Market-leading companies around the world are looking at their workplaces in a new light. The nature of work is increasingly digital and less tied to physical workspaces. Workforces are more global and distributed than ever.
Globally, 54 percent of office workers report working remotely half the week and 94 percent of U.S. employers provide some type of flexible work arrangement. In response, companies are transforming their real estate assets into a portfolio of flexible use spaces that encourage workers to be continuously agile and innovative.
SAP and Comfy, a U.S.-based technology company and wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens, are working together to pioneer workplace experience solutions that elevate employee experiences while enabling employers to make data-driven occupancy planning decisions and improve business processes.
Through Comfy’s comprehensive platform, employees are empowered with greater choice and control over how, where, and when to do their best work. Simultaneously, companies receive real-time, behavior-based insight into how to optimize space utilization based on the evolving needs and work styles of their employees.
SAP and Comfy are bringing end-to-end transparency across the workplace management life cycle. By connecting SAP ERP and human resources (HR) system data with Comfy’s building operations and employee-workspace interaction data, enterprises are empowered to transform real estate assets into true drivers of business value.
Experience: The New Currency for Businesses
Operational data — like costs, revenues, and sales — show what is happening in a business. But businesses are increasingly turning to another data set: experience data. This data digs deeper into why things are happening and reflects the beliefs and emotions people have about a product, service, or company — rarely does a company receive this kind of direct feedback and insight.
“By pooling experience data, like how employees feel about a space, with traditional operational data, like lease terms and building systems, companies see a holistic picture of what is happening in the workplace and why,” explains Marco Hofmann, head of the Real Estate Line-of-Business at SAP.
This is incredibly valuable because, for many companies, real estate is their second-largest expense. In addition, a positive employee experience is directly correlated with higher productivity, engagement, and revenue. Therefore, people-centric engagement initiatives and flexible workplace concepts offer decisive advantages for companies.
Real-Time Data Powers Future Workspace Layout
Comfy provides an app for employees that empowers them to connect to people, places, and information in their workplace. Through a configurable, consumer-grade app, employees can discover amenities in their workplace, connect to company communication and collaboration platforms, reserve available rooms and desks, issue maintenance requests, or adjust temperature and light intensity on demand.
“When employees are enabled to adapt the workplace to their needs and have a positive workplace experience, they are empowered to perform their job in the way that suits them best,” says Comfy CEO Daniel Schroeder. “High-performance employees and high-performance workplaces are critical for every company looking to stay innovative, agile, and a step ahead of their competition.
When employees work in a stimulating environment, they are also likely to stay on longer with their employer and contribute more meaningfully to the company’s revenue growth. Higher employee retention and overall engagement is a clear benefit for businesses.
In turn, employee interactions with the Comfy app generate workplace experience data valuable to enterprises looking to understand and optimize the workplace. Additionally, sensors and WiFi access points provide real-time operational data, such as how many employees are present in an office and to what extent desks or meeting rooms are occupied. SAP provides the tool that consolidates, analyzes, and make sense of the experience and operational data together: SAP Cloud for Real Estate.
In the age of flexible work, corporate real estate executives can leverage this data to better understand the movements of employees in the office and identify patterns. The peaks and low points provide insight into the utilization of desks and spaces, laying a foundation for facility activities like workspace allocation, strategic planning, and budget allocation.
Both SAP and Comfy are dedicated to helping companies make better decisions based on this diverse data pool. Dynamic, real-time data is the glue that brings both worlds together.