The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major factor in the rise of intelligent offices. As workplaces worldwide were forced to adapt to lockdowns and social distancing guidelines, technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT), and big data analytics have been instrumental in creating safe and productive working environments.
Source: Allied Market Research
According to an Allied Market Research report, the global smart office market is predicted to reach $90.63 billion by 2030 — up from $31.37 billion in 2020.
It’s a market that includes sensors, electronic devices, and versatile cloud-based applications designed to optimize processes and increase workplace efficiency.
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What Is A Smart Office?
Connected devices such as sensors and terminals, for example, allow workers to book spaces in shared desks and meeting rooms online, creating a flexible and dynamic working environment.
Meanwhile, data analytics can reveal insights into how employees interact with their environment and perform tasks, allowing managers to make informed decisions on office real estate management, task optimization, and more.
Examples Of Popular Smart Office Technologies
1. Desk and Room Booking Software
Companies shifting to hybrid working setups can use desk and room booking software to create an orderly environment that allows workers to schedule their time and use facilities in the office.
This way, employees aren’t jockeying for desks, and everyone is guaranteed a seat or room where and when they need it.
These solutions can also maximize workplace utilization, allowing employers to make strategic decisions like relocating to a smaller office or creating specific spaces (due to demand) such as solo pods, huddle rooms, or more shared desks.
2. Visitor Management Systems
Imagine being able to schedule visitor appointments without having to go through the repetitive process of security protocols like visitor registration, issuing guest passes, and manually signing in and out.
Visitor management systems offer a streamlined solution to keeping your offices secure, elevating visitor management beyond the simple registration process. Workers expecting visitors can simply log into a dashboard, enter their guests’ details, and the system automatically generates invitations and guest passes.
Visitor management systems with sensor integrations can even incorporate security and safety factors, such as social distancing, through intuitive wayfinding systems.
3. Connected Sensors
“Smart” sensors (IoT sensors) use machine learning and artificial intelligence to monitor office occupancy and space utilization while also creating opportunities to improve energy efficiency.
These sensors can track desk, building, and room activity and integrate with your workspace management system to make workplace activity and usage visible to all employees and managers.
Meanwhile, motion sensors can function alongside smart lighting and smart thermostats to automatically activate lights and heating/cooling systems, depending on occupancy rates and office activity.
Over to You
Remember, a smart office is only truly “smart” if it serves the needs of your employees. Technology should make life easier for employees and support a seamless hybrid working environment.
Your tech doesn’t have to be earth-shattering — in fact, the sooner your employees get bored and accustomed to using your smart devices, the better. This means they’re doing their job as intended and just work.
Jane Holmes is the Head of Marketing and Communications at Cloudbooking, a workplace management software provider helping companies build human-centric, hybrid workplaces that improve employee experience and workplace utilization.