Your commercial real estate isn’t just your business’ address. It’s also where your employees spend a large portion of their lifetimes; and, as the needs of the modern worker evolve in line with a rising retirement age, more emphasis on wellness, collaboration and personalisation in the workspace will place higher demands on the facilities management model.
For your business to accommodate the seismic cultural and technological shifts taking place in the traditional work environment, it’s essential to introduce smart devices throughout your commercial premises to help your facilities management team generate the kind of data required to make more insight-based decisions.
Key areas of interest for your FM team
Depending on the size of your business or organisation, your facilities team may have a very long list of tasks to manage throughout your building. This team will be concerned with making decisions around cleaning, maintenance, grounds management and security. These service providers are often subcontracted, meaning that your facilities team has to have a thorough understanding of ongoings throughout your business to make sure that they bring in the right partner for the job.
How can we optimise our maintenance efforts?
In an ideal scenario, your maintenance staff will learn about issues before they become substantial, unmanageable problems. By studying the behaviour of occupants, your FM team can predict whether a challenging situation is likely to arise and alert maintenance staff before it escalates. This means that less time and resources are spent on dealing with emergencies out of hours, keeping your business protected from exposure to vulnerabilities and threats.
Commercial property will require a consistent maintenance regime and a strategic operational plan to ensure that your building is appealing to visitors, leaseholders and occupants. That’s why it’s important to equip your maintenance staff with the necessary data to enable them to make sure your building is utilised to its full potential. Additionally, this will help them to allocate and plan their budget accordingly, saving your business money in the long run.
How is the facility used during events?
If you host events on your premises, you have a vested interest in optimising the layout of your floor space. Guests need the ability to navigate easily throughout the venue. Understanding footfall and anticipating increased volumes will help your facilities team to ensure frequently used areas are maintained prior to the event to avoid breakdowns and setbacks during the proceedings. Furthermore, you will be able to immediately identify if the venue has reached capacity and whether you need extra support staff to accommodate the increase in visitor numbers or stagger entry altogether.
How can we better support every department within the business?
In order for your business to grow and evolve efficiently, you need to manage all of the moving parts and anticipate their needs. In big, multi-faceted organisations, it can be difficult to understand why some departments may be underperforming or demonstrating slumps in productivity. Sometimes, managers will take actions to rectify problems based on subjective data such as feedback from employees or previous experience. Smart devices such as people sensors can provide your facilities management team with a far more in-depth perspective, however. By monitoring how employees use their workspace, you can estimate whether a department is ready to move into a larger vicinity or if the current set up is acting as a hindrance to collaboration.
How smart building technology helps cleaning staff?
Commonly used areas are likely to require more regular upkeep from your cleaning staff. But for some businesses, no day is the same. For example, in centrally located hotels, visitors may arrive in large groups at odd hours while other days may be quieter. Monitoring usage helps to alert your cleaners to an upsurge in potential contamination of public toilets or other communal areas, enabling the management team to deploy staff as and when necessary. Occupancy sensors are discreet, and the information they collect preserves the anonymity of the individuals making use of your intimate facilities which offers reassurance to users of your premises.
According to the Centre for Economic and Business Research, poor office hygiene costs UK businesses £13.7 billion a year in sick days. Ultimately, your cleaning staff will be primarily concerned with preventing the spread of disease and improving the experience of your occupants. Using smart technology such as people sensor devices will help them to forecast issues and formulate better strategies to ensure that your building is always clean, safe and inviting.
Are all the facilities you provide being used?
Many progressive businesses, such as Google, offer an incredible range of facilities to employees in order to support their needs as more and more of us spend long hours at work. Some companies have onsite gyms, restaurants and break out areas. In most cases, this will be a huge drawcard for top talent to your business, but there are situations where these facilities go unused and end up costing your business unnecessarily. People counting sensors can help to paint an accurate picture of how often and when a facility is being used, helping you to make a better-informed decision as to whether you should axe the service or look at ways of engaging employees so that they make use of the facility.
If you’d like to learn more about True Occupancy and how IoT people counting sensors can transform your building in to a data generating asset that supports the functions of your facilities management team, contact Irisys today. You can also download our eBook The Truth About Workplace Occupancy and learn key insights into the smart buildings market, benefits of occupancy data analytics and real-world applications from the National Grid.
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