Two of the daily challenges of Corporate Real Estate Management are the identification of optimisation potential and the personalisation of workplaces. Real estate is the second largest cost item, therefore CREMs play a significant role for a company’s future profitability. Our ROI calculator will help to estimate this costs.

Keeping track of an entire real estate portfolio can be challenging. Thus, key performance indicators (KPIs) are crucial in calculating business cases, making fact-based decisions and representing them to other stakeholders. A reliable and continuous analysis of actual utilisation is required. Various measurement methods are available.

But what potential lies hidden in your real estate portfolio? Therefore, we offer you the opportunity to calculate your individual optimisation potential! The ROI calculator based on CBRE’s study “Space Utilisation: The Next Frontier“.

Your office building is much more intelligent than it looks. There is not even a lot you have to do except exploit the potential of your existing data sources.

In this article, we show you the 3 steps necessary to transform the brainless concrete block called office building into a smart and people-oriented work environment:

  1. Analyse;
  2. Check and prepare;
  3. Use and learn!

Real estate is the second biggest expense after labour costs. It is therefore worth taking a closer look at how and where these costs occur and in which areas they can be reduced. Now, if we add the fact that office buildings are usually utilised less than 50%, then we probably all agree that this area offers enormous optimisation potential, not only in monetary terms but also in relation to your employees’ work experience.

It is therefore important that you no longer rely on gut feelings alone but rather on hard facts when it comes to decisions. Analysing space utilisation is the right way to gain a better understanding of what happens in your office buildings. The only question that remains to be answered is which approach you take.

Imagine that you are now being assigned the task to evaluate possibilities to get real-time insights into your office buildings.


The 3 Steps You Must Consider

Step 1: Analyse what you want to achieve and analyse what you need for this

Do you know the dilemma? You are so focused on a project that you try implementing it before you even started analysing why, how and what you want to achieve with this project. This also happens to project leaders from time to time when assigned the task of gaining valuable insights into office buildings.

You should prevent this loss of time and money by remembering this culinary metaphor: It is like cooking.
The project is the dish that you need to serve for dinner (and no later). In order to prepare a good meal on time, every chef focuses on one absolutely vital aspect – the shopping list! And the same goes for you: think first about what you want to cook (in this case, what you would like to achieve) and what ingredients are necessary (i.e. which data) and write it down.

Step 2: Check what is already there and prepare for integration

Preparing the shopping list means checking your storeroom for ingredients that are lying around untouched. As you now know what kind of insights you hope to have gathered after implementing this project, you should now start looking into your existing IT infrastructure that you are using daily. With the advent of big data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning, platforms have evolved to support more accurate real-time insights, revealing previously hidden patterns into the actual use of space.

Your company most probably has data lying idle from various sources. While LAN and Wi-Fi networks can be used as primary data sources, other data from the device inventory, existing space repositoriesroom booking and CAFM systems as well as building IoT can be integrated to increase the level of detail of your space utilisation analysis.

While the mentioned sources offer all the necessary data, there are also other possibilities besides the software-only approach to gain insights into space utilisation. This depends to a large extent on the use cases that your company has and the challenges you are facing.

If you now think that you still lack ingredients to cook your meal, then you should start thinking about buying additional ingredients (read more about different technology solutions. However, you most probably have everything you need for the delicious meal and you can save time by taking care of the remaining preparation. In the world of cooking this is called “Mise en place”!

As you now have an overview of the data sources that your IT infrastructure provides, it is time to prepare their integration in order to collect and consolidate all the data. There are, for example, IT infrastructure providers such as Cisco or Aruba that are widespread and can therefore be integrated in a fairly straightforward manner. However, solutions from other providers can also be integrated. At this stage, it is important to involve your company’s IT department to find out whether your infrastructure matches the technical requirements of a software-only solution.

One of the great advantages of relying on the existing infrastructure: it requires no or very little local setup. This means that a software-only solution can be rolled out quickly at affordable costs.

Step 3: Use the insights and learn from them

The use of big data technology and machine learning algorithms takes over the collection, consolidation, processing and, finally, the visualisation of the data. To return to the cooking analogy: The menu gets prepared, arranged and is ready to be served automatically.

This allows you to gain valuable and real-time insights into how your organisation uses its workspace. Depending on your responsibilities and the use cases you have, it is now possible to pick out the information you need:

Gain portfolio-wide insights into your workspace

  • Understand how your office buildings are performing
  • Identify space utilisation optimisation potential
  • Understand the impact of your workspace layouts

Find out how to improve facility operations

  • Identify workplace issues
  • Recognise optimisation potential to improve cleaning effectiveness
  • Understand whether your HVAC matches the demand

Understand how to increase workspace experience

  • Are there enough rooms or desks available?
  • Do employees lose time by searching for colleagues?
  • Can employees find their way around the building?

As you now have access to real-time insights, it is essential to understand their importance and act on this information by implementing measures to optimise workspace, improve facility operations and increase workspace experience.


How does Locatee work?

Solutions to ensure the most efficient use of space in office buildings have been available for many years, but with the advent of big data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning, platforms have evolved to support more accurate real-time insights, revealing previously hidden patterns into the actual use of space.

Workplace analytics solutions are defined as those solutions that map the utilisation of spaces (buildings, floors, individual workstations or meeting rooms) to develop a comprehensive spatial database of the indoor environment.

With office densification rates increasing in 2017 across the world, combined with evidence of poor space utilization and the expectations of occupants for more human and productive environments, the need for workspace management platforms to provide better insight into the repurposing of current workplaces has never been so urgent.

While business must be able to consolidate and contract space efficiently, they are increasingly faced with the need to create more human and productive work environments, as the office becomes a significant tool for talent attraction and performance enhancement.

The balance between space reduction and occupants’ desire for more desk and shared space is tricky. Finding the tipping point when density and the lack of space becomes a hindrance to people getting their work done is becoming increasingly important for workplace design.

A real-time view can help building occupants to better use space on a day-to-day basis, while more granular workspace analytics data can help real estate professionals and building managers to make better decisions around long-term space requirements. Offices that take a data-driven approach will realize an increase in rents and occupancy levels and attract more long-term tenants.

A range of workspace management solutions, based on diverse technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Connected LED Lighting, Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS), cameras, Building Management Systems (BMS), Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) and Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) platforms, compete with each other. And it can be overwhelming for end users to select the most appropriate for their facility.

Most of the above solutions require investment in hardware, such as IoT sensors, locator tags, 3D stereoscopic cameras or BLE beacons, not to mention LED lighting systems or building management systems.

Locatee’s software only approach to space optimization is based on the rationale that the customer requires no upfront investment in new costly infrastructure. The Locatee Workplace Analytics solution is based on existing IT infrastructure, with LAN and Wi-Fi networks used as primary data sources. All data is anonymized, thereby protecting employee privacy. Other sources can also be integrated into the platform such as existing space repositories, room booking and building IoT data. Locatee further applies patent pending machine learning and indoor positioning algorithms to these data sources, enabling actionable insight to be derived from the platform, taking workspace optimization to the next level.

The platform offers:

  • Aggregated and real-time analysis, through continuous measurement of workspace utilisation
  • Analytics dashboards for CRE teams
  • Heatmaps to visualize intelligence at any level of granularity
  • API to integrate with existing solutions, such as CAFM
  • Kiosk and Mobile Apps for employees
  • Unleash your optimisation potential

Do you want to learn more about how data analytics can help your company to extract more out of already existing data? Visit our main page to find out more about Locatee Analytics.


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