They say the workplace is an employee’s second home. It’s not new to hear of a company embracing fun activities, happy hours, and nap pods in empty office spaces to keep teams engaged and positive about their work.
With the increasing trend in making the workplace as comfortable as possible, many are stepping to introduce the Internet of Things (IoT) into the corporate ground.
By definition, the IoT is a growing system of devices sharing and collecting information with other local devices via a wireless connection to the internet.
From being confined to smartphones, innovators saw potential in IoT and are now expanding automated technology to almost every aspect of our daily lives. Among the many IoT introductions in recent years are smart vacuums and smart light bulbs that boast easy control and data collection.
Automation has long since tapped our homes with voice-controlled speakers and kitchen appliances, but it wasn’t until recently that user smart offices started to enter the workplace.
Have you ever experienced running low on ink with no replacement available? How about dealing with a co-worker’s missing laptop? With IoT, you won’t face the same problems, thanks to real-time monitoring.
Smart office appliances and IoT tagging (attaching trackers to assets) allow companies to erase the time-consuming task of monitoring equipment. Every item is registered in a central database so managers can easily access status updates with a single click. Additionally, IoT can perform maintenance tasks like ordering supplies or performing health checks without human involvement.
Office lighting is crucial for a productive, stress-free workday. Employees juggle paperwork and computer work during their daily 9 to 5. However, the typical office lighting is only fit for looking at printed materials and is twice brighter than the ideal brightness for working with a monitor.
An excellent investment and IoT benefit for business are Smart Lights, which utilize both natural and electric light to enhance comfort while boosting motivation and efficiency. These flexible bulbs automatically adjust its color balance throughout the day to minimize eye strain and create a positive ambiance in the workplace.
There’s no such thing as being in two places at once. It’s almost impossible for office managers to keep an eye on every corner of the office, but here’s another problem that IoT can effectively solve.
With all IoT devices connected to a single network, it’s easier to monitor activity in meeting rooms, welcome desks, and even the hallways. Using IoT for small business to the heatmap, your office provides an opportunity to utilize rooms vacant or clear out congested spaces in a more systemized manner. Further, it's useful for reorganizing your floor plan to make the most out of your workplace.
Back-to-back meetings mean dirty conference room floors and rugs. Take a massive load off your custodian team’s shoulders by integrating Smart Vacuums for the workplace.
Hiring a full-time team to sweep and shine corners regularly can be expensive. IoT can help you save money with a robot vacuum for the once-a-day sweep, while your human effort can focus on the occasional deep clean.
Digital screens play a big part in user smart offices. As these become easier to implement, it's turning into a staple at every modern office. You'll often find digital signs up in break areas, lobbies, or even in hallways.
Apart from bringing a sleek feel to the corporate office, digital screens are an excellent way to keep employees up-to-date on the latest news and figures. Constantly flashing numbers that show the positive outcome of your team's effort can boost productivity and promote transparency between the brand and the people behind its success.
If visitors frequent you, screens are also a tool to share reviews, projects, and content to display your credibility and commitment to your work.
Every business knows the struggle of entertaining visiting clients, especially when it’s time to pitch a proposal strategy or present the annual report. Any business leader knows that a client’s visiting experience can make or break a professional relationship.
From the moment they step into the office to the second they leave, managers put in the extra effort to make clients feel valued. Another potential feature that builds the excitement for IoT benefits for business is its ability to create unique experiences with personalized office spaces. Client-facing systems can display custom welcome signs, and updated data analysis explicitly crafted for your visitor.
Facial recognition is a familiar term for our smartphones. One glance at our screens unlocks it with ease. For the workplace, facial AI is more than just for convenience.
With facial recognition, organizations can keep their security levels intact by ensuring that only employees have access to sensitive data and files. Granting access by confirming their identity is a tool for closely monitoring company resources and office attendance. It's a win-win process for both managers and employees when automation shoulders their tedious overseeing tasks.
Endless benefits come with integrating IoT for your business, including progressive designs, ideal work environments, and maximum employee productivity. Excitement surrounds the growing innovation for the workplace, yet it does come with challenges. For one, staff may struggle with adjusting to automated, regular monitoring. Data privacy also comes into play when we speak of interconnected office IoT devices that share real-time data.
Still, user smart offices are seeing rapid growth, with the current global market size of USD 32.6 billion. While even in its initial stages, there's no denying that the technology is only getting better. Automated solutions will soon replace the workplace we know today.
It’s only a matter of time before more user smart offices emerge and become the new normal. If business leaders want to stay competitive and keep their top talent, they must embrace the flexibility that IoT offers. The modern office is evolving and changing the way people work from new ways of collaborating with seamless communication channels.
Shaitender singh is a Senior Data Engineer (Machine Learning) at Intelegencia. He is Masters in Artificial intelligence from Liverpool John Moores University, majoring in Data Science and Deep Learning with a focus on Statistics and diploma holder in machine learning from IIIT-B. When he is not torturing Data, he loves to travel, read books, and explore new skills.