Smart-Offices are also known as ‘Responsive Workplaces’ or ‘Digital Workplaces’. The terms refer to spaces that feature technology embedded in aspects of the physical environment, said components are connected & can be controlled remotely. Ideally a Smart-Office is flexible with a high level of adaptability with the purpose of convenience, efficiency, & cost-saving.
Although a Smart-Office doesn’t need conform to a rigid singular definition. Each workplace will take their personalized needs into consideration to decide what technology adds value.
The idea is to connect all the systems into one unified system. It should be able to adapt and respond to contexts and user needs offering improvements to make the lives of users easier and to increase the quality of work accomplished from within it.
The goal is to achieve synergy between the following:
- Energy Efficiencies
- Safety & Security
What could a Smart-Office do?
- Smart-Offices focus on maximising efficiency in the following key areas.
- Integrated Systems
- Hundreds of innovations in software allow integration to be expansive.
- Standardized Interfaces
- Physical Space & Material Items
- Space divided as needed with mobile equipment
- Space requirements tracked and reported
- Expensive equipment’s movement tracked with sensors
- Energy Consumption
- Sensors detect motion and automatically adjust light
- Thermostats detect presence and regulate temperature
What’s Inside a Smart-Office?
A smart-office will certainly include: Modularity: Modularity allows applications to be divided into modules based on function and then combined with modules that provide similar function. As business needs grow and change or become more complex – new features can be added with functionality developed and programmed in separate modules. This allows the system to retain a high degree of flexibility while expanding to provide specialized function.
Outside the Box
While a Smart-Office redefines what is possible between the walls at work. This exact same technology can be utilized to develop the idea of workplace. Never mind the box, with smart technology working remotely is becoming more common; even the term “Digital Nomad” has emerged. Work from home, your favourite coffee shop, the park to a different country or continent. With enhanced security and connectivity this becomes entirely possible.
Even bosses who might be initially wary regarding remote location work for employees can gain peace of mind as emerging technology can allow for supervision and freedom to coexist.
Barriers to Progress
While more and more companies outside Silicon Valley are embracing technological advances there are still some barriers to progress including the main one of slow adoption. Slow adoption of new technologies is influenced by these things:
The total cost of investment acquiring emerging technology is unfortunately too expensive for some. However, hardware prices are dropping, making the option more viable in the future.
Belief in Benefits
Before Smart-Office’s become the norm, a shift at the executive level needs to take place. Investment into adopting Smart-Office tech & systems will likely require more case-studies & published reports of quantifiable benefits. The ROI needs to be clear, otherwise it shall just seem ‘gimmicky’.
Understanding the potential of this tech is important. A Smart-Office is not just about being savvy. It is about heightening productivity from staff, achieving staff and client satisfaction and confidence, and maximizing profit by means of efficiency.