In this blog Julien Meriaudeau, co-founder and President of Ubigreen – a sensor technology partner of Planon – highlights the importance of occupancy measurement and the benefits of using wireless sensor technology.

Real estate is the second largest expense item for companies, after salaries. According to IDET's Buzzy Ratios 2022, the average cost of a workstation is €12,000 per year. This means hybrid working models can bring about significant financial savings. And our clients have achieved an additional 15% in cost savings by combining workplace sensors with a hybrid working model.

Whilst saving costs in real estate is important for most organisations, investing in high quality workplaces has become important as well. Offering an attractive workplace plays a crucial role in fostering workplace engagement and talent attraction and retention.

So, how can companies address the challenges and find the perfect balance between investing in the workplace and saving costs? And how do workplace sensors help you to support a sustainable, flexible office that meets all these expectations?

Occupancy measurement becomes necessary to manage workspaces

According to a Eurofound study, remote working continues to grow. The number of people working remotely in Europe has doubled since 2019. In Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, more than a third of workers work from home. It is clear to everyone now that hybrid work has disrupted the world of work, and that employee needs have changed.

The transformation to a hybrid working model caused conflicts, frustration, and sometimes, disengagement of employees. And it still does, as not every organisation has successfully implemented dynamic working models. The challenge is in predicting space usage. This enables the right decisions to be made according to expected employee behaviour. Without data to measure the actual occupancy of offices, it’s difficult to implement a hybrid working model. Making decisions in the absence of data leads to:

  • Mismatches between real estate and the needs of the organisation
  • Decreasing employee satisfaction and attractiveness of the work environment
  • Discrepancy between the new way of working and a supportive company culture

Occupancy management is crucial for organisations to offer maximum flexibility of their spaces across their real estate portfolio. This is where occupancy measurement sensors come into play: they allow facility managers and workplace strategists to gain a better understanding of how buildings, meeting rooms and workspaces are used.

The benefits of wireless workplace sensors for real estate & facility management

Workplace sensors measure the actual use of offices and send real-time occupancy data on buildings to the property manager via a web platform. The data is displayed on dashboards designed specifically to give actionable insights into building use.

Workplace sensors help facility managers and workplace strategists to:

  • Measure, analyse, and compare the actual occupancy of workspaces
  • Find and release available spaces in real time
  • Improve workplace experience by addressing employee needs
  • Analyse portfolio usage and services (e.g. canteens, floors)

The use of wireless sensor technology allows for easy and quick installation, even if spaces are occupied by people, without disrupting their activities. The time needed, and the cost to deploy wireless sensors are lower than those for sensors that need a wired infrastructure. Furthermore, investment in wireless sensor hardware is protected as the sensors can easily be moved to different locations or buildings when needed.

Do you want to know more about workplace sensors and how you can connect them to an IoT platform that fits your organisation’s requirements? Then read this IoT Ebook.

Expert - Julien Meriaudeau

Julien Meriaudeau

Co-founder and President of Ubigreen

Julien Meriaudeau is President and Co-founder of Ubigreen and is responsible for the company's business and strategic development. Julien has an extensive background in implementing and managing ERP applications and business units.

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