Workplaces that do not mold themselves according to employee needs are coming to an end. With rapid transitions, we are entering the era of ‘Smart Office.’
When we talk about a modern office, we generally think of things like open spaces, greenery, natural lighting, or up to date furniture. It’s true, but the physical work environment isn’t enough for a modern office to be called smart.
What Is A Smart Office?
A Smart Office is a high-tech hybrid workplace with a human touch. Designed to improve the overall office space with the best management tools, they make employees work smarter, better, and faster.
Companies nowadays keep a secure attachment with high-tech advancement in one form or another. It has changed the concept of employee experience with creative workplace options.
According to a latest research report on the market, the size of the smart office market is growing fast. By 2025, its global market size is projected to hit USD 57.05 billion. It is also expected to generate 13.2% CAGR during the projected time frame (from 2017 to 2025.)
Benefits Of A Smart Office
A smart office can prove to be a powerful option with visible benefits in more than one aspect of the office. Some of the top benefits that it will generate are below.
Poor office relationships result in poor performances and businesses. A smart office helps in smooth communication with collaborating, chatting and file-sharing tools. It initiates a problem-free association where people and ideas interact to form a ground of innovation.
Do not underestimate the value of employee behaviors in a smart office. Help your colleagues understand how to conduct in a smart working environment.
Employees often get stressed looking for a better work space in their office, losing morale and productivity.
Research says companies who invest heavily in new infrastructure benefits from increased productivity and overall growth. Better equipment and devices enable secure processing, monitoring, and smooth running of the business.
Improves Employee Retention
A smart office solution boosts a positive work culture promoting harmony among the employees. It connects every individual as a team with a better flow of communication, leading to lower employee retention.
Simplifies Work Scheduling
With advanced technology, you can create simplified work schedules for employees. It comes up with easy sharing of documents, files, and others among the employees. It makes the entire process of work management easier.
Improve Employee Engagement
Employees who are most satisfied with their workplace are also the most engaged. They come to work energized and are ready to generate ideas to make useful progress each day.
The foundation of a smart office is the use of the Internet of Things (IoT). It is an intelligent ecosystem that manages various working conditions with the help of several connected devices.
IoT in the smart office can be divided into three main categories. These are- infrastructure, repurposed intelligent home devices, and business-specific IoT devices.
The following technologies are some of its integral components that help control almost everything.
7 Smart Office Options That Makes Work Life Easier
1. Smart Desks And Conference/ Meeting Rooms
Smart desks enhance various aspects of the employees’ amenity, well being, and productivity. Depending on its system, it provides appropriate conditions for a good sit-stand posture.
It keeps tracks of open and reserved desk spaces, which can be searched and reserved by an online booking platform. It helps in finding employees who are in different parts of the office building, making communication easier. It will again depend on the privacy mode selected by the employees.
Similarly, smart conference rooms can make employee meetings or video conferencing pretty much more comfortable. One can easily monitor the usage of these shared office spaces and fasten the booking procedure.
Dealing with inflexible spaces? It's not just the architect's fault! May you didn't go for a preliminary analysis before deciding on your workspace design . There is no one common recipe that is valid for everybody, and each organization must create its own standard. Therefore, it is only possible to provide designers with a valid briefing by studying employee work styles, evaluating participation and sharing objectives.
In case, if you are wondering how smart your office desks can get, watch this short video from GiGadgets-
2. Modern Video Monitoring
Generally used for preventing internal theft or for other security purposes, smart offices make pervasive use of camera technology. It helps to analyze the usage of office spaces with different angle views, light, and zoom features.
The split-screen feature helps to monitor different locations at a time from just a computer or a smartphone. Stored in the cloud, these images or any client data can later be downloaded if need arises.
In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. – Mary Poppins
Gamification has been playing a significant role in smart companies for years now. Be it for sales, onboarding, or other processes; companies now know the importance of designing their games right.
Many times we can see gamification efforts fall flat because of the ‘forced fun’ factor. However, smart managers know how to create the best opportunities with intelligent tools.
Gamified apps keep sensors that help their users know their efficiency. It gives employees a better sense of self while at work. Moreover, it can also drive in motivating rewards and recognition opportunities across the office.
Vantage Circle gives employees a specialized health program with its app Vantage Fit. It is a customizable fitness application that promotes workplace health and wellness with gamification. Winners can redeem their fitness points directly in the app.
4. Intelligent Climate And Lighting Control
When someone likes it cold, others like it hot. Companies find it hard to please every employee. But smart technologies have made it easier than before. Employees can now have climate control in the office, saving expenses and energy.
Intelligent climate control systems detect preferences, usage patterns, and regulate temperature accordingly. It is proven to have significantly improved employee morale and productivity. Several companies offer smart thermostats, controlled with web browsers or mobile apps
Similarly, one can manage control over windows, doors and lights with just a tap on the screen.
5. Indoor Maps
It serves as tour guides inside office buildings. Employees or visitors can use indoor maps to navigate office floors. It helps them easily find their way out with their smartphones. One can search for conference rooms, halls, or any other office space and get the perfect direction to their destination.
6. Cloud Based Rewards And Recognition Program
Cloud based tools do a lot more than recognition. It is changing the way employees give, receive and observe rewards and recognition. These platforms are quick to implement, real time and can be fully customised to fit your specific needs.
At Vantage Circle, we help to engage and encourage employees through privileges, rewards, and engagement programmes. Currently, it is one of the leading cloud-based employee engagement platform for many top companies across different products and services.
7. Voice Control
The use of voice control doesn’t only make things easier but also sophisticated. The makers of digital assistants are getting more into commercial uses these days.
Like we already have Alexa for Business- the most well-defined office assistant. Be it booking the conference room, starting a phone call, or sending an email, Alexa for business does it all with voice commands.
The accuracy of such voice technology is exceptional, resulting in enhanced productivity and resource utilization.
Of course, the list of smart office features doesn’t end here. With the next leap in technology, it is going to be the most significant trend in the future of work.
Some Frequently Asked Questions About A Smart Office
- How to make a smooth transition from a traditional to a smart office?
Transitions are often met with challenges, whether big or small. The transition to the smart office, too, has its challenge that is easy to overcome. So here are a few tips to help you migrate smoothly-
- If you have a tight budget, use the existing resources to transition. You can start introducing technology into your company slowly to keep your costs under control.
- Most smart solutions allow employees to work from anywhere in the world by using cloud services. It raises the possibility of privacy violations, or one may easily fall victim to a cyber-attack. Thus it is essential to track their performance inside and outside the office premises and make them aware of it. By implementing blockchain technology, you can also restrict access to social media through office gadgets.
- Make use of popular and cost effective workplace trend that many progressive companies are adopting. Hot desking apps are one of them.
- What are Hot desking apps?
One of the basics of every smart office is hot desking. Organizations are now using mobile-friendly hot desking applications that allow employees to reserve workspace remotely, whenever they want.
- Who are the major Smart Office service providers in the market?
ABB Ltd., Avnet Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Crestron Electronics Inc., Honeywell International Inc., Johnson Controls International Plc, Schneider Electric SE, Siemens AG, Signify NV, and United Technologies Corp. are some of the major market participants for Smart Office Solutions.
Read Technavio's latest market research report titled Global Smart Office Solutions Market 2020-2024.
- What is a smart remote office?
Smart Remote Office offers your employees safe access to your network from anywhere. They can work from home or work on the road by effortlessly connecting to your Virtual Private Network (VPN), just like they were linked back at the office via ethernet cable. Its end-to-end encryption provides robust security no matter where your employees set up their virtual workplace.
So, what amazing things do you expect to come up in the smart office technology? Do let us know in the comments section!