Leveraging data to create the workplace of the future

Dubbed the world’s greenest and most intelligent office building, Amsterdam’s The Edge uses an array of smart technology and adaptable work spaces to encourage collaboration
Located in the Zuidas business district in Amsterdam, The Edge is a 430,556 sq ft building dubbed the world’s greenest and most intelligent office building. Designed for its anchor tenant, Deloitte, the building integrates an array of smart technology and adaptable work spaces to encourage collaboration.
At The Edge, no employee has a designated workspace. Instead, a smartphone app finds employees a seat based on their schedules and preferences. Employees can choose to station themselves at a sitting desk, standing desk, balcony seat, work booth or meeting room.
Meanwhile, the 6,000 Ethernet-powered, LED-connected lights in the building measure a variety of factors from occupancy to temperature. This allows employees to customise their lighting and temperature preferences via the app.
“If you look at this building, it’s absolutely fascinating, because there’s 30,000 different sensors to monitor people,” says Charles Reed Anderson, founder of Internet of Things (IoT) consultancy Charles Reed Anderson and Associates. He was speaking at JLL’s Smart City Suite at Innovfest Unbound 2019.
He adds: “The most fascinating statistic I found about it [is that] since they opened the office [in 2015], job applications have gone up 2.5 times. Everyone wants to work in this open-plan office.”

Data-driven user experience

According to Anderson, there are some lessons companies can glean from The Edge when it comes to enhancing employees’ sense of fulfilment at the workplace. This could range from having facilities, like the option to control temperatures at The Edge, to monetary incentives.
One thing The Edge has excelled at is using the data collected to help Deloitte understand more about its employees and their needs. This allows the company to design a workplace that is centred around user experience.
Speaking at the same event, Ben Hamley, JLL’s Asia Pacific lead for future of work, echoes this sentiment. With the advent of IoT and workplace technologies, he highlights that designing a workplace of the future is not just about adopting and installing these technologies. Instead, it is about how a company leverages the data collected to improve these spaces for its users.
“[The information] we can get about the...