Case Study:

Global Real Estate Services Company

At a glance

We engaged with this world leading, global real estate services company late in 2019 as they recognised the opportunity to utilise their internal workspaces as a tool to inform and educate their external stakeholders. With over 90,000 staff, based in 300+ office locations, our client had a strong desire to understand how their workspaces impacted the health & performance of their teams as well as being able to deliver world leading insights to support their own clients strategies.

The Challenge

With a range of clients across the spectrum of industries, our client needs to understand every aspect of the workplace experience

Not only does this apply to the huge portfolio of externally managed real estate, but it is also relevant to their own internally owned and managed property.

 

Our client decided to open a brand new SMART office incorporating a selection of workplace concepts, tools & designs, to enhance the overall employee experience.

The new office space was designed to showcase how a workplace can be a health & performance enabler, so features could be replicated across parts of their own, and clients, real estate portfolio.

The planned office move unfortunately clashed with the start of the COVID lockdown period when all staff were immediately asked to work from home. This change to workplace location presented a range of complex problems for our client, both internally & externally.

Home Working

What can be done to support the wellbeing & performance of employees during lockdown and beyond?

Return to Office

How can organisations best mitigate risk whilst developing a functional operational plan based on low occupancy?

Medium-term Strategy

What level of occupancy can be achieved in offices and within what timescales, whilst keeping employees safe?

Long-term Strategy

What will the new “Business as Usual” look like from a workspace perspective to meet the needs of employees in the future?

A Data Driven Approach

Our client was aware that in order to meet the pre and post-COVID challenges they faced, they required data driven insights that provided objective evidence to deliver bespoke and effective real estate strategies.

 

To collect the level and quality of data required to deliver meaningful insights relating to both office and home working locations, a number of obstacles were identified that needed to be overcome:

  • How can the project be operated in a fully remote fashion?
  • Development of a cross-workspace operational model
  • Maintenance of data anonymity & privacy using remote methods
  • Installation of agile and responsive processes to a changing environment

The Solution

Utilising our proprietary technology, in-house expertise and sector experience, we were able to design a scientifically robust process that ensured employees could be measured across multiple workspaces to provide objective insights relating to the impact of each space on wellbeing & performance. This process was developed with four key areas in mind:

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Data Integrity

ART’s in-house data processing technology, integrated with a range of reliable devices, ensured that high quality data was collected throughout the project to enable meaningful insights.

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Passive Data Collection

The ART team developed processes to ensure that engaging in the project caused minimal disruption to employees, with an average active engagement time of just 15 minutes per week.

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Security and Privacy

Working in conjunction with the client’s Privacy Officer, we collected a wealth of data that was fully anonymised and secure at all times, giving both the client and employees peace of mind.

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Actionable Insights

Our expertise and insights provided meaningful findings to our client, enabling evidence-based decisions to be made that will drive effective change across their real estate portfolio.

Benefits

Whilst this project is still ongoing and not due for completion until 2021, we have been able to deliver a series of findings across the blend of workspaces that employees have been using since February 2020. These insights have provided stakeholders with clear evidence to support their longer-term strategies, both from an internal and external perspective. These include:

  1. Providing a holistic comparison between old and new office environments, identifying areas that had the greatest impact on employees to inform future office design
  2. Detailing which aspects of home working had a positive impact on employees, using objective data, and how these could best be integrated into long-term working from home strategies
  3. Highlighting the key risks to long-term home working, enabling our client to mitigate against these through effective strategies & ways of working that support employee wellbeing
  4. Using a range of metrics to identify which groups of employees would benefit from an earlier return to the office environment due to the negative impact of the home working experience
  5. Measurement of the impact of COVID restrictions on employees returning to the office in the medium-term to inform ongoing strategy, office design and occupancy thresholds

The importance of health in the workplace cannot be underestimated and with an unprecedented event (Covid19), seeing a potential revolution in working styles. ART Health have been helping us bring leading insights to clients on health, happiness and productivity at work. The study is eye opening and makes a clear case for putting Wellness and Health front and centre of the workplace as is allowing us to truly measure the performance of our new market leading workplace

UK Real Estate Director