In a move that some might call a tad Big-Brother-ish DigitasLBi Boston is attempting to improve its collaborative work process by installing over 120 beacons throughout its office that will track staffer movements in certain locations within the space.
The initiative works by connecting the beacons to a newly launched app. Downloading the app is optional, and it will not gather any personal identification information – only what department they work in, and what level their role is (i.e. analyst, manager, Vice President).
The app pings the corresponding beacon when any staffer is in one of the agency’s conference rooms or collaborative work spaces. Over time, DigitasLBi Boston leadership will use that data to inform its space planning and process. For instance, executives may find that they need more collaborative spaces on certain floors, or maybe, bigger or smaller ones. Or executives might find that certain departments rarely meet together in conference rooms, and prefer other spaces instead.
The app also offers notifications about upcoming office events and provides a list of
meeting areas and maps for each floor.
"We’re committed to being on the forefront of what’s next, and by exploring this for ourselves in such a tangible way, it better prepares us and teaches us so that we can bring the best possible ideas and solutions to our clients," says Norman de Greve, President, DigitasLBi Boston-Detroit.
The idea is to better understand how staffers work together today and how the agency can enable people to do so in the future. Also the beacons are about experimenting with the latest technology and the shop wants to fully understand tools that they might suggest to their clients.
And the app provides utility to employees--it lets users look up the locations of conference rooms on each floor, and lets them opt-in for push notifications of upcoming office events. In the future, they will be able to determine the availability of conference rooms.
"This project is just one of the many ways that we’re committed to staying on the forefront of what’s next," says de Greve. "We have an open call to all our employees about submitting other app ideas that can be used in conjunction with the beacons."For now, just the Boston office of the agency will use the app, which has been dubbed “Unicom.”