Creating a flexible workplace through digital instrumentation

As we continue to live in a world with both COVID and vaccines, many organizations are focused on safely returning employees back to the office, while also meeting employees’ needs for greater flexibility and increased work life balance. A recent IBV study reported that while employees have enjoyed the benefits of working from home, 60% indicated that they would like to work in the office for a portion of their work week. Let’s take a closer look at the role of digital instrumentation in delivering this new workplace. There is a recent webinar on the topic, too.

The changing workplace: from traditional to flexible

There is no “one-size fits all” approach that organisations take. Instead, they are looking at how to create flexible workplaces that can support the dynamic, changing needs of the business and workforce. Most organisations anticipate that employees will be in the office 2-3 days per week and work remotely the remainder of the time. When employees do come to the office, it will be with purpose, to collaborate with team members, attend meetings, and meet with clients and partners.

It is a shift from the traditional space planning practice of assigned workspaces and dedicated desks for individual employees. It’s also a shift in how individual business units are charged for the space they are using, how is it measured and whether or not space utilization is meeting business targets.

To help facility leaders make smarter, safer decisions, many are focused on digital instrumentation to understand utilization trends and monitor occupancy in near real time.

Accelerating digital adoption and instrumentation

Occupancy data from IoT sensors, or existing infrastructure including WIFI allows facility leaders to monitor in near real time the occupancy levels across their portfolio. Coupling this data with capacity data helps them monitor spaces and be alerted when there is a capacity breach. Indoor positioning, delivered with WIFI and BLE beacons, allows facility leaders to identify areas of congregation and over-crowding and redirect employees to quieter areas. This data can also be used as an input to enhance cleaning protocols based on actual occupancy or allow catering services to plan based on expected number of people.

Utilization trends enable facility leaders to understand how spaces are being used, when they are being used, which business units are using them and for how long. This arms teams with the information they need to make critical business decisions. For example, are there sufficient meeting rooms to meet demand or available desks for employees in the office? This data also helps improve space utilization, identify areas for space reduction and improve the bottom line.

Navigating a better experience

The same enabling occupancy and utilization technology also lends its hand to improving operational efficiency and enhanced workplace experiences. With the introduction of flexible workplaces, many employees will return to new offices or occupy unfamiliar spaces. Facility leaders can extend the use of IoT and WIFI data to provide employees with indoor maps and wayfinding. Employees can seamlessly navigate their new environment, find places of interest, their reserved desks or ad-hoc spaces when they quickly want to find somewhere to work. They can do it all without having to walk the corridors — which boosts productivity.

How to get started on your digital instrumentation journey

It’s time to start the journey and show your workforce that you have their well-being at the forefront of your organisation’s strategy. IBM TRIRIGA and are collaborating to enable and instrument the flexible workplace. Hear from Rom Eizenberg, CRO at, and Samantha O’Neill, Product Manager for IBM TRIRIGA, on how our collaboration addresses space planning challenges, helps you prepare for the shift and drive to more positive business outcomes.

The post Creating a flexible workplace through digital instrumentation appeared first on IBM Business Operations Blog.

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