The Covid pandemic is unmistakingly having a huge impact on people and the economy. In the world of Corporate Real Estate and office workspaces, for example, the pandemic has led to an acceleration of the ‘Agile Working’ concept that seemed unthinkable only one year ago. The historic default of a ‘workday’, meaning you are working at the office, is no longer a fact.
Due to this paradigm shift, many organisations are re-evaluating the function and cost effectiveness of their office spaces. Traditional 1-on-1 desking has become even more expensive, now that people got used to and will be working from home several days a week. This means that desks and conference rooms will be used less frequently, leading to low average occupancy rates.
But still, companies continue to pay for leasing the space, cleaning, heating/cooling, services, etc. if no action is taken. One might even dare to say that this poses a risk to the organisation’s competitiveness. The cost effectiveness of the workspace could eventually even become a KPI for the company’s sustainability.
An additional factor that adds to the complexity is the unpredictability of the daily demand for workspaces. Simply stating that we need to supply a thousand desks for the same number of employees is a thing of the past and does not apply anymore. So how can we determine what the optimal number of workspaces should be, then?
Here’s where data & insights into workspace utilization come into play.
An important key to support the shift towards optimal availability of office workspaces lies in the data - actual, detailed and continuous utilization data. By monitoring user behaviour in the workspace, supported by smart workspace occupancy sensors, valuable insights can be obtained. Areas that, for example, show a high intensity of use during somedays of the week could be an indicator of workspace (desk/room) shortage, potentially resulting in user frustration and general lower productivity. On the other hand, areas that show low percentages in utilization should be a reason to investigate if there is structural and expensive overcapacity that might be necessary to re-allocate, to optimize use, or to consolidate.
iotspot’s smart workspace sensor solution enables organisations to closely monitor the actual workspace utilization and provides valuable data to achieve optimal efficiency of the workspace while maintaining a high level of availability and service for the employee.
Smart desk and room sensors monitor the workspace utilization. And as of recent, even the number of people in a space or room can be monitored over time.
Mark van de Logt, Commercial Director of iotspot: “The smart workspace sensors Ubiqisense develops are sophisticated technology. They offer us additional, detailed and valuable monitoring data that helps our clients to constantly identify new opportunities to further optimise the workspace for a productive workforce. Knowing that, for example, the costly, larger conference rooms are being used by two to three people on average is an opportunity for improvement”.
It is estimated that employees lose 3.5 hours a week on finding a conference room. With the future office environment becoming a hybrid model, the risk of losing more hours is even higher as it becomes unclear when colleagues will be in the office. The new normal will be a flex-desk environment and open spaces, and to manage such an environment, technology is required in making the future office intelligent.
“Taking the step into the future office with proven technology will make the difference for any organization focusing on shaping an employee-first office environment. Combining iotspot’s powerful booking solution with UbiqiSense’s workspace IoT sensors and analytics software, customers will have an end-to-end solution that is future proof, scalable, and easy to use,” says Raziel Bareket, Chief Commercial Officer of Ubiqisense.