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Thursday, 18 July

Flexi Work - Booty: 'It's In The Eye Of The Beholder'

Tony Booty

Tony Booty says companies should look around carefully and grab some data before embarking on flexible working office schemes.

Booty is a director at Abintra which pioneered the use of sensors to measure office use. "Many managers still rely on gut feeling or flawed systems to make important real estate decisions," he said pointing to the fact there are a variety of ways of monitoring who is using office space. "You can tag employees, use their phones or use room sensors but you have to do something if you want to efficiently tap in to the agile culture."

 

Not so flexible

Booty warns that one of the reasons firms are falling at the first hurdle by failing to understand how they currently use their office space. That leads to 'flexible' solutions that don’t work because they don’t offer enough of the right kinds of spaces or because they inflate or deflate the amount of real estate that an organisation actually needs.

Abintra recently published a report on emerging trends in occupancy management in 2019 listing unreliable methods being used to assess usage statistics. These included manual clipboard studies and video tracking of people coming into or leaving an office space. The former doesn’t allow for detailed analysis of work patterns while the latter doesn’t deliver data on individual desk use.

Booty favours the use of infrared sensors mounted to the underside of work surfaces to detect presence. He said: "It offers fast-track surveys using the technology to give managers in-depth data in four weeks."

Abintra provides the number crunching software enabling managers to see how office space is being used via a web browser. Once flexible working is implemented, the same technology can be used to generate a live floor plan. This allows staff to work flexibly by seeing where space to work is available and choosing different places to work within the office depending on what they are working on or just the mood that they are in.

 

Environment

With the launch of a new combined sensor, Abintra can also provide data on key environmental metrics as well as space utilisation, such as temperature and air quality.

Picture: Tony Booty.

 

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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