On 10 May, the Senate of the Republic definitively approved the draft text for Law AC. No. 2233B, which will govern and, most importantly, favour “flexible working in terms of time and place,” or so-called “Smart Working”.
We can better define smart working by looking at its various features: smart working can take place both at or away from the company premises and does not require a fixed workstation, however, it must take place during normal working hours and must not result in employees being financially worse-off.
For employees, this new legislation offers increased flexibility, while for companies, smart working opens up new possibilities to make better use of resources and space, which, if correctly exploited, can result in significant savings and the overall improvement of employee, contractor and company-asset management.
Interlogica, a company belonging to the group of the same name, actively creates solutions to these issues and specialises in agile software development.
When tackling the theme of smart working, Interlogica starts from a base assumption that remains valid regardless of the definition included in the law to be passed.
INTERLOGICA: A CASE STUDY OF TRUE SMART WORKING
It’s not just the law that’s changed, but also the way in which we work, with modern working styles becoming increasingly social, mobile, distributed and collaborative.
It’s due to these new working methods that Interlogica has chosen to promote the creation of smart offices and smart working projects, redesigning workstations and spaces to facilitate optimisation and sharing, all of which can be handily managed using software.
In order to better define its approach, Interlogica started with real-life case: a customer decided to reorganise its national presence, consisting of around 800 offices, some of which were located in historical buildings. The company decided to make the most of the reorganisation project in order to develop workstation monitoring infrastructure.
“The company, which has always been very aware of its use of space, had previously been using external companies to carry out sample surveys, timing when meeting rooms and desks were in use and then presenting the data in reports,” stated Alessio De Zotti, senior developer for Interlogica.
The surveys essentially measured how many people were using the meeting rooms and for how long, as well as the number of hours each workstation was in use.
Interlogica’s solution involves hardware and software that collect data from meeting rooms and workstations in real time, thus enabling the creation of a historical data set.
Interlogica’s solution uses sensors and the IoT in order to monitor the number of people travelling through a particular area, while also measuring movements within a specific space.
“Depending on the type of meeting room, you can estimate how often it will be used. This information can then be displayed in map form, which can be viewed on a mobile device or a digital signage totem, to see if any rooms are available if needed for an impromptu meeting, for example.”
While an application extension monitoring how frequently meeting room devices are used (such as telephones, monitors, conferencing solutions and digital whiteboards) is currently being explored, Interlogica’s solution already allows companies to monitor and schedule lighting, heating and cooling systems.
“You can use software to program certain office conditions, such as the thermostat or lighting, ahead of meetings. Similarly, in modular spaces, rooms can be set up depending on the meetings booked into the calendar. The solution interacts with the company’s meeting management system.”
MANAGING WORKSTATIONS USING THE IOT
When it comes to managing individual workstations, Interlogica suggests a more pragmatic approach: “You need to free the workstation from the individual, facilitating the process by educating employees and changing their mind-set.”
Interlogica’s solution monitors each workstation, marking it as either free, occupied or occupied with the user currently away from the desk.
“We can do this by placing two sensors on the desk: the first sensor is connected to the power switch, while the other sensor monitors movement, detecting when an employee moves their legs. The two sets of data are then collected and cross-checked.”
Interlogica’s goal is to get employees comfortable with the idea of smart working. If the workstation is occupied but is left free for a certain amount of time, the system will unlock it and make it available for other employees to use.
Similarly, shared spaces and phone booths can also be monitored.
“Information gathered by sensors is collected by a gateway and sent to a cloud-based infrastructure. Said data can then be viewed on an information display, both in map form and as a numerical percentage.”
Interlogica highlights that this solution allows companies to measure outputs in real time. “We’re now monitoring smart working on a regular basis, rather than just once a year, meaning that we can create a better picture of which areas are working well, and which areas are in need of improvement.
Interlogica’s smart working projects involve several different company departments, including HR, the facilities manager, the energy manager and the CFO.
Originally posted on Internet4Things.