TBS News

Improving Workplace Efficiency

The Stoddart Review published in December 2016, raises awareness among business leaders of the importance of the workplace and the effect it has – both positive and negative – on the performance of the workforce. The Review aims to encourage executive leadership teams to investigate how well their workplaces are contributing to the success of their organisations.

Raising productivity levels is an essential part of delivering stronger economic growth. Improving the use of any workspace could give a modest, but significant boost in productivity.

The research in the Stoddart Review has uncovered an explicit link between how well a workplace supports the activities that employees undertake in their role and the employees’ perception of how much their workplaces help them to work productively.

The influence of the Workplace on performance has been hidden, yet small rises in productivity are significant and worth pursuing.

Within the report, Duncan Weldon, BBC Newsnight economics correspondent, gives his view of how a increasing productivity by 1% would benefit us all.  He writes that it would:

• Add £20 billion to our national output
• Reduce the annual government deficit by around £8 billion
• Add £250 a year to the average wage packet
• Increase annual profits across the country by almost £3.5 billion

Modern businesses need to be agile to survive and the workplace needs to keep pace with this. The clear message is that the right investment in technology and workforce will make a difference.

IoT technology and its role in the workplace.

Clearly over the last decade technology has played a significant role in creating an effective workforce. The use of desktop computers and Smartphones now play an intrinsic role in the way we generate and distribute information.

However, we are only just starting to come to terms with the impact the workplace has on our overall productivity.  Until recently this has not been something that could be analysed because the data simply did not exist. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) low cost wireless sensors it is now possible to using data analytics and visualisation tools to measure and assess their impact of the workplace on the workforce.

Using movement sensors and iBeacons with location algorithms it is now possible to capture information on how staff inside the building interact with each other and utilise everything – hot desks, energy use, coffee machine use, washroom use and more. Using this business insight, internal changes can be implemented to improve the workplace environment to make it a more effective place to work, provide the appropriate facilities and ultimately reduce costs whist increasing productivity.

Adding conversation as a service or voice recognition to the mix has the potential to transform the way we request help and services. Simply asking for a coffee machine to be replenished while stood next to the coffee machine will be automatically recognised and a service request generated to a member of the team to replenish the machine, is just one example of what could be achieved.

Act now

IoT is seen as the next big thing and has the potential to completely disrupt the traditional people based processes, from triggering a workforce service request to empty a bin that has become full, to collecting urgent mail from a sensor enabled tray. These new data points can be analysed to improve performance, provide valuable insight and derive new ways of working as part of a continuous improvement programme.

Our approach is to explore the impact these technologies will have on organisations, together with their key business stakeholders. Starting small and quickly deploying a proof of concept, the focus is on specific business benefits.  This can create a sense of urgency to concentrate on digital innovation and to practically demonstrate how technology can underpin this.

When the investigation stage is complete, there will be enough data to make an informed decision on whether to proceed with the innovation or to revisit the requirements.

To gain a greater understanding of the impact of these enabling technologies, and to find out how TBS can assist you with your mobile strategy, please email rebecca.evans@tbsmobility.com

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