Heading into 2021, companies are looking into making their office spaces more desirable.
Implementing smart devices can help in so many ways. For example:
- Analytics: data on how the employees use the office space can help the company improve layout, design, and overall functionality.
- Sustainability: some smart devices monitor, analyze, and control resources usage.
- Connectivity: most employees want to continue working from home at least part of the time once offices reopen.
- Desirability: Not only do most employees prefer smart offices, smart spaces are also more attractive for companies looking to lease office space.
What is a smart workspace?
Let’s break it down. Why is a smartphone called a smartphone? Smart devices connect to external signals, especially the internet, to provide personalized services. For example, Siri on an iPhone is a virtual assistant that uses an internet connection to understand and respond to you.
A smart workspace is full of devices that communicate with the internet or each other. These devices gather statistics and information that help technology help you.
The keyword is customization. Smart technology adapts and responds to you.
Technology that might be found in a smart office includes:
- Smart desks and conference meeting rooms
- Intelligent climate and lighting controls
- Indoor maps with room booking
- Voice-controlled devices
Since the breakout of COVID-19 in 2020, companies have been looking for ways to make their work environments more adaptable. There’s no easier way than re-programming smart devices to accommodate changing rules, restrictions, and practices.
For example, with Joan’s desk booking app, managers can block off desks so they’re not bookable from the app. When employees go back to work, desks that are too close to another desk will not be bookable, helping the office adhere to social distancing rules.
Now that smart devices are becoming the norm for some offices, let’s have a look at why.
Just as workspaces should flow and adapt, helping instead of restricting, so should the technology. Something as simple as a printer that communicates with your smartphone can make a huge difference.
Looking into 2021, many companies will have employees working from home, even after the pandemic threat lessens. Studies show that, moving forward, 72 percent of employees want to work from home part of the week.
Smart devices help employees stay on track. Just think: from a smartphone, employees can study or fine-tune their presentations before arriving at the office. By using two-step authenticators, companies can protect their privacy, allowing employees to work from wherever they want.
Back in the 1990’s, employees were confined to the office because of desktop computers and desktop phones. Now, employees can take their laptops to and from the office as they please and stay up to date with emails and phone calls on the fly.
Autonomy is the ability of employees to control their workspace. Employees who have a say in how they work and how their work environment functions are happier on the job. Being able to simply raise a desk to standing level helps employees feel worthwhile and comfortable being in the office.
Now that companies are implementing work-from-home policies, they need to give their employees a reason to come into the office. Letting them control their workspaces through smart devices goes a long way toward employee autonomy.
If you Google articles about smart offices, nearly all of them mention analytics. Key post-COVID analytics include meeting room analytics and occupancy analytics. Luckily, Joan offers these key tools through the meeting room booking system and desk booking app combined.
Joan’s meeting room booking system has a full analytics view that shows managers:
- Room utilization rates
- The number of meetings and meeting hours
- Weekly meeting patterns
- Popular rooms analytics
- Underperforming rooms statistics
- Who books the most meetings
- How many meeting are ghost meetings/no-shows
Joan Desk Booking App allows you to see who is at the office right now, who booked what table at which time, when do people like to come to the office and more.
Statistics such as these can help companies manage social distancing, room occupancy, and office traffic.
Smart devices such as adaptable lighting and smart blinds are designed to improve office sustainability. Automatic water faucets were devised to only use the amount of water a user needs and no more.
However, these days, smart devices made for sustainability have more benefits. Automatic blinds and lights help reduce workspace contamination, preventing occupants from handling blind cords or light switches. Automatic water faucets keep employees from touching the sink with dirty hands, helping keep the office virus-free.
Many companies have closed down their office spaces, opting to have a work-from-home company structure from here on. However, some businesses can’t have all of their employees working remotely. Therefore, it’s time to improve the office rather than remove it. Smart technology can help give you the analytics and reactivity your office needs to support its employees.
Joan is a big step towards a smart workplace. Click here and see how it can boost your office efficiency.