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Building a SMART workplace that forecasts space needs and supports a flexible workforce: Deakin University

How IoT, data visualisation and a web application for booking helped one of Australia’s major universities transform their office spaces.

Building a SMART workplace that forecasts space needs and supports a flexible workforce: Deakin University

How IoT, data visualisation and a web application for booking helped one of Australia’s major universities transform their office spaces for a flexible workforce.


Summary

  • A consulting engagement to identify Deakin’s technology requirements and scope out a solution proposal
  • Installation and integration of IoT sensors to monitor occupancy of desks, meeting rooms, kitchens, and other communal areas
  • Development of a custom web application that enabled staff to book desks, meeting rooms and check-in on arrival
  • Live Power BI reporting with data visualisation on space and asset usage for analysis by a client administrator

Deakin University (Deakin) has a flexible workforce that utilises office buildings on interchangeable days with varying schedules.

With a finite number of desks, meeting rooms, and other communal areas, they needed to find a solution that ensured their existing workspaces could support a dynamic and growing workforce. This included the ability to forecast how many desks they would need for staff on an ongoing basis.

Failure to do so would result in a costly process of expanding their office facilities and inefficient use of space.

Unico engaged in an initial consultation engagement which identified that the best way forward for Deakin would be to:

  1. Implement hot desking as a workplace practice for designated office spaces
  2. Integrate a SMART spaces solution with asset booking and people counting capability

We also identified that this solution would have to be scalable and transferable to other shared spaces such as libraries to accommodate for future growth.

Our solution consisted of three major parts that solved Deakin’s problem of supporting a flexible workforce whilst optimising space usage of the building, including:

• Installation and integration of IoT sensors to monitor occupancy of desks, meeting rooms, kitchens, and other communal areas


• Development of a custom web application that enabled staff to book desks, meeting rooms and check-in on arrival


• Live Power BI reporting with data visualisation on space and asset usage for analysis by a client administrator

By adopting our proposed technology solution, Deakin was able to accurately forecast their workforce space and asset needs. This has driven a significant reduction in costs and optimised office space usage. Our platform also played a crucial role in enhancing the employee experience and supporting a flexible workforce model via our booking application.

Ramnik Singh

Business Development Manager