How Does Your Office Space Measure Up?

Today, property cost represents the second or third largest expense to every organization, so understanding precisely how workplaces are being used is essential to conducting smart business. An independent study released by Grosvenor this week shows how workplace density, location, and building size play a role in workplace management strategy. The study, powered by Serraview data, looks at several organizations and their real estate breakdown. For the first time, comparing workplace density from a standard set of data gives a clear picture of not only how things are, but what’s possible. With Serraview identified as a best-practice software, the data provides a benchmark for efficiency in the workplace that can be used by all organizations. To read the study and learn more, visit Grosvenor’s website at:

http://www.grosvenor.com.au/benchmark-your-workspace-management-against-australian-best-practice/

Grosvenor is a team of management consultants based in Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne, Australia. The company works with clients across both the public and private sectors to deliver confidence and project success. For more information, visit Grosvenor at: http://www.grosvenor.com.au/

The Future of Work and Workplace

Worktech West Coast this year was hosted as a RAW (Revolutions at Work) event, which is a cutting edge format where the team hold the event in a “RAW” space yet to be outfitted – a blank canvass where people can envision the future workplace. Although the neighborhood was perhaps in what you’d call an “up-and-coming” area, the concept itself proved effective and got people thinking about all of the different working environments that are possible and how future workspaces may be built and facilitated.

The sessions for the event we grouped around the following themes to prompt discussion:

  • Blurring of Physical and Virtual Space – How can our digital worlds be used to enhance our physical ones? The blurring of these two boundaries comes when people can use technology to change the physical spaces they inhabit, offering a tantalizing look at what a technology based future could look like, combined with the real world that is enabling.Jacob Morgan posed (somewhat controversially) that the office may not exist at all the future! Certainly not a view that we share. Here we believe that the office of the future will continue to become one that is more open and flexible, encouraging employees to come together, collaborate, innovate and be productive. Although there is a time and a place for quiet, individual work (which may be done remotely, or at home), there is incredible power and energy that can be harnessed by bringing people together. Certainly a trend that we are seeing in Australia and across many technology companies in the Bay Area.
  • User Experience (UX) and Magnet Workplaces– a look at Global Workplace case studies that focused on the User Experience and discussed how they have pushed innovation forward to create “magnet” workplaces. Microsoft shared their experiences on this topic and how it impacts and shapes their design.We hold the view that UX is incredibly important for enhancing the experience of our workplace interactions. UX can be used to inspire and facilitate enhanced levels of productivity from all stakeholders.
  • The City as a Platform for Innovation – Michael Joroff from MIT, Boston explored the future of cities – troubleshooting the journey of evolution from traditional cities to innovation districts and beyond. He had some interesting publications that are available to read online. New Century City Developments and The Rise of Innovation Districts. Interestingly Ford Fish, SVP of Real Estate from Salesforce.com, spoke to their policy of building urban campuses and the conscious decision that Salesforce have made to not move to the outer suburban locations, rather to stay in the heart of the city because that’s where there customers are that is where their incredibly talented staff want to be.
  • Collaboration and Community – What is the secret to successful collaboration within the workplace? Several technologies were shown on  how to successfully harness technologies, space and job alignment to make the environment conducive to igniting that collaborative/creative spark to create the perfect community.

Our co-founder, Ian Morley, joined an exciting panel discussion with Martin Brooker (COO Condeco Software), Mark Gilbreath (CEO Liquidspace), Michael Housman (Chief Analytics Officer Evolov) and chaired by Peter Miscovich (MD JLL) to explore the benefits of The Quantified Workplace – specifically how technology can provide quantifiable insights into workplace utilization and help predict trends for the future.

Where are the greatest opportunities to enable the Quantified Workplace? How can it be utilized to unlock the full value of your real estate? We see that there are actually three key components:

1) The first is about analytics – what data can you collect and how can it be harvested to help make better decisions. For example, how much space do we actually need both now and in the future, what do our business units need, who are our biggest offenders in terms of space wastage, how should we focus our limited real-estate resources to make the biggest impact?

2) The second is about now having the tools to do something about it, tools to execute – scenario planning is often hard, tedious and prone to error. It should be easy and intuitive drag and drop groups around your portfolio to plan a better layout and communicate and refine those plans with your business units. Communication and collaboration with your business units and employees should be easy!

3) Your people. How can technology improve the customer experience for all your employees and stakeholders of your buildings? Especially as we move towards more modern, flexible, collaborative work environments, how can technology enable productivity and also take away the ‘fear factor’ that’s often associated with losing one’s desk?

In summary, it was a really exciting event to be a part of. We continue to be excited by the increasing uptake of our enablement technologies within North America, and look forward to sharing more client experiences in the future.

The Quantified Workplace

Serraview will once again be joining the Worktech crew for another insightful look into the future of work, this time at Worktech 14 West Coast on October 9th, 2014 in San Francisco.

We are excited to be joining thought-leaders from around the globe to debate and discuss how we will all be working in the future, sharing case studies and ideas that are shaping our new world of work.

At this year’s conference, we will be joining the panel discussion on “The Quantified Workplace“. How can technology provide quantifiable insights into workplace trends? How can we deeply understand the business requirements from a demand perspective? How do we attract and retain the smartest, most talented people? How do we enable increased staff satisfaction and productivity? How do we enable this open, agile and productive workplace of the future? How can technology help?

Other speakers at this ground-breaking event include: Steve Monaco, Head of Global Real Estate & Workplace Services, Motorola Mobility, Prarthana Johnson, Senior Design Manager, Microsoft, Ford Fish, SVP Real Estate,Salesforce.com, Gervais Tompkin, Principle, Gensler, Philip Ross, Futurologist & CEO, UNGROUP, Lori Gee, Vice President of Applied Insight, Herman Miller, Inc. Michael Joroff, Senior Lecturer, MIT Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, Kristine Woolsey, Behavioural Strategist, CarrierJohnson + CULTURE. Other speakers have been drawn from leading design, property and technology companies.

Please do come and visit our booth for a more in-depth look at how we have been helping our clients to drive significant change within their workplace and unlock the full value of their real estate.

We look forward to meeting you there and sharing our experiences from the last ten years in Australia and first twelve months in North America.

Unlocking Flexible Workplaces

For our Australian customers, 2013 may well be recorded as the year that flexible working finally saw wide-scale adoption across the country. With the majority of our customers pioneering this new working style, we made the strategic decision in 2012 to work closely with our industry partners to make sure they had the best tools to fully unlock the value of these highly collaborative, vibrant and productive workplaces.

For our 2013 product roadmap, this meant a three-pronged approach:

  1. Facilitating the elegant management of neighbourhoods;
  2. Making flexible workplaces awesome for everyone; and
  3. Delivering cutting edge & cost effective tools for measuring space utilisation

This approach has seen great success and adoption across the industry, with over 500,000sqm (5m sqft) of flexible working currently being managed, optimised and delivered via our solution.

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Amazing New Australian Flexible Workplace – Source: www.woodsbagot.com

Facilitating the Elegant Management of Neighbourhoods

With all the benefits flexible working provides for staff, it does unfortunately create more overhead and pain for corporate real estate who still have to manage and plan for these areas, and their ongoing growth & contraction to meet business’ needs.

Our Visual Block and Stack (VBS) has always been the hallmark of efficient, best-practice accommodation management. The VBS has always allowed of our customers to keep track of space allocations and plan for future growth.

As part of the move to support flexible working, we completely rewrote our VBS tool from the ground up over the last 18 months to support ‘flexi teams’ and ‘hoods’ (neighbourhoods shared by many flexi teams) as a core concepts within the VBS. While we were there, we also made some great performance and usability enhancements – keeping with our mantra of creating tools that are extremely intuitive and simple to use.

Property administrators are now easily able to track and report on their space in both fixed, flexible and hybrid environments; real estate managers can set targets for key occupancy metrics such as head count to workpoint ratios, and readily monitor which teams are achieving their utilisation goals.

 Visual Block & Stack (VBS) showing Neighbourhoods & Occupancy Ratios

Visual Block & Stack (VBS) showing Neighbourhoods & Occupancy Ratios

Once you move to a flexible working environment it becomes clear that you also need to help staff get the most out of the space. Finding a colleague, a free desk or a shared space is much more difficult, and our second major focus of 2013 was to improve collaboration and productivity in flexible environments.

Making Flexible Workplaces Awesome for Everyone

When making tools for these everyday users – users that are not wrapped up in managing property on a daily basis – we believe that the following goals are crucial for making sure the new space is used effectively:

  • Location information should be accurate and available in real time – in environments where people can be working from anywhere this is paramount; and
  • Technology should not interfere with the working environment. Instead it should seamlessly integrate and improve each user’s way of working.

With those two goals as our foundation, we created Serraview Live and Serraview Locator services. We think the results here are ground breaking and we have already seen a lot of excitement from our customers. Serraview Live captures accurate utilisation information in real time from the workplace, and our Locator provides a clean, simple user interface for the staff to find people, desks and rooms. Again, this is done, all in real time.

locator_600b_230x216Because Serraview Live and Locator integrate seamlessly in flexible working, both can be used without changing the way staff work – no checking in, no advance booking required. This means that once deployed, the tools are immediately ready for use in any existing environment.

We have already seen great success with these products with thousands and thousands of searches a day per customer. Watch this space to see what 2014 brings for Serraview Live and its related technologies.

Delivering Cutting Edge & Cost Effective Tools for Measuring Space Utilisation

Over 2013, we developed a range of technologies to quickly and easily collect and report on actual space utilisation. Our technologies range from our speed-gate plug in that collects utilisation data from ‘cardex’ or turnstile systems to our Serraview Live technology that will collect utilisation data to a workpoint level in real-time. Combining these technologies with our VBS, Workplace Portal and Business Intelligence frameworks have allowed us to demonstrate some incredible space saving opportunities and have facilitated many millions of $ in property savings for our clients over the last year alone.

Looking Forward

Good news is in 2014 we are not slowing down! In fact, we are even more excited about the features and products we have planned.  Our clear focus is to continue working with clients to further improve our product to help build, manage and optimise their workplace of the future; taking advantage of all the best technology platforms available. Make sure you visit again to keep up to date as we deliver our 2014 product roadmap.

Serraview Now Available in Canada

We at Serraview are very pleased to announce that in partnership with Toronto based Insight Management, our acclaimed Space Planning, Relocation Management and Smart Environments tools are now available in Canada.

Sholem Prasow, the founding director of Insight Management is equally as excited, “When I first saw the Serraview system I was immediately impressed by the speed of setup and ease of use – immediately transferrable to time saved and dollars of costs avoided compared to what I’ve seen in the Canadian market.

To establish the partnership, Sholem spent a number of weeks at Serraview’s Melbourne HQ to visit with the team, understand our company values, visit our flagship Australian clients and cement a close relationship with the Serraview HQ team.

“What I was most impressed with was by the even greater appreciation of those attributes by clients and end users — clients were proud of their choice in Serraview and eager to do even more with its ever advancing capabilities!”

Based in Toronto, Sholem and Insight Management will be available full time on the ground in Canada. Combined with Serraview’s New York based team, we are looking forward to offering our North American customers our very best levels of service.

We would love to hear how you are currently managing your organisation’s workspace, the challenges you are facing and where you see the opportunity. We have a wealth of experience to share from some of the world’s leaders in workplace management and design.

Please contact us now (sales@serraview.com) to set up a complimentary demonstration.

About Insight Management

Sholem Prasow, the founder of Insight Management, (a Toronto based company) was educated in Engineering Science at the University of Toronto and Operations Research at the Wharton School.  Previous to Insight Management, he has had 20 years of industry sales and relationship management experience as Vice President of Business Development at Teknion. He has been a frequent contributor to industry publications and a speaker at industry conferences in the areas of Workplace, Project Management, Sustainability, Education and Healthcare. Sholem has been awarded an Honorary Membership by the Association of Registered Designers of Ontario for his educational contributions to the design community. Together with Insight Management and Serraview, Sholem is now dedicated to fostering a new level of excitement around the opportunities to optimize workspace efficiency within Canada.

Sholem Prasow
Founding Director, Insight Management
sholem@insight-manage.com
+1 (647) 226 3892