There is no denying that Internet of Things (IoT) connected smart devices have become routine place in almost every part of our modern lives. From the likes of smart speakers and connected appliances making our home life a little more effortless, to wearable's and health informatics helping us stay informed about our bodies, the future is looking smart.
It should come as no surprise then that businesses are starting to look towards the cloud and the growing IoT industry to create connected, intelligent workplaces that allow their employees to operate with more creativity, flexibility and freedom than ever before whilst saving money, energy and increasing productivity.
The adoption of new technology in the workplace is a never ending saga, from the latest in personal computing to cloud connectivity, organisations will always be racing against their competition to have the latest systems that help give their employees and business that edge, but to remain competitive it is no longer good enough to give your employees the latest tech, your whole business, including your office buildings, must be well equipped.
In this article, we look at exactly how the next generation of IoT sensors can be integrated into modern office and examine their benefits. So if you are looking for the next competitive edge and are thinking of investing into 'Smart Office' technology, this article is for you.
So what exactly is a Smart Office?
There are many ways to make an officer or workplace smart. Generally the term 'Smart Office' refers to the development and integration of sensors, devices and artificial intelligence into the very fabric of office life.
Now there is no avoiding the fact that adopting IoT technology in the workplace is not as common place as in our homes (not yet at least), but that does not mean it isn't an important and growing emerging market with Grand View Research predicting the global Smart Office market will be worth a staggering £44bn ($57bn) by 2025 with a 13% annual growth.
The greatest advantage of such a fast moving and developing market is the opportunity to develop and introduce new technology that advance the capabilities of modern workplaces to levels never previously considered.
So you now know what IoT means, what a Smart Office is and that, like it or not, Smart Technology will definitely form a critical part of your future at work. I suppose the next thing to think about though is what are the benefits?
The benefits of IoT and how it's shaping the future of offices.
You will already be aware of how much technology has changed people's everyday home life. The unavoidable truth is, IoT technology WILL have the same level of impact on how we work day to day too. Currently, there are 5 predominant ways IoT is being used to influence office working:
Massive amounts of business critical data. The number one objective of IoT technology will always be to collect DATA so that you can make informed decisions and then Automate as much of the response to that data as possible. Data collected from an army of sensors such as climate conditions, lighting levels, personnel presence detection and energy monitoring allow you to track the state of your business in general as well as staff performance, equipment efficiency, etc.
Energy Saving. For many businesses the largest recurring overhead cost, after payroll, is utilities. A modern office building wastes massive amounts of energy and water with no traceable indication of where that waste is going or what is consuming it. IoT smart sensors such as energy meter monitoring, light level monitoring and indoor climate monitoring give you the data you need to minimise consumption by only using the energy you need.
Climate Control. As well as being one of the biggest business expense, it is without doubt that one of the biggest causes of debate in the workplace is the temperature of the office. Internal climate monitoring sensors combine CO2, temperature and humidity readings to ensure that the office climate is maintained at a level that is optimised for performance, saving you money and increasing revenue. Happy staff = productive staff after all.
Smart Meeting Rooms & Hot Desking. Now on to a more controversial topic, one of the biggest inefficiencies in a business with lots of employees and regular meetings is the management of meeting rooms and hot desks. How do reduce the amount of time your employees spend looking for a free hot desk or meeting room? Well data collected from IoT sensors can do just that, telling you whether a desk or room is occupied so your employees can see on a single screen the best place to work or to hold their meeting.
Smart Parking. The British Parking Association predicts that the average London employee spends over 8 minutes every morning looking for somewhere to park before work. That may not sound like a lot, but in a company with 250 workers, that's an average of 33 man hours lost every working day before the day has even begun! Again IoT rides to the rescue here again with smart parking sensors. These little devices identify exactly what parking bays are empty and where they are located so your staff can drive directly to the empty bay, saving your staff key time, cutting emissions, saving fuel and improving staff morale at the start of the day.
When you bring all of these factors together, it eventually leads to higher yield and higher revenue.
So now we have highlighted the biggest benefits of IoT technology in the workplace, lets take a look at some real life Smart Office applications at work:
There are many types of IoT sensors for buildings and workplaces as well as IoT applications in the workplace in general:
By in large the most common IoT Smart Office devices used today are climate stations. Combining several sensors, these stations take live indoor climate data and feed it back to the cloud, allowing patterns to be mapped and informed, predictive choices to be made surround the appropriate resources to use to manage the climate.
LED lighting is already becoming common place in most office buildings, offering a cheaper method of lighting rooms for long periods of time, but what if it's a sunny day? do you dim or turn off your lights? or... lets be honest, do they stay at their normal levels because nobody remembers to adjust them? When coupled with IoT light sensors, it is possible to automate light control by monitoring the light levels in the room in automatically adjusting the artificial lighting to account for changes in levels of natural lighting.
These tiny little sensors are nothing short of amazing. They combine temperature, humidity, CO2 and PIR sensors to establish exactly when a room has people in it. This data allows your staff to see exactly when a meeting room is being used, instead of having to guess based on calendar entries.
Modern offices often rely on hot desks to make efficient use of the space they have to accomodate their growing workforce. These handy little devices make it very easy to identify when a desk is occupied by looking for the heat signature of the person sat at the desk.
Another key weapon in the smart office arsenal is the smart parking sensor. A powerful little lump that sits in a parking space and detects when a vehicle is positioned above it. This device can massively reduce the amount of time required to locate empty parking spaces.
So, that's it, you're armed with all the information you need to know what a 'Smart Office' is and the role it plays in the future of the humble workplace. Ready to take the next step in making your farm smarter and more efficient? If so get in touch today. Pride Solutions Derby is a leading supplier of IoT smart systems that works tirelessly and always goes the extra mile to ensure the system we provide meets your exact and specific needs. No other farm would ever have a system the same as yours!
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