Five Ways Location Services Will Reshape the Workplace

By Tim Vanevenhoven, Blog Contributor

There's no doubt that in today's mobile-first world, great Wi-Fi is an expectation of every employee, customer and partner who walks through your door. Innovative organizations are going beyond great connectivity and leveraging another capability inherent in enterprise-grade wireless networks – and that is location services. Employees are comfortable using location-based apps outside the office to find a good restaurant near them, hail a shared ride, or track down their keys. At Aruba, we're seeing rapid growth of organizations using location for mobile engagement and asset tracking to bring the next level of productivity and innovation into their workplaces.

Here are five trends that we see for how mobile engagement and asset tracking will transform the workplace this year:

  1. Employee-only mobile apps. We're seeing more companies creating internal mobile apps. With these apps, businesses are enabling their employees to access information while they are on the go. To start, these mobile apps put the corporate intranet in the palm of every employee's hand. The next step is to use apps to take the frustration out of common tasks like finding and booking conference rooms. Turn-by-turn directions get employees to the meeting on time. Location sharing enables other employees to find them easily while on campus.
  2. A more efficient use of workspaces. People want to choose where and how they work. With a number of people out of the office on travel or in conference rooms for meetings, many employees don't need a dedicated workspace anymore. We are seeing organizations shifting to hot desking, where the employee reserves a desk for a day or even a few hours. Often times the reservation is done with a mobile app – sometimes just by placing the mobile device on the desired desk! Based on where people are, building lighting and temperature can be automatically adjusted based on occupancy. In addition, location services are making it easier for people to find their way around a sprawling campus or can help find someone at their desk of the day.
  3. High-value asset tracking. In healthcare, we are seeing demand from hospitals that want to track assets like heart rate monitors and infusion pumps using low cost tags and a mobile app. We are also seeing strong growth of asset tracking in other sectors, too, but healthcare definitely has a larger variety of assets to track. With Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) based tags, high-value assets can be easily tracked to ensure they're available when and where they're needed. Better tracking can improve employee productivity, and more timely service can improve patient satisfaction scores such as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).
  4. Location-based analytics for real estate optimization. With real estate cost being second only to employee salaries, companies everywhere are looking to better utilize the real estate they have. In a digital workplace, these decisions can be data-driven. Data from conference room booking systems, hot-desk usage, Wi-Fi usage and mobile app analytics can be used to get the most of this expensive resource. And with clear, reliable data for how and where people work, meet and eat, businesses can make sure that their workplaces fit their needs.
  5. Real-time emergency notifications. Many organizations have emergency notification systems to keep their employees informed if there's a natural disaster like a fire or a hurricane or if there's an active shooter on campus. Increasingly, businesses, education institutions and government agencies are adding real-time mobile app indoor location capabilities to their emergency notification procedures. Alerts can be sent to employee mobile devices and customized based on people's locations, which makes them more useful and powerful.

While this list is not everything that we're seeing, it's what customers are talking about most. Expect to hear more from us about how Aruba can help in these five areas.

Learn more about Aruba's location services.