How do you get Smart about Space Utilisation?

by Gary Atkinson | Mar 05, 2018

Facilities Management

At enLight® we bring technology and energy saving into everyday life; whether in cities, everyday living or the workplace. There are many savings to be made and significant data that can be gathered through installing a future proofed, intelligent and comfortable workspace notwithstanding the benefits to your team and their output when creating a productive and secure ambience. This blog aims to help you understand what is possible within Smart Facilities Management in a smart, automated, office environment. 

Smart Office Solutions - Space Utilisation

After salaries, the cost of the rental of office space is often the next biggest financial outlay for any business. It makes sense, therefore, that organisations use their space efficiently. It can be hard to determine which areas are not being maximised, are those meeting rooms that seat eight people just being used for the odd 121 or is someone tucking themselves in there to work quietly? Are employees with permanent desks always there or are they away on business travel or working from home a lot? Maybe hot desking is the answer but who is using the hot desk? Collaboration areas are also becoming the norm but are they an effective use of space? Are employees using them properly? Are they too noisy? Are they dormant and could the space be used for something more valuable? Measuring and monitoring how space is used is a constant battle for the Facilities Manager. There are some solutions available. You could put a PIR (passive infra red) sensor under the desk at each seat - it's relatively cheap but inaccurate if someone sits quite still and they run on batteries so take some management by the facilities team to check they are operational. You could use CCTV camera equipment? These tend to be tolerated in public areas but otherwise the 'Big Brother' mentality kicks in and staff find this kind of monitoring intrusive and an invasion of their privacy. So the challenge is how to get accurate, useful information that can be used to identify savings and maximise space and keep your workforce comfortable and happy.

This is where enLight is different. With a number of intelligent sensing products available there's a range of possibilities and set-ups that can make a massive positive impact on your bottom line as well as providing supporting evidence to make important decisions about the use and investment in space in your organisation.

3 Smart Space Utilisation Opportunities

1. Meeting room optimisation

Meeting rooms are a high priority when it comes to assessing their efficiency. An organisation may have a number of rooms asigned for this purpose. An enSense Occupancy Sensor from enLight built on thermopile technology can enable you to monitor their use, it's like a hybrid between a PIR sensor and Thermal Imaging, non intrusive but detecting a heat signature and feeding back the data to a dashboard which can then be sorted and recorded to determine the areas use and can support recommendations for dividing a big space into smaller areas or perhaps changing the use of an area altogether.

2. Hot desking

There's certainly a trend for hot desking within organisations which is a recognised means of reducing the amount of permanent fixed desks and as we move to a more digital and paperless environment it does make sense and is easy to implement. It is important to know who is using the desks and how often, a thermal imaging sensor can create a virtual grid which will highlight red or green when occupied and report the frequency of use. It's also possible to measure the energy usage with an enAct Power Controller which will register the usage of laptops, desk lamps, chargers, etc, used in conjunction with enSense PIR Sensors in the ceiling you get a full picture of how your space is being utilised and at what cost.

3. Collaboration areas

The trend for collaboration areas, phone booths, breakout areas with white boards, beanbags, coffee bars, etc.,  and open plan setting, is on the rise and they do require quite a bit of space. It's proven that these areas are a modern approach to supporting collaborative working amongst colleagues and clients/suppliers but it can be hard to know how much space to relinquish to them. You can use a combination of products here; an Occupency Sensor, a Thermal Imaging Sensor and even a Noise Level Sensor. The data collected from these sensors will help you determine how to optimise the efficiency of these spaces.

One Smart Space Utilisation Solution

enLIght offers a number of options and solutions for Facilities Managers to create the best use of space. Our products give clear data feedback of areas not used effectively and show up wasted resources from a light left on, a printer in idel or an underused meeting room.  Download our Smart Facilities Management Brochure using the button below or contact us for more information on a particular project.

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