It was in 2004 that Vincent le Noble and Justin van Wel decided to leave their day job. They believed that workplace optimisation works by understanding its use. To achieve this, they founded Measuremen, a company based in Amsterdam dedicated to helping organisations achieve exactly that. With the help of a patented Workplace Maturity Model © and innovative technology. Measuremen has grown into an international player which has now measured more than 750,000 unique workplaces worldwide. The insights from numerous Workplace Occupancy Studies conducted allows Measuremen clients to make their workplace more productive, cost-efficient and most importantly: future-proof.
To learn the ins and outs here is our CEO, Vincent Le Noble, answering a few questions and discussing his journey to the world’s largest workplace database.
What was your role in the beginning?
My role, in the beginning, was doing Sales. What also kept me busy was Research & Development. I always wanted Measuremen to be a scalable business model. I would constantly be strategising and planning on how our knowledge and skills could be implemented globally.
Who was your first ‘breakthrough’ client?
Throughout the years we have had many clients, big and small alike. For example ING, ABN Amro, AXA Bank, Netflix, Amazon, KLM and governmental institutes like the Municipality of Amsterdam. With that being said, our first breakthrough client was ProRail in 2007.
What did you do with this ‘breakthrough’ client?
What we did at ProRail, back in 2007 is quite similar to what we do today: a Workplace Occupancy Study. We measured the occupancy, utilisation and activities of the workplace. For example, how many desks are there? Are the meeting rooms used as intended? And most importantly; what are people doing at their desks?
What did a normal workplace look like at the time you had your first ‘breakthrough’ client?
I can tell from my experience that the workplaces were not extremely different 15 years ago. At least in the Netherlands, things such as flex desks, special meeting rooms, concentration workrooms and conference rooms already existed at some places. What did not exist was the mainstream usage of such workplaces.
How has the workplace changed in the last 15 years?
The workplace has evolved. While the foundation for flexible workplaces has already existed for quite some years, what has changed is the practical implementation of such workplaces. The introduction of mobile working, AGILE & SCRUM project management methodologies and the influx of millennials at the work floor has made it ever so important to understand how a workplace is being used.
What did you do to achieve this (750,000K workplaces measured) milestone?
Focus, focus and more focus. In the beginning, we set a target for ourselves and every so often we evaluated if we would achieve it. There were times when we had to change our strategy but the goal never changed. We are a very determined group of people at Measuremen.
How necessary was it to innovate to achieve this (750,000 workplaces measured) milestone?
Innovation was necessary, but what was necessary was understanding the needs of the market. In 2008, Europe was gripped by the economic crisis. Workplaces were reducing in size, manpower and budgets. The need to understand the actual usage of workplaces and its optimisation was at an all-time peak. At Measuremen we were constantly coming with ways to measure workplaces for key insights which were feasible in the “economic crisis”.
What does this (750,000 workplaces measured) milestone mean for Measuremen and the market?
This milestone means a lot to Measuremen. Firstly, it proves that we are slowly and steadily achieving our goal of measuring 10 Million workplaces worldwide by 2025. Secondly, our measurements have shown some really exciting insights into how employees actually use their workplaces. Think about workplace happiness, improvement in employee productivity, workplace sustainability. This would not have been possible without us achieving the milestone. We are proud, yet still learning and consider it a privilege to share our insights with Real Estate and Workplace Experts worldwide.
How do you see the future of the workplaces?
The future of workplaces, in my opinion, will be driven by technology. I envision a workplace where your desk is your base, everything else is customisable. Let’s say your ordinary desk is no longer ordinary but can also do multiple things; Like a Lego block. This same desk can transform into a conference table. Imagine the possibilities. Similarly, I see that there won’t be fixed rooms for specific tasks. Your rooms will transform based on the necessity of that moment. Things like optimal working light and oxygen-carbon dioxide level control in the workplace to improve productivity would also start playing a role. The workplace will transform to suit the needs of the tech-savvy Generation Z and Generation Alpha.
Where do you see Measuremen in 2020?
The aim is to expand Measuremen to four more continents, so six in total. Most likely the Americas and Asia. The market is growing and innovating. That means the workplace arena is changing rapidly. The need to understand and optimise is timeless and the trend for evidence-based decision-making is ever-increasing. That is where Measuremen’s solutions fit in. I see Measuremen being the driving force behind workplace optimisation on a global scale. Our next milestone will be 2 Million unique workplaces.
We will definitely keep you posted about our progress.