How smart buildings improve employee productivity

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Intelligent Building Europe takes place on 8–10 September 2020. Get your free ticket today to access solutions, expertise and networking opportunities across three days at ExCeL London.

There’s more to smart buildings than saving money. Given that around 75% of UK workplace activity takes place in the office, smart building technology ought to be used to make that a more pleasurable—and ultimately more productive—experience for workers.

Smart technology is all about measuring and learning. That means monitoring how space is used, how workers move and behave during the workday, and how they interact with each other. Building managers and employers can use the data they gather to make intelligent choices about how an office space is designed to encourage collaboration and creativity, to give employees choices about the space in which they work.

 Creative, collaborative hubs

As a result, modern offices have become creative hubs designed to promote wellbeing and collaboration, forming part of an interconnected digital web encompassing remote workers and offices around the world. At least, that’s the reality smart technology is increasingly being adopted to realise.

In many offices you’ll now find, for example, desk reservation systems for hotdesking, enabling employees to claim their preferred workspace or locate their colleagues on an interactive office map. You may also find room booking systems that turn on lights and projectors when you need them, and order tea and coffee based on room occupancy.

In the future, technology might evolve to suggest where colleagues should sit in an open plan office based on who they email most frequently.

 Working remotely

With so many of us working remotely, and firms often operating across national borders, there are now plenty of tools to connect employees during such meetings. Software like Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business allows seamless video calls and team conversations, making them invaluable for the modern smart office.

But these tools don’t just help employees already working remotely. They also give workers more flexibility about how they work, keeping them connected and allowing them to work from home or on the go if and when they choose. Using cloud-based storage systems as well as meeting software also ensures employees can remain connected on their phones and tablets.

Flexible working helps employees who have, for instance, childcare responsibilities, or those who simply work more efficiently from home.

 Improving the workplace environment

Even the explicitly energy- and cost-saving devices can help create a more productive office environment. By managing lighting, temperature and air quality according to exterior conditions and the particular needs of employees, building managers can create a bespoke workplace experience more conducive to workplace wellbeing, and therefore employee productivity.

Managers can carefully measure these factors to create a bespoke workplace environment, employing clever office design that incorporates plants and greenery, natural light, clean air and a variety of work spaces such as breakout rooms, private desks and collaborative environments.

Find out more at Intelligent Building Europe

None of this is to dismiss the advantages of cost savings. Indeed, with lower overheads associated with energy, firms can afford to invest in tools and strategies to improve workplace wellbeing and employee productivity. But smart technology is part of the solutions for creating better, more human-focused workplaces—and one of the many topics that will be discussed at Intelligent Building Europe 2020.

With your free ticket, you’ll be able to hear from leading experts, discover new products and solutions and see the smart technology for yourself in a full-scale replica of a smart office. Get your ticket today.