When a global financial services company hired us to help develop a smart building strategy, we set about identifying existing workplace challenges that could be addressed with smart technologies.
The broad brief included identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate success, conducting financial analysis to illustrate implementation benefits, and evaluating vendor solutions. And we brought in experts from multiple teams, including building technology systems, lighting design, sustainability, and MEP to get stuck in.
The resulting strategy will be applied to all new construction projects across the company’s real estate portfolio.
Developing a Global Smart Workplace Strategy
From the outset, we worked closely with stakeholders from different parts of the client’s business – management and real estate to HR, IT and sustainability. The aim was to explore and discover the potential business benefits of smart solutions, as well as agree which internal teams would maintain and operate the strategy’s different elements.
We gathered input on topics including current business and operational practices, workplace standards, and real estate costs and contracts, before building a consensus around a strategy they saw as workable.
Next, we identified KPIs for human experience, space and energy efficiency – plus ways of measuring them – with the aim of identifying the proposed solutions’ impacts on areas like staff satisfaction, illustrating the financial benefits and providing measurable feedback after implementation.
Key to our work was developing a rigorous financial model that demonstrated a clear and realistic return on investment for various aspects of the strategy. This is visible, for example, in the demonstrated benefits of procuring certain solutions globally, including consistency across the company’s real estate portfolio and improved commercial value; plus those of establishing clear objectives around how the client builds space, and a roadmap to realise these. The new framework will now help inform decisions on projects across the company.
“Defined measurable key performance indicators to demonstrate strategy success and return on investment”
Defining the Building Blocks of Success
The proposed smart solutions were designed to help the company improve its energy usage, real estate portfolio, staff productivity and happiness. Under our overarching strategy were many sub-strategies, ranging from initiatives for healthy environments, to software, data analytics and mobile apps.
We helped define a roadmap for full implementation of the strategy, setting out the essential building blocks for future workplace projects. And we worked to identify which of these elements were truly transformative to our client’s business and would require change management to ease the shift away from the status quo.