevant in today’s workplace?

The workspace is changing. No longer will one workplace strategy fit all, or even fit one company for long. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Sixty-eight percent of employees want a hybrid work model.
  • Employee needs are continuously changing--making proactivity crucial in achieving an adaptive workplace.
  • It has become essential for employers to identify opportunities for improvement in the workplace to benefit the company's future.

This is why data utilization is important to the future of work. Every business wonders what the future of work holds, and many studies have tried to come up with an answer. 

The truth is no one really knows what the workplace of the future workplace will look like. All businesses can really do is iterate space until it properly supports the needs of their employees. 

Many companies are trying different work modes--e.g., hybrid work models--but even hybrid work has different definitions depending on which company you ask. 

Workplace technology will play an important role in the future of work and has a very different role than it held in the past. Previously, it was considered a luxury. Now, collecting and analyzing data to inform better decisions is a necessity to handle the uncertainty of the future.

Every business is starting to realize data is important, but many also recognize that they haven’t dealt with workplace data at a granular level. 

Many businesses are starting small by interpreting the data in a broad, holistic way at first, just to understand overall occupancy and what is happening in their space. As they get better with their data, they will move towards zooming in at a more granular level and getting more detailed insights that drive better decisions.

Data from VergeSense integrates with Saltmine to inform workspace design decisions in an uncertain future. With the insights gleaned from this data, an enterprise can answer questions like:

  • Is a specific space type more or less utilized than in the past?
  • How do you plan for more or less utilization?
  • How do you expand if you need to?
  • How do you contract or expand?
  • How are teams dividing up space?
  • Do you need to think about restacking?


Common pain points with data

While an enterprise may be ready to optimize its workspace, they may run into some pain points that come with data, including:

  • They have data but don’t know what to do with it.
  • They have systems and technologies that do not work well with the challenges they face today.
  • The refresh rate of various data sources differs.
  • Their current process is manual which is not scalable and prone to human error.
  • Their current technology stack doesn’t make working with data easy.
  • They are worried about employee privacy issues.

Saltmine, along with VergeSense, addresses these pain points. Saltmine makes it easy to aggregate necessary data from different data sources, including attendance data available from badging systems and occupancy data that VergeSense makes possible.

VergeSense integrates with Saltmine so manual data collection processes are a thing of the past. Once the data is in Saltmine, it is easy to explore to find insights and start streamlining the use of your workspace without a technical team. The insights gleaned from the platform will tell you what happened, what did not happen, and why.

For example, let’s say that based on room booking data, you find out that 80% of your space is utilized on a floor but based on occupancy data, only 5% of the rooms were occupied during the meeting times. This could be a “ghost meeting” trend in your business where rooms are booked for meetings but are then held remotely with teleconferencing tools or not held at all.

This opens up the opportunity to not only automate canceling a meeting automatically when occupancy data shows that no one is attending, but also address why the room was booked in the first place and bring this to the attention of employees. 

These types of insights can optimize the utilization of your workspace and using Saltmine along with VergeSense makes these types of insights easy.


How Saltmine and VergeSense work together

Using VergeSense sensor data along with Saltmine will enable you to optimize, strategize, and plan your enterprise’s workspace more effectively. Together, they will:

  • Transform your real estate portfolio: Allowing you to make immediate decisions and changes based on key insights.
  • Optimize your space: Giving you the ability to measure how your workspace strategy affects business productivity.
  • Unlock strategic insights: Letting you identify how much space you need for future work planning.

The combination of Saltmine and VergeSense helps an enterprise gather spatial intelligence in their workplaces. Spatial intelligence allows the industry to think about spaces as intelligent spaces that can be managed based on the data collected there. Without this type of intelligence, they know that workspaces will be used, but not when and how.

Watch “Build a Better Workplace Strategy with Data and Space Planning” on demand

If you want to learn more about how Fernanda and Maksim use data and space planning to develop better workspace strategies, check out the on-demand webinar by clicking the image below: 

build a better workplace strategy with data and space planning webinar



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