Thirteen Group provides housing and services for more than 70,000 customers across Teesside and other areas of the North East, including North Yorkshire, County Durham, and Tyne and Wear. In July 2017, Erimus Housing, Housing Hartlepool, Tees Valley Housing, Tristar Homes and Thirteen Care and Support joined in partnership to create one strong social purpose business called Thirteen. The organisation now has over 1500 staff, based at their new flagship three-story office in Middlesborough.
The Problem – ‘Right Space Right Place’
Thirteen Group were keen to implement modern workplace technology and maximise desk management and meeting spaces, equipping multiple meeting, collaboration, and open plan desk spaces. They realised they would need guidance to get the best results and were able to get that support from a specialist workplace technology integrator.
Thirteen included the need to explore more agile and flexible working practices as part of a review called ‘Right Space Right Place’. Their motivation was partly getting best value from all office space, but they mainly wanted to engender a culture of choice and trust through how, where and when staff members were able to work. They needed a solution that would enable:
– Desk booking
– Optimisation of desk usage
– Freeing up of empty meeting rooms
– Easy finding of empty desks, colleagues and teams
– Tracking of popular seating areas
– Compatibility with fully height-adjustable workstations
– A ‘one-stop-shop’ solution that would also pick up room booking and visitor/guest
management and link in with both Outlook and Microsoft Teams
The integrator consulted workplace technology experts Ascentae who recommended the GoBright solution, which met the needs of Thirteen Group perfectly. Thirteen Group now had the benefit of the integrator and Ascentae as ‘future workplace’ experts, and the solution manufacturers, GoBright. This team was able to offer pragmatic and professional advice based on their expert knowledge of the market and the product.
Maximising space and resources
GoBright challenged the detail of the brief where relevant, ensuring Thirteen Group didn’t waste money on things that were not yet needed, adding real value during the development phase.
Thirteen Group originally had concerns that managing such a large level of change across the organisation would be difficult however, with GoBright, the implementation went very smoothly as the booking systems and the reporting systems delivered exactly what was needed. The analytics capability also provided hard data on how the implementation challenges were being met.
GoBright workplace management
Due to an ongoing building refurbishment, site visits were limited and the initial consultation was done solely from site plans and floor drawings. The requirement was for a very specific set of desk and room booking functionality.
Whilst the features of several booking system providers were reviewed, the only one that could provide all the deliverables was GoBright. Being new to the UK market and with no previous UK installation to reference it took a lot of trust from Thirteen Group to be confident in the recommendation of GoBright. Ascentae advised Thirteen Group fly out to GoBright in the Netherlands to see the solutions first hand and the visit confirmed that this was the right product for them.
Maximised workplace utilisation
The GoBright solution has several unique features making it the perfect fit. These include a self- service visitor registration system, room booking panels and multifunction desk connect modules with status LED’s indicating their current availability state. The management and reporting platform provides real-time and historic booking and utilisation data, complemented by under desk occupancy sensors and an Outlook based booking system – all of which provide vital information on workplace utilisation.
A 10-inch interactive screen is used at the entry point to the building. Visitors register their arrival, have their photograph automatically taken and are issued with a photo ID visitor badge. The system then notifies their host of their arrival. All this improves the visitor experience and free’s up resources so staff can concentrate on other vital work.
Visitors and staff are then directed around the building using a series of strategically placed way finding LCD screens. These show real-time room and desk utilisation information allowing staff and visitors to easily and quickly find their intended destination or free workspace.
Monitoring and review
The reporting and management platform allows Thirteen Group to regularly monitor and review workspace usage, improving access to workspaces that are more in demand and providing greater workplace agility. Importantly, actively monitoring user visits and workspace use allows Thirteen Group to maintain an accurate record of who has used which space.
The resulting facility provides a cutting-edge workplace environment with extensive meeting and collaboration facilities that are accessible via GoBright’s highly effective room and desk booking system.