“Undoubtedly, when we go and experience people moving into a new office they walk around going ‘wow, this is so cool, is this actually where I can work?’ If you want something categoric, we recently did a job. A legal firm. They moved out of an office where they were all in little boxes, little offices, two person offices. We build them a new office with different spaces that enabled them to do those different sorts of tasks. And their productivity went up, in terms of revenue, from seven-hundred and fifty pounds a square foot to eleven hundred pounds a square foot per year. So that’s measuring it financially, which isn’t always the be all and end all of what we’re trying to achieve but it’s an example of how powerful an office can be.”
I always love hearing a metric delivered in the real world.
The above was delivered by a Mr Nic Pryke, Creative Director, Oktra, “and we design workplace environments”.
Metrics are derided in some quarters – albeit not this one – as ranging anywhere from misleading to aggressive to opaque. Maybe it’s a right-brain versus left-brain battle? Perhaps squabbling siblings of Sales superlatives and the Marketing mundane? Or as it is better positioned in this case; Marketing is the wow!, Sales the uplift of £350.
Think the typical Devil’s Trident; misuse, overuse and plain old abuse.
Metrics must show relevance. They work best when they’re either succinctly dropped in a salvo of many different monetary impacts. Or with a long blasting highly lasered specific aim, majoring on one key prized impact, ideally not near as woolly as general “productivity” in this instance.
Metrics are about Money. Not feelings, percentages or time. One misconception I often countenance against, is the feeling that a metric is only valid if it registers a huge number. Although you can – as here – invoke these as part of the wider, broader tale.
I must also point out that I am constantly amazed at how few such metrics both exist and are part of process dna. From the largest of corporate salesteams with resource to spare to unearth and polish, to the smallest of solo pursuits where the seller is part-deliverer and so in close touch with post-implementation effectiveness. (I’ve multiple experiences from setting about to redress this shortfall.)
Let’s revisit those forty seconds of speech I transcribed above.
The essence of the metric must reveal a snappy kernel; Office Productivity Improved By £350 Per Sq Ft. It fits on this score.
Given that this apparent ‘designer’ is likely not a salesperson – although as pop-biz speakers regularly tell us these days, ‘everyone’s in Sales now….!’ – the techie here I feel makes a remarkably able fist of it. Good job.
I’m not a huge fan of hostdesking myself, but I can see where it’s coming from. I’d hate to lose the sense of meezers and such like and our ability to turn our workspace into a shrine for performing our role ever-better.
I struggle to note significant innovation since I first remember seeing the inside of an office decades back. Save for desk dividers and small breakout mini ‘pods’. I once tried to hide a pool table in an office but the noise and distraction proved crippling.
The example here could lean slightly less on the almost banal ‘productivity’ platform – always tricky to show precisely which of an overall increase is solely down to your help – and maybe more on the workflow change-up unleashed. Then there’s the standard sector factors for which figures can be constructed referring to staff churn rates, absenteeism reductions or team rationalisation and redeployment.
Still, a noble effort on which I hope his Sales colleagues positively and frequently build.