The Science of Workplace Design.™
The Science of Workplace Design.™

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Harmsen Tilney Shane combines over 30 years of workplace experience.


We have developed and conducted our own research tools throughout this period to reinforce the link between workplace performance and employee performance.

We use our proven research tools to understand every aspect of your organisation, your strategic objectives and how your space supports those objectives.

Research promotes debate between Senior Management, Human Resources and Facilities Management, whilst acting as a validating tool for supporting change and its management in an organisation.


Our research methods.

Find out more about each of our research methods and tools below, how they can improve the performance of your workplace, and how they assist throughout your workplace transformation projects.


Our ASQ data.

Average online engagement survey response rate (above industry average, 62%).

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Number of online engagement surveys conducted in the last 3 years.

Activity Support Questionnaire.

The Activity Support Questionnaire (ASQ) was first developed in the 1990s. We have since gathered and analysed tens of thousands of responses, providing us with a unique insight to people’s responses to their environments. The ASQ is a quick on-line questionnaire, focusing on key environmental issues in the workplace that include work environment, communication, meetings, resources, hospitality and wellbeing.



The ASQ provides a comprehensive gap analysis, enabling our clients to see clearly how well the organisation is supported by its property. As the ASQ is a database, we are able to cut and analyse the data in sub-sets, as well the organisation as a whole.



This survey can be used to instigate a capital project, endorse project outcomes, or gather regular satisfaction data from the people who use the space. The survey also highlights the importance of worksettings which support an organisation’s people alongside their performance. Armed with this information, the workplace can be designed to better support the needs of your people and organisation.


Our Engage data.

Average response rate for online employee engagement survey.

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The number of questions asked about aspects of your workplace and organisation.


Structured, systematic and bespoke, our Engage survey enables an organisation to measure and most importantly track its progress in employee engagement. We equip the leadership team with the data to identify and target issues that can move the business forward, as well as those that have the potential to disrupt innovation and growth. When people are engaged, they are more committed, they endorse their employer and are enthusiastic about performing to the best of their ability.



The questions positively engage with staff and help raise vital business issues that promote discussion, highlight issues and enable clear business agendas to be developed.



Organisations that effectively engage their workforce benefit from increased motivation, productivity, employee retention and wellbeing. Customers also benefit from a better and more aligned experience. It all adds up to an improved bottom line.

Most importantly, Engage allows organisations to track their progress in employee engagement.


Our SUS data.

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The number of worksettings surveyed within the last year.

  • Desks are occupied - 0%
  • Desks are in-use - 0%
  • Desks are empty - 0%
Average desk utilisation rates during 2016.

Space Utilisation Survey.

Our Space Utilisation Survey (SUS) is a detailed visual observation of people’s movement and occupancy patterns. Typically, the SUS is carried out over a 2-3-week period relayed and verified in real time using our proprietary application. The SUS assesses the usage levels of the following settings; desk positions, meeting rooms, breakout, storage, facilities, hospitality and reception.

We have surveyed over 12,000 worksettings in the last year, and discovered that on average 41% of the space surveyed was empty.



The information gathered provides a robust rationale for the re-balancing of space-use. The SUS combines well with our other research tools, by comparing actual and perceived behaviours. The intelligence gathered feeds into the planning principles for the new workplace and provides a solid rationale for the design of the space.



The SUS provides hard and fast data about the suitability of the space, forming the rationale for the design and planning principles. More often than not, organisations are able to make a considerable reduction in space requirement as a result of the survey.


Our Storage Audit data.

Amount of typical storage reduction our clients achieve armed with this data.

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Average annual cost of housing a storage cabinet in central London (2016).

Storage Audit.

The Storage Audit is a visual audit aligned with key stakeholder interviews used to help understand how storage is currently being managed, what is held electronically and what can be held off-site, archived, or destroyed.

Our output identifies the types, quantity and efficiency of storage practice and identifies realistic opportunities for rationalisation and reduction. Storage types reviewed throughout the visual audit include filing, paper management, printing and copying, archiving, secure storage and e-filing.



The audits identify the current operational barriers to greater efficiency, whilst defining the new storage strategy and specification and quantity for new storage.



Typically, our clients are able to reduce the amount of storage capacity needed by 40-50% as part of their workplace change programme, which has an enormous impact on the design of new workplace.

Our new office reflects our ethos and meets the same rigorous sustainability standards we expect from the organisations we finance. Our office will increase our visibility in this green city, while giving us the space to grow.

Charles MiddletonManaging Director, Triodos Bank

Triodos Bank

Sustainability Profiling.

Sustainability is as much about increasing your bottom line as it is about making your workforce feel good. We are realistic; some organisations can do more than others. It’s about getting the balance right, engaging the workforce and putting in place a framework to develop an achievable environmental agenda.

Our Sustainability Workshops explore six key design-related issues to determine an organisation’s sustainability drivers.



The interactive approach enables the creation of a bespoke Sustainability Profile, allowing us to fully understand key sustainability goals and deliver a workplace that meets these.



Sustainability is intrinsically linked to cost savings, good business practice, feel good factor, staff welfare, your brand’s image and company culture.

Explore Sustainability Consulting

Workplace research report.


This report is a summary of our research findings during 2016. Each year we collate our workplace research information to benchmark and report on the current workplace, whilst highlighting future workplace trends.

If you are embarking on significant change in your organisation or are considering a new workplace strategy with the aim to create a high performance workplace, our aim is to provide you with a rich and robust source of workplace insight.

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