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article imageBarclays using sensors in workplace as cost-cutting measure

By Karen Graham     Aug 19, 2017 in Technology
London - Barclays PLC has installed sensors in their offices in London to track how often bankers are at their desks. The devices called OccupEye, are installed under desks and use heat and motion to track office efficiency.
When employees at Barclays discovered the black boxes strapped to the underside of their desks, office managers had to field a lot of questions. And the first question that would naturally come to anyone's mind is "Am I being watched," and "Why?"
Barclays used a “phased rollout” of the devices, and Barclays and the Unite union staff were notified before the sensors were installed, although a specific memo was not sent out, according to spokesman Tom Hoskin, reports Bloomberg.
File photo: While offices can be built in almost any location and in almost any building  some moder...
File photo: While offices can be built in almost any location and in almost any building, some modern requirements for offices make this more difficult.
Danny Choo (CC BY-SA 2.0)
“The sensors aren’t monitoring people or their productivity; they are assessing office space usage,” the bank said in an emailed statement. “This sort of analysis helps us to reduce costs, for example, managing energy consumption, or identifying opportunities to further adopt flexible work environments.”
FinExtra is reporting the bank says the "hot desking" is instead all about identifying possible ways to cut costs through optimized work space or reduced energy consumption. This is necessary in today's business world as companies reassess their office space footprint.
FinExtra added that Unite union officials say they will be monitoring the situation to make sure the devices are not being used to spy on employees. However, Lloyds is using similar devices and the company says it has "satisfied" customers in mainland Europe, the USA, Australia, and the Middle East.
The OccupEye sensor package.
CC License: Attrition  no deriv.
The OccupEye sensor package. CC License: Attrition, no deriv.
How the OccupEye sensor works
The battery-powered OccupEye sensors use passive data collection technology (PIR) and are triggered by both heat and motion in tracking real-time 1:1 space utilization. Network receivers manage the flow of data between individual OccupEye sensors and the cloud-based analytics system.
Each receiver has the capacity to handle data from up to 511 individual sensors, with built-in ‘handshake’ technology. And if enough receivers are in use, the information can bridge buildings across sites, counties, countries or even continents. Receivers can be connected to any RJ45 Ethernet socket.
OccupEye sensors are made by Blackburn, U.K.-based Cad-Capture, are designed and built specifically to help companies accurately and efficiently monitor workspace utilization in today’s office environment, showing managers which workstations are not being used and providing an analysis of usage trends.
More about Barclays, OccupEye, Workplace, Sensors, heat and motion
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