11 Ways to use sensors in the workplace
IoT sensor technology is fast becoming the new normal for modern workplaces.
Sensors can turn any facility into a “smart” workplace that improves efficiency and well-being. And they give workplace leaders access to powerful, real-time insights that were practically impossible to track in the past.
What are occupancy sensors? Occupancy sensors collect data based on occupancy, allowing building owners and operators to optimize real estate through real-time occupancy data using sensors to monitor how a workspace is being used.
If you’re new to sensor technology, here are 11 ways you can use sensors in the workplace.
Live presence detection
Want to know how many people are in your facility right now? Sensors can track and report current occupancy in real time, helping you see who’s in your building at a glance.
Sensor technology can also pinpoint employee presence on a map, making the feature particularly useful during emergency and evacuation situations.
Anonymous data collection
No one wants to feel like they’re under constant surveillance, so it’s natural that your employees will have some concerns when workplace sensors are introduced.
To address this and make sensor technology more “big data” and less “big brother”, workplace sensors are designed to collect data anonymously and send it securely to a cloud platform.
It means that workplace leaders get access to rich data and powerful insights while employee security and privacy remain intact.
Improve space utilization
According to Accenture, the average company has 30 to 50 percent more real estate than it actually needs to operate. Companies overestimating their rate of expansion tends to be the main culprit driving this statistic.
Sensors can help you avoid unnecessary real estate expenditure and increasing the utilization of your existing space by:
- Showing you how spaces throughout your facility are being used throughout the day
- Giving you exact occupancy numbers (no more “guesstimating”!)
- Reporting average occupancy, peak occupancy, and occupancy ranges over time
- Producing snapshots of any space’s occupancy for a set time period
- Measuring workspace and conference room usage
Improve employee well-being
An overwhelming amount of research has proven that workplace setup, configuration, and design are integral to employee well-being and meeting business goals.
Sensors can help you make changes to the workplace that improve employee well-being by:
- Offering insights on why some areas are more popular with employees
- Helping you determine out how to reconfigure underutilized spaces to better suit your people’s needs
- Automating areas to ensure they are consistently supporting employee comfort and performance
Improve your real estate strategy
Remember what we said earlier about excess space being one of the biggest expenditures for organizations? Sensors can help workplace leaders create a data-driven real estate strategy that mitigates these costs by:
- Identifying opportunities to consolidate and sublet unused space in your facility
- Determining your future occupancy needs
- Helping you determine exactly when your company needs to acquire more space
- Making sure you avoid expanding too soon
Offer free addressing desks and neighborhoods
Sensors can also help you increase shared desk availability by automating the management of free addressing desks and neighborhoods.
When you integrate sensor technology with a workplace management platform like OfficeSpace, you can:
- Offer free addressing desks without having to manage the booking process
- Help employees quickly find available free addressing desks on your floor plan
- Anonymously monitor free addressing desk usage over time
Everything’s automated, so there’s no need for your facilities team to manage the process.
Increase meeting room availability
No-show meetings can reduce the availability of conference rooms and meeting spaces throughout your facility. Sensors linked to your IWMS and room booking software can automatically free up booked rooms that are not in use.
Sensor reports can also show you which of your meeting rooms are in high demand, and which are going underutilized, giving you clues as to why some rooms are less popular than others.
Over time, you’ll know why some rooms are less popular than others and get clues on how to improve utilization. If a meeting room isn’t in use because it lacks a monitor and a conference phone, installing those amenities could improve the room’s usage.
Monitor maintenance tasks
Sensors can automatically notify your facilities team when a maintenance issue needs to be addressed. Automated notifications can be sent to managers, who allocate the task to whomever’s available, or directly to the team member responsible for dealing with that area of the facility.
Here are some of the ways our clients are currently using maintenance sensors to stay one step ahead of the workload:
- Send automatic notifications when a trash can needs emptying
- Get notified when printers need to be refilled with paper and ink
- Monitor the quality and quantity of perishable items in the fridge or office pantry
Automate climate control
When your employees are too hot or too cold, it can impact their performance. So, if you’re constantly fielding requests to adjust the heating and air conditioning, sensors can help.
Temperature sensors can calculate the temperature of a space, showing you rooms and areas that are overly hot or cold. And humidity sensors can assess the relative humidity of a space. Humidity won’t just impact employee comfort; it can affect the performance of your workplace equipment, too.
When these sensors detect that a space is too cold, too hot, or too humid, they can automatically adjust the space’s climate.
Want to run an environmentally friendly facility? Optical sensors connected to your building automation system (BAS) can detect electromagnetic energies like light and electricity, and automatically turn off appliances and HVAC systems in spaces where they are not required.
This automation can lead to huge savings on your energy bill and help your facility stay on the right side of its energy code compliance requirements.
Sensors work best with an IWMS
Combining sensor technology with powerful IWMS software like OfficeSpace means you’ll have the data, insights, reports, and tools you need to create the workplace you’ve always wanted.
OfficeSpace integrates with the world’s top sensor providers, including SenzoLive and VergeSense. If you’re interested in learning more about how workplace sensors can help you transform your facility, book a demo with our team.
Photo Credits: Gerd Altmann, Essow Kedelina, Mario Gogh