April 30, 2018

Smart office for Smart employees!

Synopsis: From office automation tools, we are now moving forward to smart office concept. Automatic lighting system and smart office furniture are now available to choose, for companies whose goal is to be energy efficient and employee friendly. The modern office concept boasts of benefits like time, cost and energy saving.

Offices have been using tools to make their tasks at work easy and automated for more than a decade now. Cloud computing, software packages and many such office automation tools have already become a standard in offices. But, has the work place environment also evolved equally?

Lot of meetings are held virtually these days with the help of presentations and conference calls. But, logistically, how user friendly are these? We struggle to get connected and lose about 10-15% of the meeting time. Smart office concept is a solution to such logistic issues. The different technologies involved in a conference call is now being integrated into a single complete solution. The rooms are set up to connect to the call automatically as the employees walk into the conference rooms.

Another major issue being faced by offices is the issue of energy consumption. Employers have been taking steps to create awareness among employees about the issue, like asking them to switch off equipment when they leave the room. But, how effective have these awareness campaigns been? Definitely, not enough to show significant reduction in energy utilization. Smart office concept would attack the problem at its root.  Smart sensors can be used to monitor and control the use of energy. Self-adjusting heating and lighting systems based on outside weather and number of people in the office space can make offices energy efficient as well as more comfortable.

Optimizing workplace utilization has also become an area of interest lately. Companies have moved to concepts like shared workstations, bring your own device (BYOD), work from home to ensure smaller workplace and more productive employees. Smart workplace concept is also contributing towards this with the help of activity and motion sensors placed strategically to collect data and analyse placement of workstations and other office utilities. Smart desks enable users to work in sitting or standing position or alternate between the two to remain alert and productive as well as provide ergonomic benefits.

Internet of things (IoT) office solutions connects almost everything in an office space to the internet. From office pantry equipment to furniture to printers and computers, everything is connected through IoT and controlled remotely.

Cost is believed to be a factor that is holding back the adoption of smart office concept. But, it is quite evident that although the cost of adoption may be high but once adopted, it leads to significant savings in cost and time in the long run.

Conclusion is that, IoT office solutions are concepts of the present. The faster it is adopted by employees, the better it is for them. It will foster their employees to work smarter rather than work harder.