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Real Estate, Energy And Facilities Information Management Vendors Should Take Note Of New Efforts To Standardise Occupant Well-being Data

On March 7, 2017, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) launched a programme to develop a set of global standards for sensors and systems that monitor the range of variables which impact worker well-being (e.g. air quality, light levels and humidity). The IWBI, with partners including the Green Building Council of Australia and RESET, aims to improve the quality of data collected on occupant well-being by providing standards for sensor performance, as well as guidance on how firms can analyse this data. This is a potentially interesting development for software vendors across the real estate, energy and facilities information management (REEFIM) market – it has the potential to improve the quality and consistency of well-being data.

Improving occupant well-being continues to be one of the hottest themes across the REEFIM market. Suppliers are positioning existing and new service offerings around occupant well-being, on the promise it can boost productivity and help to reduce absenteeism. For example, Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) vendor Planon collects and analyses data on lighting levels, thermal comfort and air quality, to provide recommendations to customers for improving occupant comfort. Honeywell has developed the Occupant Vector App to allow workers to provide feedback on thermal comfort levels. Mitie is piloting an Intelligent Buildings Solution which looks to boost worker productivity and concentration by optimising internal environments.

The big challenge for suppliers is often around convincing customers on the value of such services – after all, a lot of REEFIM software has been sold on the basis it can cut business costs (e.g. lower spend on leases or energy bills) rather than boosting productivity. It just feels ‘closer to the money’ and easier to prove a causal link. Better quality data on occupant well-being will be the first step in helping suppliers convince customers on their vision. The next step will be suppliers making a firm link between well-being and financial metrics such as productivity, reducing absenteeism and reducing staff attrition. This can be done by suppliers developing real-life proof points around the tangible financial benefits.

For more insights on new market offerings that are helping organisations better manage real estate and facilities – register for our webinar Transitioning To A Digital Workplace With IWMS.