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June 12th 2015, by Harold Coenders

Colliers and Quantified Workplace

Practise what you preach

We at Colliers International Corporate Solutions are convinced that the development of the Quantified Workplace will change labour relations and will have a positive effect on the demands placed on the working environment. As a real estate consultant serving tenants in the office building market, we work with fact-based concepts wherever possible. The Quantified Workplace concept is fully in line with this approach. The Quantified Workplace encompasses many HR elements along with elements that are essential for the development of working concepts for our clients. To become an expert in a new development, your first step is to adopt the trend yourself. This is why we at Colliers have introduced the Quantified Self philosophy in our own working environment as an experiment.


The experiment is partly a programme to promote good health, but we at Colliers have raised the bar by striving to understand how to maximize personal productivity while focusing on individual needs. The experiment has three objectives:

  • Redefining good employment
  • Initiating a public debate on the Quantified Workplace
  • Practise what you preach

The first objective is internally focused on good employment practices. The Quantified Workplace makes a positive contribution in this regard. It will enable us to strengthen our role as a good employer, making us a leader in the implementation of Quantified Workplace best practices. New working methods have placed a greater responsibility on the employee. Management is focussed more and more on output. We at Colliers see this as a positive development, but we wish to offer employees the proper tools to address their own responsibilities effectively and to respond to their individual needs. We wish to build understanding of how and when employees perform at their best, and we wish to take a proactive stance toward negative factors such as stress that can lead to illness and absenteeism. Appropriate interventions will be refined during the course of the experiment.

The experiment is also relevant from a social and scientific perspective. The experiment’s second objective is to provide input for the public debate on the development of the Quantified Workplace and to make a contribution to science by serving as a case study for objective, scientific scrutiny. We assume that the Quantified Workplace will not only cause a shift in the dynamics of the working environment, but also that it will redefine the relationship between employer and employee. This gives rise to ethical questions. For example, how far must an employer go to ensure that employees avoid stress and strike a reasonable work/life balance? How far may an employer go in monitoring employees, and can the Quantified Self concept help? What is the best balance between personal development and technology?

The third objective involves Colliers’ own learning curve as an expert and thought leader in the field of the working environment. In fact, it all boils down to a simple maxim: practise what you preach. We at Colliers use the best-practice standard for our working environment solutions. We ourselves are the subject of the experiment, so that we can develop the most ideal social standard for our clients.