“Alexa – put my music on in the kitchen.” You’re at home – and it no longer feels weird talking to a box on the counter.
Home digital assistants such as Alexa have now become a way of life to many people, so it’s pretty likely their use and functions will continue to develop.
So why is it still a stretch for some people to adapt to modern location and occupancy technology in the workplace?
A recent survey showed that remote working is becoming increasingly popular – and 90% of people who already enjoy it say they will work that way for the rest of their lives.
The savviest offices are already making use of the advanced capabilities of a relatively recent arrival – desk occupancy sensors.
With workspace getting more costly all the time, desk occupancy sensors help office managers understand exactly how each expensive square foot is being used.
With data at their fingertips, they can then plan ahead effectively for the future requirements of the business and its employees.
This is going to be increasingly important as our workplaces continue to evolve.
64% of hiring managers in a recent survey said their company has the resources and processes in place to support a remote workforce – even though most (57%) lack a remote work policy.
So how do workplace sensors help – and why are they good news for workers?
Desk occupancy sensors are:
- linked by wi-fi
- used to monitor desks, meeting rooms or collaborative spaces
- work in real time
- show when an area is being utilized
- show when it has been vacated
So for instance, it means no-one can ‘reserve’ a desk by putting their jacket on the chair, then actually not using the desk…
Desk occupancy sensors don’t keep tabs on the people in the office – they simply monitor the desks, booths and conference rooms, so there’s no element of Big Brother surveillance in the office environment.
The sensors and beacons provide benefits particularly to remote employees. Thanks to the occupancy sensors, digital screens are able to display available space to view in real time.
By combing this a workplace scheduling and booking system, employees can identify, choose and book the workspace they need online.
For remote employees, this can mean their space is organized before they even come into the office.
It prevents employees from a frustrating search around the office, carrying their laptop in hand, trying to find for a suitable place to sit down or meet colleagues…
Sensors help office managers to ensure their workspace is fully utilized by detecting if it is vacant. This could be a conference room where people have failed to turn up or a booked desk where no-one is sitting.
The workspace scheduling system then releases the space automatically back into availability, reducing underused space and resources.
This is good news for anyone who has ever sought a quiet room to work and found the perfect one, only to discover it is being ‘used’ – despite the fact that it is empty.
So what are the best desk occupancy sensors for you? Look out for these 5 features:
- Easy use: Look for an attractive dashboard set-up that enables you to quickly analyze usage patterns.
- Graphic capability: Your system should have an easy-to-view floorplan that shows graphically where the available spaces are.
- Real time usage data: Consign inaccurate and biased manual surveys to the trash. Your system should pinpoint accurately how your space is being used or not used. Inaccurate and biased manual surveys are consigned to the trash.
- Automation: Select a system where – based on your business rules – space and desks can be automatically re-allocated when you have a “no-show”. For example, a desk can be reallocated if it has been unoccupied for two hours.
- Data analytics: The best systems aggregate the data from the desk occupancy sensors including monitoring desks, meeting rooms or social spaces. With this data at your fingertips, you can model and predict your future space requirements and make informed planning decisions.
With personalisation a huge trend across society, everyone is getting more and more accustomed to accessing their whole life through their mobile device, receiving tailor-made services.
Smart technology including desk occupancy sensors and beacons, in combination with feature-rich meeting room and resource scheduling software, may be the beginning of personalisation in the workplace.
Do you like a quiet place to work, or somewhere particularly private? Maybe need an informal breakout area for collaboration – or a formal space to impress visitors? Need catering with that?
Workplace technology provides it all in a single booking transaction. And if anything changes – attendees, venues, times – all involved are automatically notified by the system. Even the caterers get to hear about it.
So the most digital-savvy of office employees now enjoy an unheard-of level of control over their workspace.
For their managers, the invaluable data captured by the system provides an invaluable real-time insight into how the space is well-used, and how it can be made better.
And just as devices like Alexa are beginning to change the way we live, beacons and desk occupancy sensors are starting to transform how we work.
It’s a technological revolution that works for the business and for its employees – and that’s what you call a win-win.
* Learn more about how desk occupancy sensors help streamline operations and assist productivity at https://rdzuk.wpengine.com/sensor-technology-space-utilization/.