London Borough of Ealing
Post Occupancy Review – following a move to a modern flexible environment a post occupancy
evaluation to study perceived poor workspace use and to plan for improved workspace utilisation
and maximised building functionality
All refurbishment projects will work well on paper during the design stage and should look good when complete and still empty. However, it is only when people arrive, and the novelty of the new surroundings has worn off, and building users settle into new routines of space and facilities use, that we can find out if a new environment is a success. Without the post occupancy review stage of any changes to a physical space, many of the benefits that the project was set out to achieve can be lost.
However, the review stage is often neglected as by that point the design and project team’s engagement are usually complete and any review will be left on the desk of a property agent or building manager. More often than not such a review will not take place formally. However, without a formal review process an informal one will take place as work colleagues discuss their likes and dislikes of the environment and facilities, and complaints and issues will be raised and logged.
In more complex projects which incorporate significant changes in ways of working, often the facilities management service is not able to develop as quickly as the building is changed. Not all the service processes that building users need to work effectively in the new environment will be foreseen at the project planning stage. When the building is occupied a review that helps the building manger and FM team see building users as customers, and improves customer experience, will help focus the development of these missing processes.
In this project we were asked to review the occupancy, utilisation and customer experience of a building that had been in use for over 12months since its extensive refurbishment and the introduction of many new workspace principals. There was much negative feeling about the new working environment amongst staff members and teams. Through the post occupancy review we helped our client’s FM team de-code the issues which building users and managers were experiencing and with them developed a new model for workspace use and supporting FM service processes.
- Providing practical data on current utilisation of space
- Providing a model for both evaluating and recording occupancy and utilisation
- Engaging with staff, managers and key stakeholders
- Collecting user expectations for and experience of building use
- Making recommendations on improving the flexible use of the environment
- Making recommendations on a workspace management process
- Leaving a process in place to continuously identify and develop opportunities for improved workspace utilisation
- Desk and meeting room utilisation study
- Activity study
- User perception and opinion survey
- Feedback sessions with staff, managers and key stakeholders
- Workspace conceptual models
- Roadmap for change – a programme to improve workspace performance
- Identified numerous workspace improvement opportunities including many quick wins
- Commenced a process to define vision and develop a business case for property and
- Provided baseline data for more detailed planning and benefits tracking
- Started a process of ongoing communication at all levels of the organisation about the functionality and application of property in meeting the goals of the organisation and the needs of customers