Smart office technology is changing the way we work and how our office space is used.
Nowadays, everything needs to be performed faster, more efficiently and with higher quality than ever before. Smart technologies, specifically the internet of things (IoT) incorporate innovative and intelligent technologies to make people – and our office space - perform better.
Smart office refers to a variety of solutions that seek to improve how we manage office space, how productive we can be when working in it, and how we manage collaboration on site. But what are the key benefits with adapting a smart office solution? And why should it be considered in 2022?
What is a smart office?
Let’s start with the basic question, what is a smart office? A smart office is any type of office that uses modern and advanced technology to improve the usage, management, and maintenance of an office space. For example, a smart office often uses advanced sensor technology to analyze office usage in order to improve the space for employees. Other types of sensors can include climate sensors to control the temperature in a room, light sensor to automatically turn off lights when a room is vacated or sensors that automatically open doors when someone approaches.
Smart office technology also entails technical solutions for connectivity and collaboration, such as attendance calendars for employees to plan their trips to the office, automatic desk bookings when someone docs their computer to a workspace or smart room booking solutions that can select the most suitable meeting room for a team based on specific criteria. Moreover, smart office can also be used in the form of interactive office maps that always shows the current availability of each office resource, while simultaneously enabling effective wayfinding.
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In summary, A smart office incorporates a variety of workplace technologies that aim to improve the overall workflow within an office, and at the same time keeping the office environment efficient and optimized dependent on employee usage. Common tools that are incorporated in smart buildings usually include:
- Meeting Room Booking Systems
- Hot Desking software
- Sensor technology to measure office usage
- Interactive Floorplans
- Presence sensors and Busy Lights for Drop-in rooms
- Automatic Desk Check-in Functionality
All of these tools combined makes sure that an office stays efficient and optimized in a world that puts increasing pressure on office optimization.
The Key Benefits of a Smart Office
Smart office technology has been proven to give a large variety of benefits when adapted to an office space. In the era of flexible working and hybrid work models, Smart office solutions will play an important part in mitigating the logistical problems that often follow with a more hybrid workforce.
What companies can gain from a Hybrid Workplace model
1. Improved Efficiency and Productivity
Repetitive and mundane tasks can nowadays be almost completely managed by smart technological solutions, leaving employees to focus on the high-value tasks that they are hired to do. Minimizing the small and time-consuming tasks that employees need to do in order to get the important tasks going, such as booking meeting rooms, have their teams sit together or trying to find each other around in the office, have great benefits to both the individual employee and the company at large.
How to maximize efficiency in the Hybrid workplace
2. Customization after individual needs
The use of Smart office solutions gives customization opportunities that is impossible to achieve using traditional office management. Smart office technology can for example allow employees to select the temperature they prefer in a meeting room, or the brightness of the lights. Enabling workspace booking also allows employees to choose for themselves where they want to work, giving them the opportunity to customize and control their work environment. Consequently, a smart office gives employees the opportunity to affect their work environment like they have never been able to do before.
3. Improved collaboration
The benefits of Smart office technology are most prominent when it comes to collaboration, both on-site and remote. This can include online collaboration tools, such as video conferencing system and communication systems that allow employees to collaborate from different locations, but also booking tools and attendance calendars for the office itself. Smart office technology is most commonly used to give employees opportunities to book resources together with colleagues, to enable effective colleague finding within to office or to show employees planned office attendance ahead so teams can be in the office together.
Especially now when the office will be the most important place for employee retention, smart office solutions can greatly enhance the relationship between employees and the company at large, motivating them to come to the office more when collaboration can occur seamlessly. Hybrid work is in many ways dependent on the smart office solutions implemented.
How smart office solutions can enhance the employee experience
4. Employee autonomy and control
Adapting a hybrid work model together with smart office solutions gives employees well-deserved control over their own schedules and work-life balance. Not only choosing where you work and when, but also having the ability to choose where in the office, with who and in what rooms creates an atmosphere of trust between management and employees. Greater autonomy and control have over time shown to increase both happiness and productivity within the workforce.
Top Benefits of adopting a hybrid workplace model
5. Right-sized office space
It comes to no surprise that office spaces are starting to change, slowly evolving into spaces of collaboration instead of individual work. Smart sensor technology can be used to measure the usage of every single office resource throughout the day to make strategic decisions
about how the office space should change to cater to the new needs of the employees.
The shift from centralized to decentralized working in the era of flexibility also presents real opportunities for substantial cost savings. It is expected that average office utilization will settle around 40% on average when hybrid work is fully adapted, leaving large chunks of space unused. Only by measuring the actual usage can a business confidently reduce the right office space, and in turn save money on their facility costs.
Why is space management important for an office?
8. Clear space overview and Supervision
Last but certainly not least, Smart office solutions, especially interactive floorplans, gives facility manages an unbeatable overview of their office and all resources within it. Having a clear overview greatly enhances the everyday work of maintaining and improving the office space to increase employee satisfaction. As an example, interactive floorplans often include fault reporting, showing issues directly on the map to alert other employees about the issue, but also to give maintenance personnel a clear overview of what needs to be done during the workday. It is estimated that a smart office solution of this kind can greatly reduce maintenance costs and worktime.
The Hybrid Office, A Revolution That Requires Space Management Tools
Are you ready to make your office smart?
There is a variety of solutions in the market today that can make you office space more efficient and productive. I you want more information; you can contact our smart office solution experts for a free consultation.
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Flowscape provides a comprehensive space management solution specifically designed to manage hybrid work schedules.