SocGen, Natixis Use Under-Desk Sensors as Office Return Ramps Up
(Bloomberg) -- Workers returning to the Paris offices at two of the biggest French banks are set to find something new under the desks.
Societe Generale SA and Natixis are placing sensors under work stations, using technology similar to that in parking lots to manage office occupancy under new flexible work plans.
The sensors have been installed in offices being adapted to the banks’ flex office policies, in which bankers no longer have their own desks, according to spokespeople for the two lenders. The aim is to allow staff to see on an app which desks are free when they come to the office.
Such sensors are typically used in car parks to detect the presence of vehicles on parking spots, and track the lots’ occupancy rate.
At BPCE, the private banking group that took Natixis SA private in July, the setup is being tested in some buildings at its headquarters, and will be deployed in the group’s central operations facilities in the Paris area.
The sensors don’t collect any data on staff, including whether an employee leaves their desk temporarily, according to the banks.
French lenders are offering flexible work arrangements as their staff seek a better balance between work and their personal lives after the pandemic. SocGen, BNP Paribas SA and HSBC Holdings Plc have all set long term work-from-home plans, allowing some bankers to work part of the week outside the office.
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