A poorly designed or inefficient office can be detrimental to a company’s bottom line. Not only are outdated offices inefficient. They also lower employee morale and reduce creativity. On the other hand, a smart office can foster collaboration and innovation, all while saving the company money and time.
Downsizing While Upgrading
The offices of the future will likely be smaller than today’s offices. Over the past 50 years, the office floor space per employee has dropped significantly, and that trend will continue as virtual services and IoT make spaces more efficient and transitional.
For instance, smart devices that connect seamlessly with your phone, computer, projector, speakers, and other devices will allow instant access to data and information, eliminating the need for filing cabinets and storage space. Since all your files will be online, you can work from any computer or office in the building, allowing new systems where employees sign up for a hot desk when they’ll be in the office. When they’re out of the office, someone else can use the desk.
This also means that working from home becomes much easier. Most major companies currently offer or are testing work from home solutions, and the proportion of the population working from home is growing. As such, smart offices are adapting to allow for teleconferencing with people via the internet.
Energy Efficiency on the Rise
A smart office is less expensive to operate in the long run. As we’ve already discussed, smart offices require less space, reducing monthly rent payments. However, smart offices also reduce utility payments as well. Sensors in your office can learn your employees’ schedules and customize heating and cooling based on those schedules. The office can also automatically control lights and shut off power draining devices when they’re not in use.
The result is the office becomes a common meeting space for your team that morphs and changes based on how you need to use it. No longer is the office for long hours of silent work or typing. That can now be taken care of from the comfort of a home or coffee shop using telecommuting smart technology. The office of the future is a space for meetings, collaboration, and brainstorming.
Increased security and accessibility
One exciting application of IoT devices in smart offices is the emergence of biometric security and accessibility. While biometrics aren’t new, the ease of integration with a smartphone in order to control access to different parts of the office could prove transformational. You could grant or revoke access to various rooms or computers in the office in real time based on the employee, time of day, or other factors.
This granting of access also applies to conference room reservations or your data server room. You can schedule meetings, maintenance, and control access all from your smartphone. Once inside a meeting room, smart technology could allow the room to reconfigure itself for a presentation, board meeting, conference call, or interview. As a result, smart offices will be more intuitive, letting you focus more on work and less on logistics.