How data powers sustainability in workspaces

As global temperatures soar past the critical 1.5°C threshold, the push for sustainability is more urgent than ever. The responsibility no longer rests solely on the shoulders of national decision makers, everyone’s actions matter. Facility managers play a crucial role in this effort, tasked with optimising workspace efficiency to reduce carbon footprints. 

One effective tool in their arsenal is the use of sophisticated technology systems for workspace management. It may not seem like the ultimate solution to the global climate crisis, but there is more to this technology than meets the eye.  

These systems do more than just reserve spaces. They gather essential data on how resources are used. This information is pivotal. It is the first step in making informed decisions about workspace management. If we don’t know what’s happening in our offices, we can’t make them more efficient or sustainable. 

So, how exactly does this resource management data help facility managers take steps that lead to meaningful reductions in carbon emissions? 

Reducing energy use

This data plays a pivotal role in enhancing energy efficiency across business operations. By tracking how energy is used—whether for lighting, heating, or cooling—this data can identify wasteful practices that often go unnoticed. For example, lights might remain on in rarely used storage rooms or outdated machinery could be consuming excessive power. These are areas where energy isn’t just being used, but wasted. 

Armed with this information, facility managers can make targeted changes that significantly reduce energy consumption. Turning off lights automatically in unoccupied rooms and updating or replacing energy-hungry equipment can lead to dramatic decreases in power usage. These adjustments lower energy costs and reduce the building’s carbon emissions.  

In addition, facility managers could use a booking system that assigns resources based on search preferences (i.e. desks or rooms of a certain size), similar to how hotels manage room assignments. This method, known as ‘hotelling’, improves the use of space by initially limiting the allocation of desks or meeting rooms to one specific area or floor of a building. Only when that area reaches its capacity threshold does the system begin to allocate resources in another area. 

This way, entire sections of a building can remain closed when not in use. As a result, amenities such as lighting, heating and air conditioning can be turned off in unoccupied areas. This significantly reduces energy consumption. At the same time, it improves the efficiency of facility operations by concentrating usage and reducing wear and tear on equipment that is used less frequently. 

Whatever the approach, each small tweak is a step towards a more sustainable and responsible use of workplace resources. 

Real-time control

Building on this, live monitoring and real-time data collection further refine energy management. Motion and occupancy sensors throughout the premises can make sure that lighting and HVAC systems operate based solely on actual usage, not predetermined schedules. This dynamic adjustment helps facility managers react swiftly to changes and keep energy consumption in line with actual needs. 

With these systems in place, automated, data-driven management replaces the era of manual checks. This not only saves energy but also frees up facility managers to focus on other sustainability initiatives, such as making better use of office space. 

Rethinking office space

Resource management systems precisely monitor the actual usage of office areas, revealing which spaces are consistently unoccupied. For facility managers, identifying these inefficiencies provides critical insight that can inform and support decision-making about downsizing or reconfiguring layouts to better align with actual space needs. For example, discovering that a large wing is rarely occupied could lead to significant energy savings by no longer heating, cooling and keeping the lights on in that area. 

Using this data, facility managers can understand their space needs better. If many desks are often empty, a department or company might move to a smaller office to cut costs on rent and energy. Sometimes, a full move isn’t possible because of leasing terms. In these cases, space sharing with other organisations could be a viable move. Several companies or departments could be using common areas such as meeting rooms, workstations and facilities collaboratively, to reduce overhead costs for all parties involved. 

This method is already working well in the public sector, where different organisations share one building to use resources better and waste less. They use advanced booking systems to manage the space efficiently, so everyone gets what they need without interfering with others. This successful public sector practice could also help private companies become more sustainable and operate more efficiently. 

Smarter resource management

Aside from optimising space, resource management data also supports proactive maintenance, which improves comfort for occupants and lifespan of resources. Sensor-integrated systems are key here. They use various sensors to constantly monitor conditions like temperature, CO2 levels, air quality, humidity and noise. Linking these sensors with building management systems provides a comprehensive data set that is invaluable for making informed decisions.  

For example, early detection of issues, such as increases in humidity that could signal leaks or potential mould growth, allows for immediate remediation that prevents larger, more costly problems. Similarly, identifying areas with consistent pollutant spikes can lead to targeted air quality improvements, reducing potential health risks associated with poor indoor environmental quality. 

Informed by precise usage data, facility managers can take clear steps like replacing old, high-energy appliances with new, efficient ones. This lowers the office’s energy use, reduces operating costs and lessens its environmental impact. Also, the data from resource management systems can show if some resources, such as projectors or meeting rooms, are hardly ever used. This information can help decide whether to move these resources to where they are needed or remove them altogether. 

In contrast, by identifying when and where resources are needed most, facility managers can implement shared resource pools among departments or even between different companies in the same building. This reduces redundancy and waste, making sure that resources like printers, scanners, and meeting rooms are used optimally. Advanced booking systems aid in this process by scheduling resource use according to actual need, further reducing unnecessary consumption and fostering a cooperative, interconnected office environment. 

One small step towards a big change

With the carbon crisis an ever present threat, and sustainability a growing concern in minds worldwide, it is up to organisations to take matters into their own hands. The integration of resource management data plays a key role in this endeavour, enabling facilities to not just function, but thrive by making informed, sustainable choices. 

This data aids facility managers in reducing energy consumption by revealing underused areas suitable for downsizing, repurposing, or sharing. It also informs the replacement of outdated appliances with energy-efficient models. This reduces energy demand and operational costs, improves resource use and, crucially, shrinks the carbon footprint. 

Implementing these small, localised changes might seem trivial but they represent significant steps towards better management of global resources. It is how organisations can monitor their environmental impact more accurately and adopt measures that contribute substantively to sustainability goals. 

All it takes is one small step to move towards a more sustainable and efficient future. 

Explore how else Matrix Booking can help you

Employees can search for desks in any of your buildings or shared hubs, find colleagues, make bookings for their team, and more.

Find out more

People can find rooms that meet their needs, including location, facilities, capacity, and accessibility. Add equipment, catering, and other essentials. 

Find out more

Safely manage visitors across your sites, ensure people are welcomed when they arrive, and that they’re aware of your health and safety procedures.

Find out more

Powerful reports help you keep track of occupancy levels, usage trends, and more, so that you can continually optimise your estates. 

Find out more

Book your demo today

"*" indicates required fields

Please complete all fields below:
Marketing consent (optional)
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Matrix Booking uses the information provided to contact you about relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, please read our Privacy Policy