2022 Tech Trend Prediction: Location Intelligence Platforms Will Guide Future-Forward Workplace TransformationsDecember 3, 2021 No Comments
Featured article by James Wu, CEO InnerSpace
The office we used to know is a construct of the past. Now the de facto strategy for many companies, the hybrid office concept captures the idea that neither extreme – everyone in the office or everyone out of the office – is optimal.
The hybrid office is a balanced compromise that allows employees the flexibility to commute into the office on specific days for specific purposes. Forward-thinking companies are shifting their view from seeing the office as a homogenous workspace to one that serves each employee and team differently according to need.
The transition from hypothesis to hybrid-office reality will begin in earnest for most companies in 2022, but this will be just the beginning of a long-term transformation of the office.
To be successful in this transition, companies will need ongoing access to data that informs how to set and maintain that balance with confident reaction to inevitable changes. This is where newer indoor location technology will prove to be extremely useful.
We are all familiar with technology that informs us about our outdoor environment, such as GPS, or apps that show traffic congestion points or tell when the next bus will arrive. Indoor location intelligence platforms are about enabling an equivalent ecosystem of services inside our buildings.
Companies can use this information to guide decisions about the amount, design and type of real estate they need, while individuals can gain practical, real-time insights into the office space to inform their choices in a hybrid work environment.
But these platforms vary widely in what data they capture, and in how that data is acquired and shared.
Moving beyond “People Counting” with WiFi-based solutions
Companies would be wise to pay close attention to what they’re buying as some solution providers have not evolved their offerings beyond basic occupancy counts. With the changes imposed by hybrid workspace designs, early adopters of occupancy sensors may find it difficult to scale this solution across larger facility footprints, or reconfigure the hardware in the new environment.
Most importantly, occupancy data alone is insufficient to tell a useful story of how a space is being used, and is most definitely not enough to build, manage and measure the hybrid workplace. Businesses need to understand and measure the total experience of their workplace — from the time someone walks into the office, to the time they leave.
To enable a successful office transition, employers need to know such things as:
- Whether collaboration zones are under or over utilized
- How hot-desking density compares to assigned seating density
- Where employees tend to congregate in the space
- What times of day, days of week are most popular for meeting spaces
WiFi-based solutions are ideal for providing these kinds of insights.
Since WiFi already exists in most workplaces, these solutions are easily scaled, quick to implement and relative to sensor hardware, vastly more affordable. WiFi can provide more data across a larger footprint with fewer sensors. Solutions work by tracking (anonymously) the movement of smart devices throughout a space. Over time, patterns emerge in the data from which powerful insights can be derived.
In the months to come, real estate and facilities teams will recognize the limits of ‘how many’, and start to see greater value in knowing about ‘who, when, how, how often and where’. This type of data informs useful, practical, economical decisions about your workspace and provides a strong foundation for all future transformation.
About the author
James Wu is the CEO and Founder of InnerSpace, a space utilization and analytics platform that uses proprietary technology and advanced data science to provide location intelligence that goes well beyond people counting. InnerSpace enables its large enterprise clients to optimize for their two most valuable resources: people and property. Download Blueprint for a Hybrid Workspace to learn how our data can empower you to make future-forward decisions about your workplace.
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