Optimize space and never search for a conference room again with this cutting-edge upgrade

This piece is presented by Interstate Office Products.

In business, we think a lot about where to locate our offices.

We don’t pay as much attention to how we use the space once we move in – often leading to underutilization and inefficiency.

“We now can accurately measure and analyze workplace utilization in ways that bring incredibly valuable data and insight,” said Gary Gaspar, CEO of Interstate Office Products.

Interstate Office Products is a premier partner of Steelcase, a leading office furniture manufacturer and industry thought leader.

Its new offering, Steelcase Workplace Advisor, offers the most accurate look yet at how people use their office.

“By embedding technology into the work environment, we are creating the workplace of the future,” said Scott Sadler, Steelcase Smart + Connected manager.

“We can identify patterns in how and when people are working. But data alone is meaningless; to improve performance, individuals and organizations need trusted insights into what works, what doesn’t and why.”

Here’s how people used to measure the workplace:

  • Manual – Canvas the building and make notes about occupancy.
  • Anecdotal – Managers make notes about when certain rooms appear unused.
  • Assumptive – Sensors collect data assuming each person has an assigned space.

Workplace Advisor uses a cloud-enabled, space-sensing network to collect and analyze data around space utilization.

“We install sensors in the ceiling that blend seamlessly with the space. It’s very simple to do. And if you’re an organization with multiple floors or multiple buildings, really understanding how it is used can be a significant benefit,” Gaspar said.

Room data is stored on the Steelcase cloud platform powered by Microsoft Azure, which offers industry-leading security and scalability. The intuitive dashboard allows users to search by time frame, location, room amenities and attributes, so leaders can pinpoint overused and underused space and analyze usage of spaces with features such as video conferencing, natural light and whiteboards.

“Steelcase understands the configuration of space and how people move within space,” Sadler said, adding the algorithm created and extensively tested accounts for the realities in which people work today.

The technology is just starting to get rolled out, Gaspar added.

“Over time, it will become more valuable as you build a database of how space is utilized,” he said.

Another new companion Steelcase product – Personal Assistant – puts the space insight in the palm of your hand.

Through a mobile app, employees are relieved of trying to coordinate available conference areas and work spaces by tapping directly into Workplace Advisor’s data.

It shows real-time room availability, allows users to search by configurations and resources, and reserves rooms with the tap of a finger. Acting as a custom GPS and map of office spaces, Personal Assistant empowers employees to use fully every space in the workplace instead of the limited selection most pursue.

“After it’s reserved on the app, it shows the space as occupied, so you don’t have to worry that by the time you get there someone has sat down already,” Gaspar said.

“It helps people find the space that’s most efficient when they need space to work, whether you’re looking for a conference room or just dropping in the office and hoping to use a small, independent work area.”

It’s a peek into the future of offices, Gaspar added.

“Steelcase is spending a lot of time and resources on the integration of technology in the workplace beyond computers and mobile phones. It’s integrating architecture, furniture and technology.”

To learn more about the resources Steelcase offers, contact Interstate Office Products at i-o-p.com.

Optimize space and never search for a conference room again with this cutting-edge upgrade

New ways of measuring exactly how work spaces are used can help everyone from a CEO analyzing office needs to a worker looking for a conference room.

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