By Connor Horgan
The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) is working to improve the living conditions for all staff serving overseas through its Diplomatic Residential Program (DRP). One of the tools that has significantly aided OBO in its efforts to gauge employee satisfaction at overseas posts is the Quality of Life Survey. Since its inception in 2020, the Quality of Life Survey has allowed OBO to better understand occupants’ views on housing satisfaction and the perspectives of staff maintaining the housing.
The resultant Quality of Life Dashboard provides summary and analysis of the survey responses through interactive features such as maps, graphs, and charts. Through the 2021 Quality of Life Dashboard (available to anyone with an OpenNet account), posts can learn how their respondents feel about topics such as the condition of residences, security features, commutes, and much more. It also may help identify some issues that are easy fixes and morale boosters. For example, the 2021 results showed that a significant number of employees at Embassy Paris prefer biking to work. With this information, the diplomatic team in Paris could consider adding more bike racks near the office to ensure that all staff have a place to park their bike. Ultimately, using the Dashboard is a great way to get to know a post on a more intimate level.
As OBO seeks to identify funding and prioritize improvements for staff housing through the DRP, the Quality of Life Survey has helped generate a list of actionable items to make informed decisions. The bureau is gearing up to release its third annual Quality of Life Survey in 2022 and will use those results to further refine its goals and objectives to ensure that it is achieving its mission of providing safe, secure, and resilient housing. More responses mean more complete data and better outcomes for posts around the world. To access the dashboard, click here.
Connor Horgan is a data analyst within the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ Planning and Real Estate Directorate.