IoT devices and data are unlocking entirely new opportunities for companies to improve the environment and workspace for employees.
Occupancy sensors, footfall monitoring, temperature, air quality sensors and other IoT technologies gather data that can then be used to create optimized work environments for your most valuable assets: your employees.
When the workplace is designed based on data, companies benefit in a myriad of ways - higher performing employees, better recruiting, a more profitable organization, and a deeply rooted competitive edge.
Organizations are using IoT data and other technologies to inform their workspace designs. Here’s how they’re doing it:
Smart Space Utilization
Digital technology is upending old norms of workspace design. Instead of traditional office layouts, companies are embracing innovative space designs like studios, incubators, pop-ups, hoteling, and hot desking. The age-old, traditional cubicles and offices don’t offer the mobility and flow of shared spaces and business amenities that these new workspaces can.
By collecting IoT data using sensors and smart office devices, large enterprises have information about their space utilization at their fingertips like never before. This better use of workspace translates into energy cost savings, increased employee productivity, and better use of resources.
Real-time conference room data
In larger office environments, conference rooms are notoriously overbooked or inadvertently underbooked. It’s not uncommon for small groups to occupy large conference rooms or for teams to cancel meetings but forget to cancel conference room reservations on meeting calendars.
Many businesses solve these workspace challenges through IoT data. This makes it possible to streamline finding and booking conference rooms and other shared spaces. By integrating this data into employee calendars, the entire workforce knows when and how long a room or workspace is occupied or available - all in real-time.
IoT data can also be used to predict the schedules and timing for hot-desking, which is when employees use a desk or workspace only as needed. While traditional desk assignments tag one person to one desk, hot desking allows multiple employees, who are in the office on different schedules, to share the same desk. This is another effective way to maximize every square foot of space.
Smart offices can now be designed around unassigned hot desk areas rather than keeping traditional cubicles that waste energy and space. In today’s wireless environments where employees can move freely about their offices with laptops and mobile devices, such workspace flexibility is increasingly beneficial to both employees and the organization.
Redesigned Meeting Spaces
The design of meeting spaces has remained largely unchanged for decades. But remote collaboration technology, such as smartboards and virtual reality, is disrupting the status quo.
A small conference room with a smartboard makes it’s possible to collaborate with large, remote teams as if everyone were in the same room because interactions occur on the same screen. This negates the need for large conference rooms or expensive travel when teams need to put their heads together on a big project.
With virtual reality (VR), global meeting participants feel as if they are in the same virtual room. It’s so immersive that clients can even participate in the latest demos as if the product was right in front of them.
As virtual reality becomes more commonplace, organizations will rethink their conference rooms and meeting spaces. The configurations of these work areas will no longer have to be centered around a front-facing screen. In fact, many smart offices will be able to reduce costs by eliminating their less-used meeting spaces altogether.
The most effective employees are the ones who communicate, including communicating with colleagues from other departments. To foster such colleague-to-colleague interaction, it’s important for organizations to understand where their employees gather the most and who collaborates with whom.
Office designers can collect this information using IoT sensors and mobile devices. The data can then be used to reconfigure the workspace as needed, such as placing certain departments next to each other, to ensure the right interactions keep happening.
A Client-Centric Experience
Some organizations are now using IoT sensors to enable clients to have a customized experience onsite - one where the environment fits the clients’ individual needs.
- Security: Rather than a security guard checking identification as guests enter the building, security cameras recognize guests through facial recognition.
- Lobbies and wayfinding: Instead of a traditional lobby setup with a receptionist, a customer-centric lobby can have branded digital displays or augmented reality (AR) maps for wayfinding, interactions, and more.
- Environment controls: IoT allows lighting and temperatures to adjust in particular zones, depending on user needs, foot traffic, etc.
The Employee-Centric Workspace
Office space, meeting rooms, and scheduling improvements aren’t the only ways to boost employee performance and attract top talent.
- Smart devices: Smart devices are no longer limited to tablets and phones. Printers are getting smarter and can order their own ink when running low. Even coffee makers can know the beverage preferences of each employee.
- Smart workstations: Smart desks throughout the facility recognize employees and can increase or decrease in height per the employee needs. Chairs also self-adjust to meet the unique ergonomic preferences of each employee.
- Wayfinding: New employees have an easier time acclimating in a smart office. Wayfinding throughout the facility shows employees where they are, where they need to go, and even provide turn-by-turn directions to get there.
Smart Workspace Designs Are the Future
Smart workspaces with IoT integrations are here to stay - from space utilization to redesigned meeting rooms to smart workstations. As the demand for smart workspaces increases, it will become even more important to keep up to remain competitive and retain top talent.
To learn how the latest workspace innovations can benefit your company, contact WRLD today.