Gemeente Alkmaar

The municipality of Alkmaar in North Holland is home to the Dutch centre for energy innovation. The forward-thinking municipal government is on a constant quest to find new solutions to old problems. They applied those principals to a much-needed overhaul of the city offices.

Gemeente Alkmaar
The building is a real eye-catcher in the historic city centre of Alkmaar

In search of radical flexibility

The municipality of Alkmaar was originally housed in a traditional office setup in which everyone had their own dedicated desk – sometimes even several – across three buildings. To achieve their vision of cutting-edge efficiency, they decided to switch to a new way of working, one that made full and flexible use of the space available to them. They moved all departments to a single refurbished office building based on radical flexibility.

Gemeente Alkmaar
The interior has been completely refurbished to facilitate flexible working

The challenge

Before the renovation, they had 1.2 desks per employee. After, they had 0.3 desks per employee. It was a needed change, as their old office complex had quite a few challenges.

Despite having more space, people were always struggling for rooms. Employees would book recurring appointments in meeting rooms, long before the meeting itself was actually confirmed, to ensure they had something booked. Meeting rooms would actually stand empty a good portion of the time, as there were many no-show appointments. Of course, as people caught onto that, the municipal office also started to see double-bookings, when both parties assumed the other was a no-show. It even went so far that the municipality rented external spaces to be sure of an available meeting room.

Gemeente Alkmaar
Every employee can choose out of different types of workplaces to suit their working activity

Partnership with Mapiq

Through Room Suggest, they were able to increase the availability of meeting rooms while reducing the number of actual rooms. The application is easy to use and actually gives the end user a steering role in the process. It hinges on asking the user for their requirements before booking.

Alkmaar used to have a huge misuse of available space. For example, the largest conference room would be taken for a meeting of two people. Filters that specify requirements, such as the number of attendees, help Mapiq nudge schedulers to book the most suitable space for their needs. These filters are the key to room suggestions, the crux of the solution. Any traditional daily booking schedule will have a lot of gaps between the reservations. Room Suggest fills those gaps. If someone searches for a room and there’s not a perfect match for time, duration, number of people and facilities needed, Room Suggest offers the closest match. It makes it easy for employees to find a space for a spur-of-the-moment meeting.

Gemeente Alkmaar meeting screenshot
Employees can use Room Suggest in Mapiq Now to quickly find a space to meet up

The Mapiq effect

By implementing Room Suggest, Alkmaar optimised its space usage and freed 20% of its space. As employees grew to trust the availability of meeting rooms, no-show bookings decreased and productivity increased. Now all employees work in the same building, with more collaboration and impromptu meetings. In addition to increased efficiency, moving to a single footprint significantly reduced facilities costs. It was an effective roll-out with a forward-thinking client.

  • Freed 20% of space
  • Employees grew to trust the availability of meeting rooms
  • No-show bookings decreased.

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