AegonAre the workstations and the meeting rooms sufficiently occupied and where is cleaning required? Theo van Rijn, property manager at Aegon, has gained an insight into these issues thanks to BeSense.
There are now roughly 2660 sensors hanging in the office of Aegon in The Hague. They monitor the levels of use and occupancy in the building. What initially started on a small scale in his own facilities department, has since extended to a third of the building. The sensors can be found in the offices, meeting rooms, conference centres and in the front zones of the toilets. Theo wants to further expand this year. “With more sensors in a larger area, we can examine the effects on our building and cleaning even better.”
Less discussion about workstations
How can the building be better aligned to how the employees use it? This is something which Aegon is regularly working on. “The data from BeSense is helping us with this. Regular discussions take place about the number of workstations per department and especially about the impression that there is a shortage of workstations. Once the data from BeSense is available, the situation appears to be quite different. Working methods change on a regular basis. At the moment, there is a need to work in teams (Agile teams) and this demands other offices. The available data from BeSense is helping us to adapt the building to the situation.
Thursday peak day
Visit the office on a Thursday and you will be hard pushed to find a free workstation. The data from BeSense confirms that this day is a peak day and that Friday is a quiet day in the office. “We never knew how busy or how quiet it was at certain times and what we could do about it. We now see in real time how our office is occupied across the days and hours of the week. In this way, we can ‘close’ a number of rooms on a Friday so that they don’t need to be cleaned. We will use the available space more efficiently.”
Sensors sorted, now to change attitudes
“Hanging a sensor is one thing. Doing something with it is another issue. The data from BeSense is helping to reveal our employees’ behaviour. They often don’t notice how they use a workstation. The working arrangement is such that if you don’t need your workstation for more than two hours, you free it up for a colleague. We often notice that workstations are still unused for longer than two hours, yet a manager will get in touch with us to say they need more workstations.”
"We are a dynamic company, so we want to continue measuring. Year in, year out."
– Theo van Rijn
“The next step is to link BeSense to our planning system to reserve meeting rooms. We want to put a stop to no shows: rooms that are unoccupied, yet still reserved. BeSense can quickly indicate when a room is free. Then at least other people can use the space. With these types of results, we can prove that the situation can truly change. The task is to get our managers to talk to their teams about it.”
Cleaning where necessary
“We started asking 1.5 years ago: how can we improve our way of cleaning? For example, by working with intelligent wastebaskets. Now we work with the BeSense cleaning app, which plots routes based on the data obtained. This means our cleaners only have to clean where it is necessary. The ultimate aim is to make the work easier for our cleaners, so they can efficiently spend the time they have available and carry out activities where necessary.”
Theo’s tip: “Talk about privacy”
“Most people place a great deal of importance on their privacy. The sensors are not meant to follow people or act as a type of time clock. They are anonymous measurements. We have learnt that it is very important that you properly explain what you are going to do with the measurements and what you want to achieve. You must take away the sense that ‘Big Brother is watching you’ as quickly as possibly by communicating effectively internally and highlighting the importance for the organisation and for the employee as an individual.”