Why the workplace matters

Discover how connected workplaces can help you unlock higher levels of employee engagement and productivity

The new workforce

What will the incoming generation of employees expect from their workplace?

1 min read


More engaged and productive employees

Spaces designed to make employees happier, have far-reaching benefits

2 min read


Defining the workplace experience

The environment, interactions and workplace culture determine the experience

5 min read


Influencing employee experience

Companies are taking a more comprehensive view toward a solution

2 min read


A typical workday for Sarah

See how IoT-based facilities management with AI makes her day possible

4 min read


How to design a better workplace experience

The right mix of services and spaces can increase workplace productivity

2 min read



A complete solution by IBM TRIRIGA and IBM TRIRIGA Building Insights

1 min read


Next steps

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Facilities management →

Use data, analytics, and artificial intelligence to better understand your facilities and make informed decisions across your enterprise

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Watch the video →

With IoT and AI, buildings can put people in control, connecting them to the services they need and to other teams in other buildings

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Read the Verdantix report →

Pain points, untapped opportunities, and requirements for responding to new trends in facilities management

Why the workplace


The new workforce

1 min read

Millennials are now the largest generation1 in the workforce. They're bringing in a whole new set of expectations around the definition of a "great place to work.” That’s why the workplace matters. Especially in a tight labor market, the actual facility has a huge impact on productivity and a company’s ability to woo and retain talent.

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The 21-36 year-olds
account for
one out of every
three Americans
at work

What will the incoming generation of employees, who were born with ubiquitous smart phones and AI, expect from their workplace?

people on puffs

As companies look to hire more digital natives, they need to understand that these new workers expect convenience from their workplace, have no patience for mundane tasks that take time away from their goals, and demand modern user experiences like the ones they get as consumers. So it’s not unexpected that workplace experience has a huge impact on employee productivity and satisfaction.


of HR practitioners

think that senior leadership could be doing more to improve employees’ experiences at work.

Workplace | Hiring

In addition to a changing workforce, companies are facing a talent shortage. According to Gartner’s latest Emerging Risks Survey, “staff shortages” is the top concern organizations face globally. That’s why forward-looking companies are looking for ways to creatively attract and retain employees.

02 More engaged and productive employees

Why the workplace


More engaged and productive employees

2 min read

These new environments are designed to make employees happier, but workers aren’t the only ones who benefit. Employers gain, too, from a better workplace, with real productivity boosts.

men planning

Companies that rank high in employee engagement experience have

person arrows graphic


less turnover


more productivity


less absenteeism


of employees
report 15 minutes
lost per day and

"Finding place to meet is one of the biggest time waster for workers"

Facility managers often struggle to fulfill workplace “responsiveness” through the right mix of services and spaces. With success, though, comes:

Increased productivity

Better service quality

Improved workplace experience

iluminated building

That’s why today’s facility managers are looking for new ways to increase productivity and optimize their services delivery — and intelligent IoT provides a solution. A connected building that also harnesses the power of AI has the ability to optimize operations and remove needless friction in employee experiences.

03 Defining the workplace experience

Why the workplace


Defining the workplace experience

5 min read

Recognizing the impact experience has on employee engagement and productivity, companies are taking a more comprehensive view of how to influence it.

To improve the employee experience, adopting the employee perspective can provide an important starting point — using data and analytics to identify needs and measure impact on business outcomes. Understanding key milestones in the employee journey can further refine insights into areas where experience may be lacking and what actions can be most effective.

worker and engineer

Employee experience is created by interactions across three spheres: their physical environments, their social connections and the work to be done.

The social sphere

Interactions employees have with others in their work setting

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The work sphere

Interactions employees have with their assigned tasks


The physical sphere

Interactions employees have with the tangible environment


During an employee’s work day, these spheres of interaction often overlap, creating six facets of the employee experience. Understanding these facets is key to elevating employee experiences.

Click To learn more about each facet

strategy culture 3 circle diagram







Strategy and culture

An organization must consider each of these six facets of employee experience in light of overall business goals and culture.

The business goals and objectives of a software company may be quite different from those of a retailer, while the culture of an entrepreneurial startup may differ from that of a large multinational corporation. For a hospitality company, the need to provide high-quality guest services may serve as a guiding principle in the design of employee experience; for an oil company, the emphasis may be on occupational safety. Clearly defining these underlying tenets is necessary to designing experiences that not only match the needs of the individual, but are aligned with organizational priorities.

Likewise, once a company defines its strategy, it must help ensure that leadership behaviors, people practices and management systems — formal drivers of organizational culture — consistently support the employee experience. Informal practices matter too; if the culture is fear-based or hierarchical, employees may struggle to collaborate on open, social platforms.

04 Influencing employee experience

Why the workplace


Influencing employee experience

2 min read

Organizations are using five strategies to improve their overall employee experience: personalization, transparency, simplification, authenticity and organizational responsiveness.


woman in balcony

Work is rarely a one-size-fits-all proposition. Many companies recognize the importance of balancing the needs of the organization with the unique characteristics of individuals and work groups. Therefore, they are looking for ways to tailor employee experience.

From a social perspective, this could include enabling employees to develop profile pages on a collaborative platform. At the physical level, this could include empowering individuals to configure their work areas and their tools to match both their work requirements and their personal tastes.


people planning

Much as individuals are looking to gain a greater understanding of what goes into their food, clothing, and other goods and services, they are also seeking to understand their own organizations’ workings. They want to know how their efforts contribute to larger goals.

Social platforms give individuals a forum to raise concerns, contribute innovative ideas and maintain an ongoing dialogue with leadership. Social platforms can also reveal informal networks and identify influence leaders. We are even seeing organizations increase transparency of physical interactions, using the Internet of Things to observe collaboration patterns and interactions with customers.


woman downstairs

Many individuals in large organizations struggle with two forces that make the flow of work increasingly challenging. On the one hand, years of mergers, acquisitions and technology changes have turned work processes into convoluted sets of procedures and regulations that contribute to frustration and poor customer responsiveness.

At the same time, organizations are bombarded by new sources of information that often conflict and lack the necessary context to improve decision making. Simplification efforts, like removing non-value-add process steps and providing easier access to effective knowledge bases, can create a more positive work environment.


business people talking

The importance of aligning employee experiences to an organization’s culture and value system is becoming increasingly evident. Organizations can express corporate values in numerous ways, from the physical design of corporate headquarters and local offices, to the establishment of corporate events.


girl on laptop

Feedback is quickly becoming ubiquitous in our consumer and professional lives. Not only do individuals want to provide input into their working environments, they expect companies to respond to their ideas and concerns.

Companies are beginning to incorporate responsiveness into their ongoing performance management systems. They are also gathering input about individuals’ perceptions of environmental conditions. For example, employees may report issues on demand from anywhere on campus. Information would be visible to all employees, as would resultant actions taken by management, facilities staff and others.

05 A typical workday for Sarah

Why the workplace


A typical workday for Sarah

4 min read

Meet Sarah. She is a project manager at a large company with a global footprint. Let's see how IoT and AI come together at her employer's facilities to make her day go smoothly.

elevator doors

Security logs Sarah out of the building. Work orders are scheduled when the building is not in use.

It's time to wrap up and leave. The virtual assistant relays a thank you from the facility team.

Another busy day!

06 How to design a better workplace experience

Why the workplace


How to design a better workplace experience

2 min read

So how does an organization decide on the right mix of services and spaces to elevate the workplace experience and improve productivity?

Tune in to the voice of the employee with analytics

people walking

Enhancement efforts should start with analytics. Your organization can apply similar techniques to gauging employee experience as those you use to measure and evaluate customer experience. Traditional employee HR information and unstructured comments from internal and external social platforms can provide insights into potential solutions to challenges. IoT can generate useful data about working conditions and personal wellness. Analytics can help you develop insights, identify changes, amplify employee voice and address issues.

Invest in key touchpoints where employee experience has the greatest impact

woman using phone

Think about the points in the employee lifecycle that truly make a difference — for employees and the organization as a whole. For some, particularly those in traditionally labor-intensive industries, recruiting and on-boarding processes have a significant impact on attracting and retaining top talent. For others, experiences related to project assignments and career development will more notably impact retention and productivity. Understanding the relevance of different experiences, and taking into consideration your organizational strategy and culture, will help you better target investment.

Build an employee experience coalition that crosses traditional silos

golf in office

Designing integrated experiences around the physical, social and task spheres requires a multi-functional perspective. In addition to tool design and development, IT needs to provide the hardware and help desk support. Facilities and real estate services need to deliver workspaces that enable individual productivity and collective innovation. Marketing must help consolidate the connection between employee and corporate branding. Most important, leadership at the line-of-business level must oversee day-to-day activities and the overall work environment.

Design employee experiences using rapid, iterative design principles

wharehouse windows

Apply agile design principles to enhancing employee experiences. First, develop an understanding of your user population based on quantitative as well as observational data. Second, document the stages of the employee journey, highlighting physical, social and task-related interactions, as well as approaches for addressing limitations or bottlenecks. Third, rapidly develop solutions that solve parts of the puzzle over short time periods rather than creating one larger solution that may take much longer. Finally, capture feedback and refine the original solution on an ongoing basis.

Applying these principles to the design of employee experience can generate quick successes and prevent larger, more costly challenges in the future.


by 2020


Annual investment in smarter buildings is rising, as business leaders are investing to scale and taking full advantage of this potential

Ready or not? Ask yourself these questions:

How does your current employee experience affect the attraction and retention of critical job roles within your organization?

How could improving your employee experience increase productivity within your organization?

To what extent does your employee experience influence your customer experience?

Who has primary responsibility for designing employee experience within your organization?

What types of analytics are you using to evaluate the effectiveness of your employee experience?

07 Conclusion

Why the workplace



1 min read

With AI and IoT, leaders can drive greater operational efficiency and engaging workplace experiences across all aspects of their connected facilities.

skyline on window

Imagine the full potential of all your connected facilities fueled by IoT and AI.


increased facilities utilization


reduction in utilities cost


reduction in maintenance costs


reduction in space demand

IBM offers AI and IoT driven capabilities that drive real business outcomes for connected facilities across the lifecycle.

woman upstairs
people working
people working

Here is how the solutions apply across the lifecycle of your facilities.

IBM TRIRIGA Real Estate and Facilities Management

IBM TRIRIGA Building Insights

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Contextualize building data for complete lifecycle

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Manage activities and risks for on-time, on-budget delivery

building graphic


Exploit data to reduce cost, maximize use and engage occupants

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Connect, analyze and visualize data for next generation services

With Watson IoT Platform providing foundational IoT connectivity and tailored insights, and IBM Services bringing decades of industry and domain expertise, IBM gives the customer a distinct advantage in today’s rapidly changing environment.

To learn more about facilities management in the age of IoT and how it can elevate workplace experiences for your organization, visit ibm.com/internet-of-things/solutions/facilities-management