The SSOT (Shanghai Smart Office Technology) fair is going on at Shanghai New International Expo Centre right now, and 9am has made the trek despite the post-pandemic impact. I've luckily delivered a speech which talked about how workplace analytics could better assist with building a smart office, as well as providing us with more insightful suggestions on how to create a healthy workplace. I gave this speech at the OffiSmart Summit, a sub conference that focused especially on smart office and workplace management on Sep 4.
As a specialist in utilizing sensing and data to solve practical issues in the workplace scenario, my team and I occasionally pick up ideas and thoughts through accumulated data in many workplaces areas and we've summed up some key findings to illustrate our expectations: digitalized method could largely help workplace management team increase usage rate while reducing cost at the same. Data analytics stretches the entire length of the workplace, through every meeting room, every flex space, and beyond for remote employees.
More sanitized restrooms, fewer cleaning staff
We've analyzed data collected from several workplace restrooms, and found that there is no positive correlation between the cleanliness of restrooms and cost and people used to keep restrooms clean. The chart below demonstrated the usage situation of a workplace restroom, and each horizontal line represents one toilet. The red squares show the toilets are occupied, and the blue ones show they are available. It is very clear to see when and for how long each toilet is occupied in a day.
Normally workplace managers send cleaning staff to clean the restrooms on an hourly basis, but not all stools should be cleaned unless they're used. A better solution for this is to set up a notification system to automatically notify which toilets need to be cleaned on a more appropriate duration. Fewer cleaning people will be needed if sensing technology could let management know the exact usage data of each toilet, cost on cleaning and maintenance will be reduced accordingly.
Other office areas
When it comes to other office areas- meeting rooms or employees' workstations, data brings about more productive management work, less administrative cost and better organized space as well. Workplace analytics surface up issues with data on which meeting rooms are overbooked, your meeting rooms are often used by how many people, what day and time your office is the busiest, etc. If you notice the spaces in your office aren’t well-matched to the events taking place, it's time to think about optimizing your workplace. But how to get the data to analyze the workplace that have both accuracy and safety?
Now we are talking about to safely collect data
The most commonly-known method to monitor utilization of each office space is using sensors to help optimize their space according to which areas are most used and when. The accuracy of sensors can be very high thanks to the accurate foot traffic count through video camera. If you care the most about accuracy, video camera sensors might be an ok choice, however, accuracy is probably the single biggest advantage for video camera sensors.
But what about companies that have privacy concerns? Having gone through a process of innovating and updating from blurred images to thermal imaging, and finally, the counting sensors provide only anonymous data regarding the people they track.
Workplace analytics we are talking about arm facilities with explicit proof of what is and isn’t working in the office. They uncover how space is actually being used, not just how people think it is, in a way that makes it easy to take action and capitalize on current space.
Shanghai Smart Office Technology (SSOT) was debuted at SIBT in 2019, introducing IoT technology to enrich office environments. This year, Shanghai Smart Office Technology (SSOT) joined hands with Shanghai Intelligent Building Technologies (SIBT) to continue showcasing the leading products and solutions in the market so as to catalyze the evolution of the smart office industry.