The Smart Office is developing rapidly within companies. What exactly does this mean? How is the technology being used in the workplace?
What is Smart Office?
The Smart Office is an innovative workspace. It offers connected services to employees and enables them to meet their needs on site thanks to technology: connected objects, applications, etc. The Smart Office responds to several challenges, such as: improving the productivity of employees, facilitating their arrival on site or daily tasks, modernising workspaces, saving management costs, etc. The primary motivations can be very diverse.
However, as a general rule, any approach to digitising the workspace will serve to improve a company’s employer brand. The company will offer modern and digital services that meet the needs of its employees, so their well-being and quality of working life will be enhanced.
How is technology used in the workspace?
The Smart Office can be used in many different contexts, here are some of the main examples.
Enable the reservation of spaces
Digital solutions for reserving a workstation, a parking space, a meeting room, a place in the cafeteria… are multiplying. They meet a growing need. Who hasn’t experienced that awkward moment of not finding an available meeting room when you are hosting an important visitor? Or having to wait several minutes in the cafeteria at lunchtime for a table to become available? Having a dedicated digital tool shared between all employees avoids these frustrations and above all saves time. Employees can organise themself beforehand. For meeting rooms, it is also possible to place tablets at their entrance to reserve the room or see its availability.
Communicate and inform employees
In a company, sharing information at the right time and with the right people is essential. This means ensuring that, for example, managers are informed of important strategy news before their team. On the other hand, for non-confidential events or communications, everyone should have access to this information. The solution may be to install television screens in common or high-traffic areas (lift exits, entrance halls, etc.) to broadcast these communications. Companies with a mobile application or intranet can opt to share information via these channels.
Rethinking and redesigning work spaces
Connected objects or reservation solutions make it possible to analyse the use of space and equipment. Thus, by implementing this type of tool, the company will be able to monitor the flow of people and the occupation of spaces and thus make the right decisions regarding the layout of its offices. For example, if a room is rarely booked, perhaps it could be transformed to give it a new function?
Another use can be the management of incidents, directly reported by employees. Imagine someone wanting to print a document, for example, but the printer has broken down: by scanning a QR code placed on the printer, he or she would automatically send an alert to the IT department, which would be able to intervene quickly. Incident management should not be overlooked when it comes to quality of life at work: employees expect a smooth and serene experience on site, so it is important that they do not experience various breakdowns throughout the day.
Improving the energy performance of buildings
The Smart Office responds to the environmental challenge by reducing energy consumption. Indeed, technology, and in particular connected objects, make it possible to manage a building efficiently. For example, the installation of presence detectors allows lights, air conditioning and heating to be switched on or off automatically. The building thus becomes less energy consuming, and consequently, allows the company to make savings.