The data collected from office people counters solidifies decisions surrounding topics such as efficient use of space and utilities, accurate staff levels, and more.
When you consider that the cost of office real estate is measured by the square foot, it makes sense that operators need data that shows if the value of a space is being maximized. In Q4 of 2022, the average rental rate for office space in Silicon Valley was $5.70 per square foot, which puts into perspective how much money is lost when office space is underutilized.
Types of Office People Counters
Let’s take a look at the objectives for counting people at an office.
This flexible office management style began in 2015 and gained momentum following the Covid work-from-home era. Rather than each employee having a desk, office hoteling allows workers to reserve a workspace ahead of time for the days they’ll be in the office.
According to Biz Tech, “Hoteling allows organizations transitioning to hybrid work models to maintain physical offices but with less square footage and at a lower cost. For employees, hoteling guarantees them a spot to work on days when they’re in the office, and members of the same teams can book their desks in close proximity to collaborate.”
In many cases, an office people counter isn’t needed for a hoteling scenario. Instead, room scheduling software can be used along with Bluetooth beacons for checking into a workspace or meeting room. The software collects data on how many people have checked into the office and patterns on most and least busy times of day and days of the week.
For traditional office management, or even hot desking scenarios where workspaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis, space utilization metrics are foundational to making key decisions. Office people counters like SenSource’s 3D stereo video sensors, can be installed at office entryways to determine total traffic, peak traffic times and patterns, and facility occupancy.
Armed with foot traffic data, operators can improve space utilization by streamlining staff schedules, from secretaries to maintenance, by matching schedules to actual building usage.
Using office people counters within the interior of the office, such as meeting rooms, cafeterias, and even restrooms helps to analyze how people are using the space. Can underutilized spaces be repurposed? Is additional signage needed for wayfinding?
In a post-Covid world, people are weary of the health risks associated with overcrowded areas. Using office people counters to monitor real-time occupancy, an operator can control how many people are permitted in common areas and meeting spaces.
The benefits of using sensors compared to room scheduling software for occupancy are adoption and accuracy. Room scheduling software would require each person in the office to have the app installed on a phone with a Bluetooth connection turned on. Whereas, sensors don’t require human intervention and will passively scan and count people as they enter the building. Sensors boast a 97% or greater accuracy rating.
- Consider your office management style. Are you a traditional workspace or a hybrid?
- Determine the level of accuracy needed.
- Develop a plan for data collection and analysis.
- Consider future needs and scalability of the office people counting system.
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