May 31, 2023

Put an end to Guesswork and Rely on Data. What is Occupancy intelligence?

Blog post about Occupancy intelligence

How does one keep up with current demands in the business world and keep employees in the workplace happy and motivated? As a wise man once said: keep tracking, to stay on track. He might not have thought of occupancy intelligence, even though it is useful when transforming costly real estate into streamlined and flexible office spaces. Let’s take a look at data-driven decisions and space planning.

The demand for space planning

Space and office management have become more complex in today's world. While office management traditionally focused on building maintenance and logistics, space management now involves understanding building occupancy and optimizing office usage.

A paradigm shift has occurred due to the post-Covid era, where employees have become accustomed to remote or hybrid work and spend less time at the office. Working from home has proven to enhance productivity and eliminate time wasted on commuting. Additionally, advancements in technology have made online collaboration easier, reducing the need for daily office presence. This new hybrid work model benefits employees by providing a better work-life balance.

As a result, alternative solutions have emerged:

  • Hot desking: Employees can book their preferred desk for the day and choose another one next week.
  • Collaborative spaces: These are essential for hybrid workers to meet with their office colleagues.
  • Equipping employees with the necessary tools for complex tasks and effective communication with team members.

Streamlining the employee experience

Streamlining the employee experience is crucial in this context. The rise of hybrid and flexible work models has led to increased vacancies in office spaces. To control overhead costs, business owners and CEOs must develop a new strategy, especially when it comes to managing expenses and ensuring a return on investment.

This is where the concept of the flexible office comes into play, encouraging employees to work in the office while providing them with a sense of autonomy when working remotely. In this new era, office buildings are smaller, but employee comfort is maintained through strategic space management that ensures everyone has a desk for the day. This is achieved by leveraging valuable insights derived from building occupancy data.

To implement a flexible office strategy while effectively tracking expenses, the key lies in occupancy intelligence. This enables the monitoring of activities within the building, informing decision-making and ensuring cost-effectiveness.

What is occupancy intelligence?

Occupancy intelligence refers to the insights obtained by occupancy data that enables space managers to gain a comprehensive understanding of how facilities are utilized. It enhances the ability to accurately predict and make informed decisions when planning and designing the office.

Occupancy sensors play a crucial role in collecting real-time data from every corner of the building. Typically mounted on the ceiling or under desks, these sensors do not invade people's privacy by recording individuals. Instead, they simply track movements within the office.

Why use occupancy sensors?

Occupancy sensors offer several advantages over older tracking tools like WiFi, badges, and thermal sensors. They provide higher accuracy and generate insights that other sensors cannot match.

It's important to note that measuring attendance does not equate to measuring occupancy. The goal is to understand how and when people are utilizing the building, rather than simply counting the number of people present.

As mentioned earlier, the new flexible work approach introduces unpredictability in occupancy patterns, necessitating advanced solutions to effectively manage and optimize space usage.

Compare and contrast occupancy data

The data collected can be analyzed and compared, and a visual dashboard with graphs is a valuable tool for gaining insights and making informed decisions.

The visual dashboard provides an excellent opportunity to present your findings to upper management and other departments, enabling effective communication and collaboration.

Tracking changes over time is beneficial for predicting future working patterns and understanding workplace requirements. Integrating occupancy data with other applications enhances space management capabilities, turning it into a powerful tool.

Activity tracking at a glance

First and foremost, data collection typically encompasses three key aspects:

  • People count: This refers to the number of individuals present in the spaces being monitored.
  • Active occupancy: This indicates a space that is actively occupied by a person.
  • Passive occupancy: This involves tracking objects in the office space that indicate someone is utilizing the area, such as a laptop or a jacket.

By collecting and analyzing data related to these aspects, space managers can gain valuable insights into space utilization and make informed decisions.

The next step

Secondly, the data is analyzed using custom metrics tailored to your specific needs. This analysis enables you to determine which spaces are popular during specific times of the day and identify spaces that are underutilized.

For instance, you may discover that employees prefer using restrooms located at the end of the corridor rather than those closer to the lunchroom. It may also become evident that certain meeting rooms are consistently unoccupied, while a smaller room with comfortable armchairs is the top choice among employees in the office.

By uncovering these insights through data analysis, you can make informed decisions regarding space allocation and design, optimizing the office layout to better suit employee preferences and needs.

The future of occupancy intelligence and space optimization

Occupancy intelligence has become an integral part of space optimization, ensuring its lasting presence. It enhances office layout, improves job satisfaction, and reduces costs.

Once occupancy sensors are activated and data is accumulated in the cloud, you have ample room to gather insights and develop new strategies. This process leads to a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the workplace dynamics and employee behavior.

With the help of occupancy intelligence, businesses can make informed decisions, effectively utilize their space, and create an environment that aligns with employee needs and preferences. This not only improves overall efficiency but also contributes to a positive work experience.

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