- Increased employee engagement and workspace satisfaction
- More efficient space utilisation saves 40–70 EUR per m² and year
- Reduced energy costs of 3 EUR per m² and year
- Improved cleaning effectiveness saves up to 8 EUR per m² and year
- Biogen rolled out the Basic and Advanced plan across four buildings and 28 departments
- With Locatee Biogen identified areas with available capacity for potential ‘collaborative’ or ‘silent’ workspaces
- An increase in the desk sharing ratio enabled Biogen to bring in 140 employees to the existing 450 without adding any square meters and improve space efficiency by 30%
- In total a savings potential of CHF 2.5 million was realised
Biogen is a leading global Biotech company developing therapies for patients with serious neurological, autoimmune and rare diseases, with its International Headquarters in Zug, Switzerland. These headquarters currently accommodate over 450 employees across four buildings, and a total of 12 floors. Due to the highly spread out nature of these office spaces Biogen’s management requested a site evaluation with the purpose of optimizing its long-term workspace strategy.
Workspace demand as a starting point
Biogen’s ‘facilities’ team realised that this optimisation required a detailed understanding of the organisation’s current space demands in order to ensure long-term workspace performance. One possible alternative was going in the direction of the currently trending ‘flexible workplace concepts’, including shared desks, dedicated ‘collaborative’ spaces, and a dedicated ‘silent’ working environment. However, in order to provide Biogen’s leadership team with several alternative workspace strategies, key data and insights on actual workspace utilisation were required, which including planning scenarios such as e.g. housing additional employees without adding extra workspace.
The decision to use a Big Data approach
In order to obtain these insights, and the data required for a site evaluation, Biogen looked at a variety of solutions aimed at helping them best understand their organisation’s current workspace requirements. “We compared a variety of occupancy sensor solutions with Locatee’s big data approach. The non-intrusive, scalable and cost-efficient nature of Locatee convinced us that their approach best suited our requirements,” said Nicole Stutz, responsible for Office and Facility Management at Biogen.
The insights from Locatee
Within a short time, Locatee’s solution was rolled out across all four buildings and 28 departments. The patent pending big data solution analysed real-time connections of employee devices, such as laptops, to the existing network infrastructure. It determined which workplaces were in use at any time, thus providing workspace utilisation data down to a single desk. In order to ensure employees’ privacy measurements were completely anonymised and aggregated.
As such, this visualisations of utilised and vacant space across campus generated by Locatee accurately detailed the workspace demands of the departments analysed. These insights enabled Biogen to identify areas with available capacity for potential ‘collaborative’ or ‘silent’ workspaces. Further useful insights demonstrated that including a shared desk environment and, as a result changing the desk/employee ration to 0.75, would allow for future potential organisational growth of up to 150 employees without having to add a single square meter of additional office space. Such an increase in the utilisation of existing workspace could allow Biogen to improve space efficiency by up to 30% and leading to potential costs savings.“
These workplace insights proved to be very valuable for us! Locatee not only reinforced our gut feeling, but took the discussion we had within our management to a new, more objective and data-driven level. Taking space decisions without such data can be risky, so we were very appreciative of the insights Locatee was able to provide us with,” concludes Nicole Stutz.
Understanding how an organisation uses its workspace is fundamental to creating an effective and efficient working environment. Thanks to Locatee we were able to obtain granular insights into our space utilisation and take workspace decisions with great confidence; simply based on our existing IT infrastructure!
- The modern work environment in the new Swiss Post headquarters posed new challenges regarding capacity planning and employee experience
- Swiss Post rolled out the Pro plan across 30.000m2 and covering workplaces of more than 2.000 employees
- The Employee and Kiosk App enables employees to find workspaces, co-workers and resources easily
- With Locatee the sharing ratios of desks were optimised and 15-20% of office space costs savings were realised
A modern challenge
By moving the headquarters to a new office building in Bern Wankdorf, Swiss Post stepped into a modern work environment. The new office spaces are managed using a data-driven approach – a job for Locatee, the big data software solution by Locatee.
As part of the increasing mobility within the company, Swiss Post employees are able to flexibly choose a workplace at the new location according to their current task. In the approximately 30.000 m2 office space, than 2.000 employees can take advantage of different areas, such as concentration and interaction zones. This flexibility presents new challenges for managing the office; the availability of the right number of different workplaces and the optimal use of space must be ensured at all times. For example, the following questions arise:
- Where in the building are capacities currently available?
- How does the utilisation and vacancies develop in the long-term?
- Which work spaces are used when and how frequently?
The solution is big data
To answer these types of questions, Swiss Post pursued a data-driven approach and used the big data solution by Locatee. The patentpending technology developed by the Zurichbased start-up evaluates thousands of data points from the existing LAN and Wi-Fi network infrastructures in real-time to determine which desks and meeting rooms are in use. Various data visualisation options make it possible to look into the effective utilizsation of the entire building. To protect the employee’s privacy, the data is anonymised and aggregated irreversibly.
The result – a “smart office building”
Comprehensive and continuous utilisation data down to individual workplaces and zones creates the necessary transparency for workspace management. This allows vacancies in the building to be identified easily, making workspace management simpler and more effective. Furthermore, the insights are used to ensure that the work environment at Swiss Post stays up-to-date with employee needs and the available space can be managed efficiently and sustainably. At the same time, the utilisation data is used as the foundation for various “smart office building” scenarios. Locatee’s software solution is currently being extended so that employees can also use a mobile app to see where meeting rooms and workplaces are available or share their location with their team colleagues if desired. An expansion to other Swiss Post locations is also already being planned.
For us, the main advantage is that we have a purely data-driven solution that does not require hardware investments of any kind. This was also the reason we chose Locatee Analytics.
Deploying technology in a large organisation and in cooperation between Corporate Real Estate and IT can be time consuming and complex. However, Locatee was easy to rollout due to an assisted onboarding service and went very smoothly. Immediately after the successful implementation, insights were available.
We are able to plan a new office building in Geneva according to the actual utilization and the identified space needs of the employees to increase their productivity and happiness, as well as to optimize the footprint.