FlexWhere is useful for both users and management in our hospital
Huib Maclean, Strategic advisor housing
"FlexWhere is an excellent tool for keeping the costs of healthcare housing in check. This app is useful for both users and management in our hospital. Actually for all branches in healthcare, whether it's hospitals, elderly care, care for the disabled or the NHS. Erasmus MC's investment in FlexWhere has already been recouped at least ten times. Until now."
Housing expert Huib Maclean knows what he is talking about, as a strategic advisor to dynamic 24/7 organisations such as NS (the Dutch railroad company) and Erasmus MC. He enjoys optimising the many links within a complete medical village, with over 16,000 employees on 450,000 square metres. Maclean introduced FlexWhere.
“FlexWhere is more usable than our previously used methods”
"I first came into contact with FlexWhere at a conference on flexible working. At that time, we were looking for a good tool for occupancy measurement for our hospital. A robust, yet easy-to-implement system. It soon became clear to me that this app was more usable than our previously used methods such as motion sensors and periodic visual measurements."
“FlexWhere provides us with data so we don't have to invest in expensive inflexible bricks immediately”
With an employer of this size, there is non-stop demand for refurbishments, extensions or customised office furnishings, hence Macleans' focus on measuring occupancy. "With this app, we get good data and reasoning to facilitate renovations or expansions or not. FlexWhere gives us insight into the 'air' that was in the buildings. Such insight limits investment in buildings. Those resources could be better spent on care. After all, bricks don't make anyone better.
"It became clear that of our 4,000 workspaces, 850 are structurally vacant at combined peak times. Suppose you had to build a building with 850 such workspaces, you would lose about 25 million. Of course, there is a big difference between 'downsizing internally' and building an expensive new building."
"The app indicated that certain areas have notable peak and off-peak times, which allowed for a better distribution and allowed us to increase capacity. We currently have 4,000 workstations in the app, but after future renovation and new construction, we will scale up to about 10,000."
“De app gaf aan dat bepaalde ruimtes opmerkelijke piek- en daltijden hebben, waardoor een betere spreiding mogelijk was en we capaciteit konden verhogen. We hebben op dit moment 4.000 werkplekken in de app zitten, maar na toekomstige renovatie en nieuwbouw gaan we opschalen naar ongeveer 10.000.”
“I look forward to FlexWhere going full house here soon”
The decision-making process had to defy various risk analyses and hierarchical layers, from privacy officers, works council or IT departments to the Board of Directors. Maclean: "In the end, everyone saw the point of it. Corona accelerated everything, because everyone realised that we were moving to a fundamentally different situation.
After getting the green light six months ago to create links with other software packages, Erasmus MC is now in a pilot phase with Maclean's own accommodation department. "We are testing the search for available workstations and finding colleagues. I look forward to when FlexWhere goes fully in-house here soon."
In addition to the office areas, work has started on measuring the outpatient clinics. Maclean: "There is still a wealth of information there that can contribute to a more efficient care process. We are far from finished with FlexWhere."
“They do everything they can to come up with solutions”
Maclean: "We feel like royalty. I was sometimes ashamed of myself for the amount of requested actions and separate demands. There were innovation steps in which they sometimes took the lead themselves, only to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion. The people behind FlexWhere have an enormous willingness to optimise the system."
He continues: "The only point for improvement that I can think of is that there was occasionally a question that they, at least at the time, were technically unable to realise. But then they kept doing everything they could to come up with solutions. That's what I like!”
“Introducing FlexWhere was also good for the mental side of employees”
"I can say that we have already paid back FlexWhere many times over. If only because the occupancy measurements enabled us to enter into dialogue with the users. Based on this, we were able to explain very factually that a new building was not necessary for the time being.
Looking beyond the numbers and data, the introduction of the app will also be good for the mental side of employees. "The reduction of a large number of desks created the fear that things would be taken away from employees. For example, that they miss their old familiar base, or wonder where they can find their colleagues in the new situation. This app responds to exactly that," he says. "I expect employee engagement to increase if they can select for themselves the well-equipped desk or workspace they need for the day."