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Smart Workplace Sessions #2: How Smart Offices Change Workday Experience

Feb 24, 2021 12:33:30 PM

Dr Peggie Rothe from the workplace analytics firm Leesman joined us on February 17th 2021 for a talk for the second session in our new series of workplace talks. In this session, we discussed what role smart technologies play in making the employee experience better, whether working from home, at the office or somewhere in between.

What role do offices, homes and everything in between play our future workplace ecosystems? What is the connection between job satisfaction, workplace experience, freedom and autonomy, flexible working, frictionless and seamless work environments and a day-to-day state of flow? How does both statistical data collection and real-time workplace technologies help to create outstanding workplace ecosystems and a better workday experience - that supports people, inspires teams and helps businesses thrive?

These were just a few of the questions discussed and addressed by Dr Peggie Rothe, Chief Insights & Research Officer at Leesman together with Pontus Kihlman, Head of Business Development, Optimaze, Rapal.

The interview based webinar revolved around three main themes:
•  Employee experience, workplace experience and workday experience – and why they matter
•  The role of workplace analytics for workplace strategy, office design and work culture
•  Choice and the social, physical and digital workplace: choice-based work arrangements, spaces, services and smart technologies

Below you'll find a video recording and a written summary of the session.
This talk is part of a series around smarter workplaces, so be sure to check out the other sessions.



How can both workplace professionals and employees benefit from workplace data?

“When we talk about data, I like to quote William Deming, who said ‘Without data you're just another person with an opinion’. If you don't have data on how people are experiencing the workplace, you don't know whether you need to improve or whether things are okay. I think data is absolutely crucial to make decisions, and I'd say you need different sorts of data,” Peggie Rothe explains.

Both soft and hard data collection, and statistical and real-time workplace data can help to plan, create and improve on good workplace designs, and use the workplace on a daily basis in a smooth, efficient, enjoyable and sustainable way. Collecting, sharing, analyzing and using data is the basis for creating an outstanding workplace in the long-term, and a better workday experience on a daily basis.

Peggie continues: “Out of all the workplaces that in 2019 got our Leesman+ certification (outstanding workplaces), 22 out of 32 workplaces were predominantly flexible workplaces, where the employees did not have assigned workstations but rather, provided variety and choice. It's an environment that comprises of a variety of different types of spaces for different types of work, so that they enable choice for you, where you can choose a setting that works for whatever activity you're about to undertake. That's certainly something that many of the best workplaces have in common.”

What does Leesman data tell us about where we are now, and where we are going?

Peggie also shared some findings from studies made during the pandemic and the lockdowns, when people have been working from home: “The pattern couldn't have been more clear. The workplace where the office was offering a really good employee experience, over 90% of the employees said they want to work from home a maximum one day a week (after the pandemic). Then in the case where the experience was not good at all, the majority of employees wanted to work a minimum two to three days per week at home. So what the future looks like - it depends on what sort of workplace are you offering them.”

Pontus Kihlman agrees: “What we're going to get out of this pandemic, when wanting to reoccupy the offices, is that we're going to get better workplaces - because that's going to be the pull factor: we're going to get better ergonomics and we're going to get better cognitive environments, and we're going to get more social interaction.”

The webinar was hosted by Maija Patjas, Head of International Relations, Optimaze. In addition to illustrating a smart office solutions via the example of Optimaze Worksense, a number of polls to the audience sparked further interests among the live viewers.


The audience was asked questions like “Which smart office functionalities do you think improves employee experience the most?”

  • Indoor Air Quality data (temperature, humidity, CO2, TVOC …)
  • Real time space availability information
  • Bookings (desk, conference room, parking) from any device (mobile app, Outlook/Google, kiosk, etc)
  • Easy reporting of service requests (cleaning needs, broken IT devices, maintenance)
  • Finding a colleague
  • Viewing lunch lists and real time queuing times for the cafeteria

Find out the answers by watching the full session recording - and don't forget to follow the series in full.READ MORELeesman in brief

The Leesman Index is the world’s foremost employee workplace experience assessment benchmark. For the past decade Leesman have been measuring how corporate workplaces around the globe support employees. Though conventional working environments have changed, experience remains as relevant as ever. In response, Leesman's Home Working survey – backed by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the International Facility Management Association – offers organizations absolute clarity when it comes to understanding remote working.

Peggie Rothe, PhD, is Chief Insights & Research Office (CIRO) at Leesman, where her role includes leading the research undertaken on the world’s largest independent workplace effectiveness database. Before joining the company in 2014, she was a researcher at Aalto University (Finland) with a focus on CRE and workplace management. She has published her findings in many peer-reviewed academic journals and presented at several academic and industry conferences.

Optimaze workplace solutions at a glance

We offer software and data services for professionals to develop, optimize and manage the built environment. We help you optimize your Property for People, Planet, Prosperity and Public good. We provide Smart Solutions. We help organizations increase employee satisfaction while lowering real estate costs and optimizing space use.

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