OpenSensors blog

Top 4 reasons why building managers use sensors to reduce operating expenses

Posted by Salman Mohammad on October 2018

OpenSensors-Streets-of-Hong-Kong

Sensor networks are emerging as a mission critical method for offices and corporate real estates to save money. Building and facilities managers are installing utilisation sensors to manage their spaces more efficiently as many businesses move towards agile working practices and adopt a smart city transformation.

From connecting and linking to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) to lighting, environmental sensors, security and safety equipment - these solutions provide businesses with factual data to make informed operational decisions as well as:
  • Improve operational efficiency
  • Have better control of investments, costs and ROI
  • Create data driven workplace design
  • Improve workspaces and experience for employees

1. Increase workspace utilisation by 20%

The changing work culture along with the rapid growth of technology has been a driving factor for many businesses moving towards agile working practices. As more people shift to working from home or other locations, many buildings are left with half empty offices and desk space.

In the digital era, facility and corporate real estate teams are increasingly challenged with cutting building costs, improve operational efficiencies using technology and increase occupancy rates.

Using desk or meeting room sensors is one way of increasing workspace utilisation. We’ve seen a trend amongst our customers to reach between 10% to 20% utilisation rates as the difference in cost savings can be between thousands of pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

2. Reduce manual survey costs

The traditional method of capturing occupancy data is through manual surveys. This is often an expensive and lengthy process, resource intensive and captures data at one point in time which can quickly become outdated.

In comparison to sensors, which is fast becoming the norm to provide fast facts and oversight of utilisation. Desk and meeting room sensors capture real time occupancy data covering larger areas for any points in time.

They use passive infrared sensors (PIR) which is triggered by both motion and heat i.e. no personal or health information of an individual is captured. The data is anonymised to illustrate utilisation enabling facility teams to understand individual desk occupancy and see aggregate data for departments. Installed under desks they are out of sight and not disruptive to employees.

 3. Improve operational efficiency

With the automation of occupancy data capture, this frees up facility managers to focus on strategic activities as well as be equipped with insights to better manage future workspace investment projects. Sensors provide real time quality data so reports can be generated on demand for teams to adapt quickly to rapid changing business needs.

How sensors are installed, deployed and maintained are often the frequently asked questions we get from customers. Here at OpenSensors our desk and meeting room sensors are inexpensive to install and maintain. We focus on ensuring sensor deployments have little impact on employees and minimise site and maintenance risks as well as network connectivity during deployment with a robust and thorough roll out plan. Minimal IT resources are needed for deployment and our solution has an easy API plug in to new or existing IT infrastructure.

4. Influence strategic conversations

Sensors capture data that provide an objective and a realistic view of how building and workspaces are utilised. Having concrete data helps take away guesswork, allowing for better conversations with stakeholders to influence decisions on how to effectively utilise workspaces, accommodate a growing agile workforce and reduce building or office costs.

Using data enables more accurate planning and by making it available to occupants, you enable them to both change their behaviour and shift conversations from ‘how many desks do you need’ to ‘how can you use your space more productively’. 

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Content topics: Enabling smart buildings, Workspace technology