IoT Occupancy Sensors: The Key to Efficient Facility Space Planning
- March 1, 2023
- Duane Harris
Facility space planning is an important aspect of managing any building or workspace, whether it’s a commercial office building, a hospital, a manufacturing facility, or any other type of space. One of the key challenges in space planning is accurately tracking space utilization and optimizing the use of space. That’s where IoT occupancy sensors come in.
IoT occupancy sensors are a powerful tool for tracking movement and space occupancy in a facility. By using this data, facility managers can make more informed decisions about space planning and optimize the use of space.
This blog post touches on some of the key benefits of using IoT occupancy sensors for facility space planning.
Accurate Data Collection
IoT occupancy sensors provide accurate data on space utilization, which can help facility managers make better decisions about how to use their space. This is especially important at large, complex facilities such as hospitals, where it would be cost-prohibitive to manually monitor space utilization.
Sensors are always on, automatically collecting data 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Furthermore, cellular-based, wireless sensors can be installed at a fraction of the cost of past real-time sensor systems—which had to be wired for power and networking. Cellular-based systems are battery-operated. Power consumption is so low that the batteries do not have to be replaced for five to eight years.
Because the sensors are always on, and data capture is automatically triggered upon motion detection, managers can rely on this data being accurate AND objective. They can identify areas of the facility that are underutilized or could be better utilized by other stakeholders.
For example, if a certain conference room is consistently empty, managers could repurpose the room, or open it up for general use. In addition, aggregate occupancy averages for the whole facility can help managers gauge whether the facility is meeting its minimum or maximum occupancy thresholds. This is a valuable insight for deciding whether to expand or contract capital assets.
IoT occupancy sensors allow for real-time monitoring of space utilization, which means facility managers can adjust space utilization on the fly based on current usage patterns. This can help optimize space utilization and reduce wasted space.
This is particularly helpful in clinical environments, where patient exam rooms are often shared between different clinics or hospital departments. For example, Surgery Departments tend to utilize patient exam rooms from early in the morning until noon, leaving the room unused during the afternoon. IoT tracking software, such as VLogicFM, can be configured to assign the mornings to Surgery and the afternoons to another department, such as Podiatry.
By optimizing space utilization, facility managers can reduce the need for additional space and associated costs, such as rent and utilities. This can result in significant cost savings over time, which can be reinvested in other areas of the business.
Another cost-saving use case for IoT occupancy sensors is to combine them with cloud-based Scheduling apps to enable smart, hybrid workplaces with remote workers who share desks and offices. The sensors let hybrid workplace managers ensure that booked desks and rooms are in fact occupied. According to Fortune Magazine, cost savings for implementing a hybrid workplace model can be as high as 50%.
Improved Safety and Security
IoT occupancy sensors can also enhance safety and security in facilities. For example, sensors can be used to monitor the movement of people and objects within a facility, which can help prevent accidents and
theft. Also, because sensors are always on, tracking software can be configured to alert managers when motion is detected during periods of time when occupancy is not expected…such as weekends or after work hours.
By analyzing data on space utilization, facility managers can identify bottlenecks and optimize workflows—improving overall efficiency and productivity. For example, if a particular area of the facility is consistently overcrowded, managers can consider the following options:
- Redesign the space;
- Add additional resources to alleviate the bottleneck; and
- Reallocate space assignments to other, less crowded areas of the facility.
Enhanced User Experience
IoT occupancy sensors can also be used to track user behavior and preferences, which can help facility managers create more tailored and personalized experiences for users. For example, sensors can be used to track the movement of employees within an office building, which can help managers optimize office layouts and improve employee satisfaction.
IoT occupancy sensors are a powerful tool for facility space planning, providing accurate data on space utilization, real-time monitoring, cost savings, improved safety and security, better workflow, and enhanced user experience. By incorporating IoT occupancy sensors into their facilities, managers can optimize space utilization and create a more efficient, productive, and enjoyable work environment for everyone.
Click here for more information about VLogic’s Real-time Occupancy Tracking solution.