Many businesses across the globe are making the shift towards smart offices.
This involves the introduction of smart features that control aspects of the working environment. These include temperature, humidity, and light.
They also facilitate the automation of smart devices. Modern technology is leveraged to boost productivity, connectivity, and improve employee satisfaction. There are many benefits to running a smart office.
What is a smart office?
A smart office solution is made up of a suite of technologies that connect to the building, IT infrastructure, and employees.
You’ve probably heard the term, “the internet of things” being thrown around.
The internet of things (IoT) enables the inter-networking of physical devices. This means that devices and software are used to automate many systems with little or no human interaction. IoT is incorporated in smart office solutions.
Energy consumption from both heating and air conditioning are also regulated and analyzed. Energy management systems (EMS) measure energy efficiency and analyze data for optimum energy use. Other applications in a smart office include video-conferencing and better connectivity between staff.
The global smart office market is forecast for significant growth in the next five years.
What are the benefits of running a smart office?
There are several ways to upgrade to a smart office, and different smart features you can introduce.
Here is an overview of the main benefits of running a smart office with examples of some of the technologies available.
By implementing a smart office solution you’ll be able to increase employee productivity.
With technologies such as meeting room booking apps and location-responsive workplace apps, the working day is automated and simplified. Menial tasks are taken care of efficiently and employees can focus their time on more pressing things.
With state-of-the-art technology making their lives easier, your employees are more likely to be less frustrated and more motivated at work. This will increase employee satisfaction and in turn boost their productivity.
Smart office technologies are changing the working environment.
Better connectivity improves collaboration between staff. Employees are in contact all the time and are always able to share and communicate ideas, this helps to boost creativity and teamwork.
Smart technology makes employees feel like they’re finally working in the 21st century. They’re able to collaborate in real-time and connect with clients and other departments easily.
This also makes an attractive working environment and you’re more likely to retain happy members of staff.
Room booking apps can make organizing meetings much simpler, and they link up to cloud-based software such as G Suite.
The technology can also identify no-shows if a meeting room has been booked but nobody turns up, freeing up meeting rooms for other purposes.
Electronic displays, often tablets, are placed at the door of each meeting room. These screens make it easy to book meeting rooms then and there.
The meeting will automatically be updated to the calendar of the staff involved in real-time.
There are smart sensors connected to the network which monitor the temperature and humidity. They also measure CO2 levels and air quality.
You can control your energy bills by monitoring the temperature. The sensors detect any changes in the environment and notify you.
You can figure out where to put that air cooled chiller, and what time certain rooms need more heating.
By monitoring the environment and regulating temperature you will not only save money on your bills but you’ll increase employee productivity.
The working conditions are very important to the wellbeing of your staff. If your staff feel comfortable they are more likely to be productive.
There are several ways in which a smart office can save you money. Three main areas of savings include utilities, real estate, and payroll.
Many lighting control systems can help you save energy automatically.
Occupancy sensors can tell when someone is in the room, so the light automatically turns off if it’s not being used. Heating and cooling regulators keep energy consumption to a minimum as well.
Smart sensors also give feedback to your HVAC system, meaning you’ll be able to optimize your energy spending.
- Real estate
Smart solutions help you get the most out of your office space. A smart office saves you money and creates an environment that dynamically adapts to user movements and space utilization.
Data from smart offices can be used to inform HR and Payroll directly of any training, development, or other issues. This saves both time and money.
Many payroll processes are streamlined and this reduces admin costs. The increase in employee productivity also reduces the need to hire more staff.
Optimize office space
Smart office technology enables managers to analyze the functioning of each room and learn what works best.
It allows you to get the most out of your space, and understand the conditions that make some rooms more popular than others.
The data from the smart software can help you to choose the right configurations, and create an optimum working environment.
By running a smart office you’ll be able to automate certain tasks and streamline others. This will greatly improve the wellbeing of your employees.
Stress is a big concern for employee wellbeing and by implementing smart systems, you’ll be able to give your staff more flexibility and connectivity.
They won’t get as frustrated over menial tasks and will be able to spend more time focussing on their job.
A smart office also facilitates communication between staff and this will help to boost both productivity and morale.
You’ll also be in touch at any point so if they need assistance or have faulty equipment, for example, this can be sorted out much more quickly.
The main advantage of a smart office is convenience. Everything is connected so you and your employees have access through your smartphones and other devices.
Smart offices are also a lot more comfortable. You can optimize working conditions with the click of a button. The tech systems facilitate both employee wellbeing and performance.