Greatwaves: helping with social distancing at the office

Now that people are slowly returning to the office, one of the biggest challenges for companies is helping to facilitate social distancing. Together with Tomorrowmen and Spark Narrowcasting, Startup in Residence alumnus Greatwaves developed a free tool to keep track of how crowded offices are in real time. The first version is now live at the shared office building of Tomorrowmen, TRGR and Chordify.
Whether you want to find an empty room for a meeting or check if it’s better to keep working from home before you leave, the real time dashboard shows you how many people are currently working at the office and which floors, spaces and offices are crowded. “We’ve noticed the companies we work with have a difficult time finding the right balance in providing a safe work environment, so we wanted to help by providing them with a free and easy to use tool”, Greatwaves founder Wouter Zijlstra explains.


Monitoring through Wi-Fi

Greatwaves sets up and maintains Wi-Fi networks for companies and office buildings and their routers can monitor how many devices are connected to individual access points. “With a couple of smart tricks and calculations, our dashboard can determine how many people are working in a certain area, based on the number of connected devices like phones or laptops”, Wouter says. “We made sure this is all completely anonymous and privacy is guaranteed. This tool is meant to give people a sense of safety and if they feel like their devices are being monitored, that would completely defeat the purpose.”

“The bigger the building, the more interesting the dashboard becomes”, Wouter continues. “You can determine which offices need extra cleaning for example, or compare individual departments or floors. It’s really cool to be able to work together with companies like Tomorrowmen and Spark Narrowcasting to develop something that has real value and ultimately makes people feel safer to go back to work.”