Quiet Quitting: The New Workplace Trend

People seen on a desk at their office

It’s viral, it’s the latest work trend, and it’s called Quiet Quitting. It is the idea of refusing to work overtime and not taking calls after work. Quiet Quitting has many workers rethinking the value of their jobs and the time and attention they assign to them. This trending topic is generating a lot of debate and here is what you need to know about it – if you want to stay connected to workplace culture.


WHAT IS QUIET QUITTING?


Quiet Quitting may sound like you are bowing out officially from your job, but instead it means quitting the overworking culture but staying  on the company payroll. Viewed in its most positive light, the concept encourages employees to maintain an appropriate separation between work and personal life and break away from hustle culture.

Whether it’s the phenomenon of Quiet Quitting or not, a lot of people are feeling disconnected from the purpose of their jobs. According to a 2022 Gallup survey, 60% of employees report being emotionally detached from work; 19% report being miserable. Only 33% say that they’re engaged at work. “So if we think that the other 60% are emotionally detached — maybe the emotional detachment is the quiet quitting”, says Rebbeca Knight, Senior Correspondent of Careers and the Workplace at Insider.


WHERE DID QUIET QUITTING COME FROM?


The phrase Quiet Quitting  has been generating millions of views on the social networking platform, TikTok. TikToker Zaid Khan made “Quiet Quitting” a huge hit on the internet. Zaid has been quoted saying that Quiet Quitting is “quitting the idea of above and beyond for your job”. They are doing only what they are paid to do. In a nutshell, it is a shift to focus on life beyond work and its commitments, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant mental health problems and burnout.


WHO QUIET QUITS?


According to a Resume Builder survey,  ‘1 in 4 of workers are ‘quiet quitting,’ saying no to hustle culture.  Maggie Perkins is a teacher who began quiet quitting in 2018 when her daughter was born. In a discussion with CNBC, Perkins said she chose to work only her minimum contracted hours so she could make it to her daycare pickup on time and avoid late fines. Some news coverage have suggested that Quiet Quitting is primarily done by Gen Z or people in their early 20s. But Fast Company pointed out recently that Gen X-ers, now in their 50s, were also called out for deciding there were more important things than work.


IS IT GOOD OR BAD? 


Well, it depends on who you ask. It’s either a healthy boundary or an example of the worst sort of passive-aggressive behavior you can bring to work. Asley Lutz’s Fortune article explores how Americans have normalized this trend and the passive-aggression that comes with it. Plenty of backlash to the trend exists, and the argument is that silent, quiet, withdrawal is one way to burn bridges and leave your boss and coworkers demoralized and dissatisfied.

WHY SHOULD MANAGERS BE PREPARED FOR IT?


Since the trend is spreading like wildfire, managers who want to deal with staff shortages and meet their organization’s goals should be ready for Quiet Quitting. While work life balance is a priority for Gen Z and Millennials, finances are also a cause of worry. Burdened by inflation and rising cost of rents, many Quiet Quitters are simply not willing to work without pay.


WHY IS IT A CONCERN? 


Since the occurrence of COVID, there has been a significant transformation in the workplace. From the rising popularity of shared workspaces to the talk of a four-day workweek, the rules for the new workplace are still being written.

Managers can maximize retention and meet deadlines more effectively by giving employees the work they enjoy and letting them decide how to spend their time on it. Simone Ahuja, a Fortune 500 strategic consultant who focuses on fostering innovation, suggests managers ask employees about their progress. She recommends managers understand how employees feel about their workload, and ask how they will balance it with everything else on their plate. A collaborative approach among employees to achieve team and individual objectives with breathing room for their personal life can be fruitful for employee retention.

To break out of the Quiet Quitting mindset, Allison Peck, a career coach suggests that people find a job, manager, team, or company that better aligns with them in order to stay motivated.


HOW CAN WE HELP?


Corporate space planners, managers, and executives need to work together to keep employees driven at their workplace. Space Planners can bring utilization metrics to the table to build better spaces that can improve employee satisfaction and help employees feel better about their work environment.

To learn more about how Armored Things is helping CRE leaders make the most of their spaces and reopen offices and corporate campuses, with one our Sales Reps today at Sales@armoredthings.com

​​Nupur Patra contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Armored Things. She is currently a graduate student at Northeastern University in the Digital Media program.

3 Challenges Higher Ed Space Planners Need To Think About This Fall

college student moves in with boxes

Universities are becoming aware of the need for more space as students get ready to return to campus for the fall term. As the semester approaches, space planners in higher education are at the center of disputes about space because there isn’t enough of it. They keep coming back to one central question: What has happened to campus space since universities sent students home? 

Everything from the design of buildings to their maintenance may need to change to fit a new framework. The goal of a higher education space planner is to improve the student experience, which requires a re-evaluation of conventional space allocation. Here are some challenges that higher education institutions should think about now and in the foreseeable future.


1. LIMITED CAMPUS SPACE HINDERS HOUSING NEEDS


As the fall semester begins universities find themselves overbooked due to increased enrollment. Lack of housing is one of the biggest concerns in higher education right now. Universities, without enough dorm space, are turning to hotels and even neighboring campuses to accommodate students.

While some overbooked institutions, such as the University of Tennessee and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte are using hotels as a means of housing their students. University of Iowa, on the other hand, reopened a residence hall it closed five years ago as temporary dormitories.

McCoy Real Estate had an interesting suggestion for the University of Arkansas, where enrolment has increased by approximately 1,000 students year over year. In a tweet, they advise parents of an out-of-state University of Arkansas student who does not have on-campus housing to buy a house for their child.

Purdue made the clever decision to purchase a four-story Aspire complex on State Street as an inventive solution to the housing problem. The big purchase is a necessary stopgap measure as they brainstorm long-term solutions for campus space planning.


2. MORE LAB SPACE NEEDED


The fight for the label “research university” has colleges drawing attention to their lack of labs and allocating space and resources to lab development in their master plans. Brown University responds to this need with a massive acquisition. In July of this year, Brown University acquired 10 properties in the Jewelry District from the Care New England health system, with intentions to construct a new laboratory. Brown wants to expand its research capabilities and be prepared for pandemics in the future. 

Brown University isn’t the only one in the quest for additional laboratory space. However, the question remains: how can higher-learning institutions add these types of buildings quickly and without significant expense? Adaptive reuse, a practice within facilities management of repurposing old space into new building types instead of a complete demo and rebuild, is a reasonable solution. Adaptive reuse can assist universities in converting existing facilities into sustainable and cost-effective laboratory space with little time and expenditure.


3. VALIDATING ROOM, BUILDING AND COMMON SPACE RESERVATIONS 


As campus footprints shrink, higher education space planners are in action to provide building occupants with the space they need. Room reservation technology only gets them so far – not all booked spaces get used in the end. Colleges turn to space planning teams to free up bookings or direct students to underutilized spaces. For instance, Thomas Jefferson University located in Philadelphia, has a smart space management team, Space Management & Room Reservations (SMRR). They schedule events and classes in individual spaces on campus and work to accommodate non-academic events.

University of New Hampshire and Northeastern University are also in the running to validate rooms and space available on-campus for events and meetings. The need for validation arises because faculty members believe they require privacy from time to time. According to Margaret Serrato, workplace strategist at AreaLogic Workplace Strategy, the need for privacy and a quiet place to do heads-down work that is accessible to students is important. Providing the right workspaces to accommodate the ways that individuals work is a reasonable resolution.


HOW CAN OUR SOFTWARE HELP HIGHER ED SPACE PLANNERS?


The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, one of our customers, used our software to help them decide library staffing hours and cleaning schedules, among other things. Armored Things enables customers to gain real-time insights and historical overlays for predictive analytics with spatial intelligence. With our software, customers can understand estimates of peak usage and density to best optimize their space. 

​​Nupur Patra contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Armored Things. She is currently a Graduate Student at Northeastern University in the Digital Media program.

The Evolution of People-Counting Technology for Space Management

people working in an office space

There are four people sitting in a room designed to hold fifty. Does it matter? Strategic Space Planners responsible for multi-building corporate and college campuses say yes. Leasing agreements and building maintenance are major budget items for large employers and universities. But how do Strategic Space planners validate building, floor, and room utilization?

Organizations started experimenting with manual clicker studies and sensor-based data for campus space planning, but that only got them so far. Today’s software-based solutions and spatial intelligence can harness predictive analytics that is scalable, cheaper, and faster to get started.


1. FIRST, THERE WERE CLICKER STUDIES


For many years, corporations have been utilizing clicker studies to gather employee data and occupancy analytics. They were used to shed light on where you need to increase collaborative spaces and the average number of people in a meeting room. The problem is that these manual studies become instantly outdated, capturing a moment in time not a true representative of use. 

Facilities leaders found that manual counts lack the precision required to meet the transformational needs of today’s office space. Also, because these analytics aren’t connected to other types of data such as meeting room scheduling tools, what you have is occupancy data without context. Context becomes a driver in terms of what to change in order to maximize your space. Manual clicker studies don’t provide facilities leaders the ability to track patterns or visualize their spaces and how it’s being used. 


2. HERE COME SENSORS


Facilities leaders began looking to sensors to gather employee data and space utilization analytics. Sensors were able to provide granular data about how many people may have occupied space, such as a conference room. 

Sensors were able to do what clicker studies never could, which is to allow operation teams the ability to visualize their space in a format that could be easily understood. 

Although sensors appeared to be a better way to measure occupancy, they came with many challenges. Like all on-premise hardware solutions, sensors require installation and maintenance which drives costs up. And if you’re managing a sprawling campus, scaling a sensor-based occupancy strategy becomes costly quickly.


3. OCCUPANCY CONCERNS DURING COVID-19 


The emergence of the coronavirus resulted in people focusing on occupancy more than ever before. Overcrowded spaces soon became corporations’ biggest concern. Hot topics included occupancy monitoring and counting the number of people entering and exiting a building. 

Apps such as the Doorman app which was originally marketed towards security staff at clubs and bars can now be used for routine occupancy monitoring. Occupancy data is no longer just a security concern, but can be crucial when making leasing decisions and designing office spaces for employees.

Corporations had to reduce their office space or restructure their office spaces to accommodate a workforce that was not likely to return to a 5-day office. They had to get creative. This meant turning unused conference rooms into new common areas for employees to reduce vacant space.


4. THE RETURN TO OFFICE AND CAMPUS


The evolution of technology relied on more sophisticated views that leveraged historical data for predictive future usage. A new campus experience combined with a return to office plan meant Senior Leadership Teams were reconsidering why they had to build or expand. For example, The University of Iowa is converting residence hall lounges into dorm rooms as enrollment and occupancy spikes. 

This requires predictive analytics and software that can leverage existing infrastructures to collect space utilization information. Predictive analytics allows companies to understand patterns of life—how employees use office spaces over time—to inform major spatial decisions. The information is anonymized, so visual representations are provided without PII.  

“​​If CREs can focus on utilizing data to look at employee behaviors on those data insight platforms, more so than chasing the next shiny technology object that’s being thrown at them, then I think that can be really helpful because there’s such an abundance of technology” says Robert Teed, Founder and CCO of Integri Group, quoted in an Armored Things Fireside Chat about the evolving role of CRE leaders

The Armored Things platform allows users to uncover occupancy analytics and track patterns over time, relying on historical views to predict how a space will be used in the future.

Want to learn more about Armored Things Space Analytics Solution? You can visit our website or reach out directly to sales@armoredthings.com for a quick demo.

Alex Trotto contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Armored Things. She is currently a Northeastern University student in her sophomore year.

Predictive Space Analytics For Portfolio Management

Corporate facilities leaders are focused on optimizing attendance and deciphering how to provide accommodations that employees actually need. 

A few years ago, companies were using clicker studies and sensors to collect office usage data and make workspace design decisions. Now, they are taking advantage of software and existing infrastructures like Wi-Fi to gather predictive analytics and inform their hybrid work strategies. 


THE HYBRID SOLUTION STARTS WITH PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS 


Organizations started experimenting with manual clicker studies and sensor-based data for campus space planning, but that only got them so far. Today’s software-based solutions and spatial intelligence can harness utilization metrics – and are scalable, cheaper, and faster to get started. The information is anonymized, so visual representations are provided without PII.  For example, the Armored Things platform allows users to uncover occupancy analytics and track patterns over time, relying on historical views to predict how a space will be used in the future. 

When it comes to allocating space or making costly decisions to add or build space, predictive analytics can provide critical data to decision-makers. 


PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS CAN HELP: 


  • Cost savings –  What many companies don’t know is that an investment in smart space planning software can save them money per square foot and help them find cost savings at scale. For example, predictive analytics and space utilization software can help decrease deferred maintenance costs by providing data for relocations. 
  • Reorient spaces – Predictive analytics can help facilities leaders reorient the workspace in a way that yields increased engagement and collaboration and lure employees back into the office. Companies like Amazon have begun to reevaluate their office designs in order to meet future employee needs. The pandemic has changed the way people connect and work, so it’s crucial that office buildings reflect that. 
  • Forecast new property investments – Space utilization data allows space planners to predict future utilization patterns and pinpoint what spaces are occupied and aren’t. This information can help facilities leaders with lease decisions. Corporations can decide whether they need to expand or reduce their office spaces. This is known as Capital Expenditures or funds used to acquire, upgrade, or maintain capital assets.  

HOW CAN COMPANIES USE PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS TO RE-ENGAGE EMPLOYEES? 


Companies can use space utilization software from Armored Things to measure occupancy and utilization patterns in order to make future spatial decisions – and in the end, save money. 

Using predictive analytics, we are able to aid space planners by showing them where underutilized spaces exist based on usage over time. Armored Things works with Strategic Space Planners across the U.S. to optimize office spaces and help drive decisions around building leases and scheduling. 


WHAT ABOUT THE NEW CAMPUS EXPERIENCE?


We also help Higher Education officials prepare for the next chapter of on-campus learning by allowing them to solve space disputes and meet new space requests with hard data.

This sort of data is shared between offices including Space Planning, CIOs, Chancellor, and the Registrar. We help universities like the University of Tennessee Knoxville redefine and connect their campuses with modern cloud technologies

Want to learn more about Armored Things Space Analytics Solution? You can visit our website or reach out directly to sales@armoredthings.com for a quick demo.

Alex Trotto contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Armored Things. She is currently a Northeastern University student in her sophomore year.

6 Things To Know About The New Workplace Experience

female colleagues in a discussion

The rules for the new workplace experience are still being written. Employers are walking a fine line as they try to offer up a smart space and place for employees to get their best work done – and not simply reopen the same old offices.

So, what have we learned in the last two years? A lot of things, as it turns out. Here’s 6 things to know about the new workplace experience – trends that CRE and HR leaders know are here to stay.


1. EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT FOUR-DAY WORKWEEK


Companies are studying if a shorter week might solve some of the workforce’s biggest concerns as work and work life continue to evolve. The four-day workweek is a solution that makes sense for some companies.

4-Day Week Global is a not-for-profit community that researches and supports a shorter work week. Their research says 63% of businesses found it easier to attract and retain talent with a four-day week.  A four-day workweek is already supported by 85% of American adults, according to 4-Day Week Global. Companies of all sizes – including Microsoft – are giving it a whirl.

Microsoft did a small trial in Japan. During the summer of 2019, it gave its 2,300 employees every Friday off with no pay cut. Microsoft’s expectations were exceeded. When sales per employee were used to measure productivity, the company saw a rise of almost 40%. Microsoft said that the trial was a success due to short meetings and remote conferencing. The shift happened because workers only had four days to do a week’s worth of work.

​​A four-day workweek isn’t just for large companies; it’s been explored at a lot of organizations around the world as a way to improve the new workplace experience.


2. PROXIMITY BIAS IS REAL


“There are still harmful stereotypes that people working remotely are less productive or that flexible work means a loss of collaboration because people aren’t in the same space,” says Blessing Buraimoh, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, EMEA Workforce Advisory at JLL, quoted in this piece on Proximity Bias and other stereotypes associated with the new flexible workplace.

This “proximity bias” may have unfavorable long-term effects on workers and the organizations they work for. The bias needs to be worked on since it appears that most businesses will never return to the outdated 9–5 feet on the floor system.


3. COLLABORATIVE SPACES ARE IN DEMAND


Companies that embrace some remote and hybrid scheduled employees may nonetheless desire modern work spaces, trusting that regular office use would promote employee collaboration.

Companies aim to make conference rooms more hospitable and conducive to collaboration in order to entice workers back to the office. In a Wall Street Journal article about companies’ plans to remodel offices, President and Chief People Officer of Salesforce Brent Hyder stated that Salesforce strives to create shared spaces for teams to collaborate in conference rooms by replacing desks with couches and televisions. The goal is to create a pull towards the workplace rather than a push. 


4. HYPERFLEXIBLE SPACES ARE CRITICAL


In a lot of industries, 40% space underutilization rates are real – a number no longer tolerable as corporate and college campuses begin to understand smart space planning.

That means multi-purpose spaces, configurable spaces, and shared spaces need remodeling.

As gatherings grow less formal and hybrid work patterns bring fewer people physically into conference rooms, the size and shape of the traditional conference room is evolving. For better or worse, the ways we use conference rooms is fundamentally changed – which means a new pattern of utilization.


5.  SHARED WORKSPACES ARE BACK IN VOGUE


The New York Times’ Emily Woo reports that employees are choosing flexible co-working spaces over conventional offices because they allow them to sign short-term contracts or drop in to shared spaces as needed. These co-working spaces are currently overflowing. 

However, even in these co-working spaces, replicating the atmosphere of a pre-academic office is the aim for some businesses. One of the first businesses to return to a WeWork space was a start-up, Merge, that creates business software for payroll, accounting, and human resources. It expects its employees to come in at least four days a week. After the official workday wraps up, they attempt to make WeWork’s common area feel like their own workspace by hosting a shared “work dinner” there.


6. HYBRID IS MAINSTREAM


HR leaders must assess how these trends will affect their organizations both now and in the future, as well as how much they will alter their strategic objectives and goals. In order to draw in and keep talent, an organization’s EVP must include a commitment to well-being.

In one Accenture survey, 83% of 9,326 workers say they prefer a hybrid model — in which they can work remotely at least 25% of the time. At the same time, these employees need to feel connected to a corporate culture and their teammates, and more than 65% across all age groups say they want to see other coworkers regularly.

The new workplace experience is about working smarter – from anywhere.

To learn more about how Armored Things is helping CRE leaders make the most of their spaces, check out our CRE Guide or reach out directly to sales@armoredthings.com for a quick demo.

​​Nupur Patra contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Armored Things. She is currently a Graduate Student at Northeastern University in the Digital Media program.

Collegiate Esports Need Spaces Too!

students using computers

Although a lot of parents argue that video games aren’t good for their children, it’s possible all that screen time may translate to college scholarship dollars. In the past decade, universities have integrated esports into their athletic departments and worked to recruit top-tier gamers across the country. 

An award-winning esports team could potentially entice students and help boost enrollment, and the  2018-19 school year data shows  200 colleges in the U.S offered $16 million in esports scholarships

They may not need ice-cold arenas, but these players don’t sit alone in their rooms. In order to create an optimal experience, higher education facilities leaders have to find the proper space and equipment for esports teams to practice and compete.


JUST HOW BIG IS ESPORTS? 


 League of Legends is a multiplayer online video game known to be one of the largest esports both worldwide and at the collegiate level. The 2018 League of Legends World championship generated over 26 million hours of viewership, and the finals drew over 2 million viewers alone.

According to technology consulting firm Activate, esports will reach about 800 million viewers worldwide by 2024.  In total, esports produced a whopping  $2.7 billion in revenue in 2020 and is expected to nearly double by 2024. 


HOW CAN UNIVERSITIES CREATE SPACE FOR ESPORTS? 


In order for these teams to succeed, players need the proper equipment and space to practice and compete. These spaces are referred to as “arenas”, but they aren’t nearly as expensive to create as traditional sports arenas. Many of these arenas include desks with gaming chairs and monitors for players as well as large screen monitors for fans to watch their teams compete. 

Because esports is a relatively new collegiate program, many universities are utilizing old classrooms and spaces to accommodate esports rooms and arenas. But UC Irvine is one example of a university that went all in and created a space entirely devoted to esports. Their 3,500-square-foot arena is the first of its kind, housing 36 iBUYPOWER computers, Logitech gaming gear, and gaming chairs. The arena also has a “Console & Community Corner” where clubs and organizations can host events and meetings and even demo virtual reality.


OLD BUILDINGS VS. NEW FLEX SPACE 


Just last year, the University of Warwick in the UK announced that they plan to invest in a massive esports center on their campus. The center is meant to give players a space to practice their skills and even allow for research into the world of esports – combining sports and academics. The center will also serve as a venue for future esports events. What makes this space so unique is that it’s configurable – this allows it to be taken apart and moved to larger locations for bigger esports events on campus. 

Software from Armored Things helps universities evaluate their spaces in order to create recreational facilities like esports arenas. By collecting space utilization data, campus leaders can pinpoint where space is underutilized and decide how to improve its usage.  

In 2020, one of the top-ranked college esports programs was at the Maryville University of Saint Louis – and it’s not surprising that they won the 2016 League of Legends championship with a 40-0 record. The university offers a state-of-the-art practice facility with the best internet possible for low ping and high FPS (frames-per-second).

Want to learn more about Armored Things Space Analytics Solution? You can visit our website or reach out directly to sales@armoredthings.com for a quick demo.

​​Alex Trotto contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Armored Things. She is currently a Northeastern University student in her sophomore year.

Want Real Experience? Work For A Startup

I wasn’t sure what to expect for my first co-op or even what I wanted. As a communications and media studies major, I scoured the Northeastern co-op database looking at any position in either of those fields. Throughout the fall, I applied for companies big and small, ranging in all different industries from law firms to daily news sites. 

One of the companies on my list was a Boston-based software startup called Armored Things. But I was quite hesitant to work for a company focused on cutting-edge software – I had no familiarity with AI or machine learning.

However, during my interview, I was told that I would be able to have a hands-on role and be put to work, and as a college sophomore, I was hungry for the challenge. 

Six months later, I’m so happy that I made the decision to work for Armored Things. I have been able to learn more about the tech space and market as well as gain valuable or real-world experience that I wouldn’t have at a larger company. 


SOME BENEFITS OF STARTUP INTERNSHIPS:


  • Exposure to the C- suite – At larger companies, there are many layers between a co-op and a CEO but at Armored Things, the C-suite is working at the bench directly beside everyone else. Their accessibility made it easy to float content ideas to them, ask for expert opinions on industry topics, and even chat about career opportunities. It should be noted that Armored Things has a female founder and CEO, an extra inspiration for me.
  • Name recognition at company meetings – Company “Shout Outs” are a regular part of our All Hands meetings each month. At our April meeting, I received a shoutout from someone outside my department for my blogs and social posts. It’s nice to know that the sales directors and BDRs actually read my blogs and reference them to customers.
  • Immediate impact – One of the most rewarding aspects of my experience has been seeing the social media channels grow significantly. Thanks to a Wordle ad on Twitter that I helped curate, our Twitter account saw a 20,000% increase in impressions in the month of April! During my 6 month co-op, I learned to create a social media calendar and since we are a small team, it was my job to own the posts end to end. That means writing, scheduling, posting, and measuring the success of my posts. 
  • Daily 1:1s with a Senior Manager – For me, this might be the most significant difference from working at a big company. I was able to benefit from mentoring from an experienced Senior Marketing Manager. She has guided me through marketing campaigns, PR releases, and paid social media campaigns as well as given me additional career advice. I’ve learned so much from her about the marketing world, but also the corporate world in general. 

Startups come with a lot of challenges, and every day is different. The benefit for a co-op and intern is that they are thrown right into the action. My time with Armored Things may end in the next few months, but the knowledge and skills I have gained will follow me throughout the rest of my professional career.

Alex Trotto contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Armored Things. She is currently a Northeastern University student in her sophomore year.

Why Are Companies Investing In Workplace Analytics?

a person presents while another listens

It’s unpredictable, unprecedented – and sometimes it can feel unmanageable. That’s the new workplace, where corporate leaders are working to create new ways to reduce unused space and create more interactive, collaborative space for employees on the days they work in the office.

Whether it’s a full week or a single day, employees across many industries are expecting an office experience that is better than the one they left two years ago.

Technology will play a critical role, that’s clear. A recent CBRE survey titled Spring 2022 U.S. Officer Occupier Sentiment Survey reported that 53% of respondents are considering occupancy sensors to help design the new workplace. So how exactly does smart software fit into this new post-pandemic work model? 


HOW CAN SPACE ANALYTICS BE USED?


Smart software – such as space utilization software – allows Strategic Space Planners to leverage existing data sources, with or without sensors. This approach typically costs much less at scale. That’s because AI software pulls in data sources such as Wi-Fi, cameras, and badge systems. This information can be used to determine whether office spaces are being under or overutilized and also help them predict future needs.


SPACE ANALYTIC SOFTWARE CAN BE USED IN THE WORKPLACE TO:


  • Measure occupancy and utilization patterns in order to evaluate and reorganize office spaces.  
  • Increase office use and meeting room use through integrations with room booking technology. 
  • Help deferred maintenance costs by providing data for relocations. 
  • Understand when spaces are occupied or not occupied to help forecast new property investments.

HOW CAN COMPANIES CHOOSE THE RIGHT APPROACH? 


There are various ways that companies can begin to integrate software into their workplace. First off, it’s crucial that executive leaders know what goals they want to achieve by utilizing smart software. One goal for corporations is to focus on maintaining employee privacy while also gathering space utilization data. Employers also need to properly communicate to workers that space utilization data is not connected to evaluations or performance reviews. It’s about planning for current and evolving campus needs.


HOW CAN I ESTIMATE ROI IN WORKPLACE DESIGN?


Technology in an office building can be quite an investment, so it’s important for executives to know whether a software investment will save or cost them money – this can be uncovered with the help of an ROI Calculator. By providing the square footage of the space and monthly lease costs, users can find cost savings at scale. 

Companies can use space utilization software from Armored Things to measure occupancy and evaluate and reorganize their spaces – and in the end, save money. Armored Things is helping companies like Boston Scientific understand when spaces are occupied or not occupied to help forecast new property investments. Using spatial analytics, we are able to aid space planners by showing them where underutilized spaces exist based on usage over time. 

Want to learn more about Armored Things Space Analytics Solution? You can visit our website or reach out directly to sales@armoredthings.com for a quick demo.

Alex Trotto contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Armored Things. She is currently a Northeastern University student in her sophomore year.

Five Ways Companies Are Facilitating A Return To Office

COVID cases have dropped, the world has reopened – and so have most office buildings – but there’s plenty of confusion about what that means for employees. Corporate real estate leaders and space planners hope to increase office occupancy through the accommodation of new ways of working. 

An April survey by real estate management giant CBRE solicited input from 185 executives with US Portfolios. CBRE published the report titled Spring 2022 U.S. Office Occupier Sentiment Survey

Among the highlights were the focus on office presence and prioritizing space sharing. What follows are five suggestions CBRE advisors have for executives to demonstrate the value of the office to their employees.


1. COMMUNICATE STRATEGIES WITH EMPLOYEES 


Whether it’s in-person, remote, hybrid, or shybrid, companies need to properly communicate their return to office plans to employees. Sixty-five percent of corporate leaders believe a  decisive and consistent executive messaging on leadership expectations will facilitate a better return to office.

Google, for instance, said they expect employees to return to the office three days a week with two days of remote work. Other companies such as Tesla are requiring employees to spend a minimum of 40 hours a week in the office. These executive missives, reported on by national media outlets, have paved the way for smaller organizations to follow. 


2. SOLO DECISIONS WON’T FLY 


While the C-suite is the one calling the shots on emerging workplace challenges, they require the buy-in of HR teams, office managers, and facilities leaders. During our time away from the office, headcounts changed, the space required for each employee has remained in flux, and people prioritized healthcare needs that require exemptions and other logistics. Fifty-eight percent of executives are hyper-focused on collaboration efforts with cross-departmental leaders on targeted strategies for a return to the office, CBRE reported. 


3. EQUITABLE HYBRID STRATEGY REQUIRES TECHNOLOGY 


With more companies leaning in on hybrid strategies to meet employee needs, it’s crucial that heads of workplaces incorporate technology into their return to office strategy to keep executives and employees connected. Forty-six percent of corporate leaders are planning to work with technology departments to deliver a more equitable hybrid working experience through enhanced video conferencing according to the survey. 


4. STRENGTHEN COVID PROTOCOLS


As we work to figure out the new norm, 40% of companies will continue to require vaccinations, testing, and masking along with various other protocols (CBRE). For example, Netflix is requiring all employees and visitors to be fully vaccinated before returning to the office. COVID policies are lessening but the impact of the pandemic will continue to affect workplace norms for some time.


5. MAKE THE OFFICE EXPERIENCE UNIQUE


Many employees enjoy the flexibility that hybrid and remote working provides them. They now have more time to pursue their hobbies or spend time with family. Who would want to give that up to sit in a boring office building all day?

In order to lure employees back into the office, CBRE reported that 36% of corporations will curate events or other work experiences that are unique to the office. Medicare plan comparison platform Clear Match Medicare has introduced a free lunch program where employees have access to food trucks each day of the week. Google has announced that their office amenities and perks such as fitness centers, full shuttle services, and game rooms will be returning. 


RESHAPING THE OFFICE


Corporate leaders across the nation are reimagining office spaces of all sizes to create unique experiences. According to the CBRE report, 53% of respondents are considering adopting occupancy sensors. Executives plan to utilize technology to drive more consumer-oriented experiences for employees and encourage them to return to the office. 

Many corporations are already getting creative, turning unused conference rooms into new common areas for employees, for example. Salesforce is clearing desks from vacant conference rooms and replacing them with couches and televisions to create spaces for teams to collaborate. Some companies are taking drastic measures to make the return to work appealing for employees even if that means relocating their offices to be closer to where their employees live. Software development studio, Ustwo, just recently moved its New York City office from Manhattan to Dumbo where most of its employees live in order to cut commute time. The new office was smaller and also better suited for employees, providing them with an open-air rooftop with Wifi for meetings. 

Companies can use space utilization software from Armored Things – with or without new sensor installations – to measure occupancy and evaluate and reorganize their spaces. When using software, operations teams can visualize their space in a format that can be easily understood, and apply historical overlays to see predictive use cases. Armored Things is helping companies like Boston Scientific understand when spaces are occupied or not occupied to help forecast new property investments. Using spatial analytics, we are able to aid space planners by showing them where underutilized spaces exist based on usage over time.  

Want to learn more about Armored Things Space Analytics Solution? You can visit our website or reach out directly to sales@armoredthings.com for a quick demo.

Alex Trotto contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Armored Things. She is currently a Northeastern University student in her sophomore year.

Walk This Way

collage with pictures an event

The Purposeful Intent “Walk this Way” event in New York City brought together leaders in corporate real estate across industries to discuss the future of work. The event featured roundtable discussions and special guests such as DMC and Innovation and Creativity Consultant Duncan Wardle. 

What can we learn from performers and magic makers designing Disney experience about the future of work? Well, a lot as it turns out. As the value of human experiences skyrockets, CRE leaders look to tear down the traditional office walls and draw workers back to the office for the experience. 

The event ​​curated valuable conversations with workplace & corporate real estate leaders while galvanizing attendees to continue their innovation efforts and become change agents in their communities and workplaces. 

While there are a number of priorities space planners are tackling, here are the main takeaways from the event according to leaders in the industry. 


OUT WITH HIGH-TOUCH, IN WITH HIGH-TECH FOR CRE


What was once a world of clicker-studies and spreadsheets is now–like many other things–tech-enabled. Sprawling CRE portfolios were managed through manual processes, requiring time and labor from resource-strapped teams. But even before the pandemic’s disruption, the emergence of prop-tech companies has started to alleviate manual workflows, freeing CRE leaders and their teams up to drive more creative, impactful decisions. 

Many corporate real estate leaders are using technology to foster cross-functional collaboration which is essential for a distributed workforce. To do this, they need the full force of their team’s capabilities. Technology allows them to share reporting, validate decisions, and project impact.


WORKPLACE PROFESSIONALS CURATING EXPERIENCES 


You can’t talk about the future of work without acknowledging the employee experience.  Companies both big and small will continue to navigate this changing landscape for some time. During the conference, three distinct camps emerged with some brands seeing office attendance as an essential part of their corporate DNA and other brands seeing the need to earn employee attendance with increased office benefits. A third group is suffering pandemic paralysis, rolling (and rolling back) shybrid policies


EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN REQUIRES PURPOSE 


One way executives are making the office experience worth the commute is by redesigning spaces to become more efficient and collaborative. But while office redesigns tend to delight and dazzle employees upon roll-out, best-in-class corporate campuses follow a tried and true formula for success. Here are the top three things all successful redesigns require: 

  1. Support from company executives
  2. Business goals that tie directly to redesign decisions
  3. The ability to deliver space utilization metrics and analytics  

Armored Things was a proud sponsor of this month’s Purposeful Intent event which gave leaders across the industry a seat at the table to foster meaningful conversations to improve the future of work. 

In order to curate the best workplace environment and experience, facilities leaders need data. Data enables them to predict future utilization patterns to accommodate a workforce that will not return to a 5-day office presence. Powerful AI software like Armored Things has helped major employers encourage workers to return to the office in a safe manner. 

​​To learn more about how Armored Things helps facilities management teams, schedule time with one of our experts today.