How to make your office smarter with the Internet of Things
We’ve all read about the connected devices you can have in your home to make it smart. Indeed, we have our own guide to building a smart home as well as a look at some of the most popular smart home devices available. But there is no reason why your office can’t also be smart. There are lots of connected devices, that run on either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and can make any office environment not only cooler and more productive, but will save you some costs for running the office.
A more stylish, comfortable and greener workplace
Smart lighting can make a real difference to your workplace. Smart lightbulbs can change the color of meeting rooms and spaces, opening up the possibility of bolder design choices with furniture. It also places a focus on renewable energy, marrying the advanced tech of smart offices with a sustainable city infrastructure.
To help employees work in comfort, connected thermostats can also be installed to adjust the temperature variations throughout the day. Connected thermostats can be adapted to individual preferences, thanks to the use of smartphone apps which are connected to IoT infrastructure. Wireless smart speakers can be synced to a microphone so that important announcements can be easily heard at every corner of the office.
Connectivity exists to bring us closer together and that is exactly what these devices do. Beacons, software, wearables and smartphone apps can be used to pinpoint where employees are sat. This is very useful if you work in a large office with multiple floors and you need to find someone urgently. As hot desking and remote working become increasingly popular, trying to find someone can be harder than it should be.
Everyone who has ever worked in an office will attest to the difficulty of finding an available meeting room, or being kicked out of one when you still need to get things done. The IoT can help here by creating a connected meeting room booking system. Screens can be installed outside of the rooms that can show you who’s booked the room and the full schedule of the room for the day. Sensors can pick-up if no one has gone into the room for an allocated time and cancel the booking. Plus, it can sync with your meeting room booking system (such as Outlook) so employees can see the availability of all rooms from their desks.
A more secure workplace
The real benefit from a connected workplace is that it has real potential to improve security. If you have a small office, you can install a smart doorbell to see who’s arrived if you’re not in. Perfect for communicating with delivery drivers and couriers.
Smart locks mean employees can enter a code to get into the office reducing the risk of them losing their key or swipe card, or letting a burglar in.
And of course, you can now quickly and cheaply install security cameras that link directly to your smartphone so that you can check everything is ok wherever you are in the world. Plus, you’ll be able to record any break-ins.
Greater efficiency for the business
Smart lighting isn’t just about making meeting rooms look cool. They can be connected to sensors that will turn off lights when no one is around, saving your businesses some costs.
Sensors and IoT modules will become key to all types of workplaces. They can be installed in machinery and office devices (like photocopiers and vending machines) to monitor their operational health. These sensors can detect a fault and send an alert before the device breaks. This allows a business to repair any problem before it becomes too serious and to avoid costly replacements.
Companies can also use these sensors to cut down on e-waste. As laptops and tablets reach the end of their lifecycles, they can be sent for refurbishment while still operational.
A healthier office
Forward thinking companies care deeply about their employees. Many are starting to offer them wearables that can help them with staying healthy. Fitness trackers can be set to alert users that they have been sitting down for too long, and encourage them to take a walk.
We hope this has given you some inspiration for changing the way your workplace is set-up. The office of the future is here, it’s time to login.