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BSEE


Nick Sacke, head of product and IoT at business networking and communicaons specialist,


Comms365, looks at the challenges faced by


businesses as the workplace evolves and discusses some of the soluons available


setup no longer being appropriate or desired for many businesses and with digital collaboration tools now readily available and affordable, the ability to work remotely from just about anywhere has delivered flexibility to the modern workplace. But it has also increased the need for building owners to provide a more dynamic environment and service in order to attract and retain new tenants.


T


With Gartner* predicting that the greatest source of competitive advantage for 30 per cent of organisations over the next few years will be their ability to creatively exploit technologies such as IoT in the workplace, the pressure is on for businesses and building owners alike to invest their time and resources into the latest technologies.


Employee expectations


Although for many, the workplace has become a dynamic entity that extends beyond the office, there is still a requirement for dedicated space, as many teams require the ability to work together on a permanent basis. Yet, this flexibility has meant that employees are expecting spaces to be increasingly modernised as well as enhance their wellbeing, giving them a better work- life balance. Research reveals that millennials would be willing to take a pay cut to work in a modernised office, and would also consider quitting their job if their workplace is either outdated or inefficient. Companies are therefore left with two options: adapt and create a smart office space, or risk losing your top performing employees and potentially new talent.


As office space moves towards a rental rather than ownership model, space is regularly being rented by the hour, and even by the minute. This has resulted in users looking for these areas to be more personalised and tailored to their individual requirements. An example of this is seen in Scandinavia, where offices are built without individual desks, and instead, informed by individual customisable profiles, workers are allocated a space that suits their specifications.


uResearch reveals that millennials would be willing to take a pay cut to work in a modernised oce


The office is now expected to be a work-life experience; and keeping up with digital culture plays a large part in this change, as does flexibility in terms of workflow and the physical space. IoT enables this by making devices and objects more intelligent, from virtualised


he workplace is evolving at a greater pace than ever before. Advances in technology and


communications have led to the traditional office


FOCUS: ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES Working towards a smarter workplace


desktop environments to smart desks run by algorithms that tell you when to take a break or switch from sitting to standing mode. These developments create workspaces which are more ‘aware’, through an ecosystem that allows buildings to dynamically adjust to the requirements of users who are both temporary and permanent, through the convergence of IT and Operational Technology (OT) such as building management systems, energy and space management.


Smart office design


Many companies are leading the way in smart office design, responding to the demand for mobility and flexible consumption, revolutionising the way that offices function with shared office facilities and hot desks on a part time or multi-lease basis.


With 87 per cent** of employees worldwide still not engaged at work, and a lack of motivation and productivity proven to be linked to the office setting, adopting scalable and robust IoT solutions can be the key to unlocking the efficiency and efficacy businesses desire. By configuring open and closed spaces through


advancements such as noise absorbing fabrics and multi-touch switchable smart glass walls, this can provide the privacy that comes from individual offices within a flexible open plan setup, meaning that staff are encouraged to collaborate and are no longer confined by physical walls. Real-time technology collaboration has also become essential for offices, and it is IoT that defines it; fixed, portable and wearable devices are integrated into the design and interact with each other through a cloud-based network. Examples of this include fixed A/V screens which can be controlled through a users phone, wafer-thin sensors that can detect occupancy, and indoor wayfinding platforms that help employees navigate office floor plans via smartphone.


Sustainability


Businesses are constantly working to meet the demands of a growing ecologically conscious marketplace. And with 72 per cent of office workers revealing that a sustainable environment is important to them, embracing this move has become a competitive necessity for building owners and businesses alike. Through intelligent environmental design which optimises space, consumption and resources, smart offices can reduce the overall environmental impact and save money and resources along the way. From autonomous energy systems that shut off heating and lighting when rooms are vacant, to systems that monitor and optimise the use of water and electricity, IoT can help to identify a building’s most wasteful aspects


and lessen the pressure on the national grid.


For many new companies, integrating green strategies from the beginning is crucial, and for existing office buildings, embedding strategic energy management and retrofitting technology as part of the business strategy will drive strategic advantage and attract new tenants for whom environmental concerns are a priority.


Business opportunity


The cost of an IoT implementation is frequently perceived as a barrier to its adoption and development, despite the cost benefit analysis in the majority of cases presenting significant financial savings. As with any technology, there is an upfront investment or cost to retrofit an existing building, but once installed, innovations such as optimised lighting make running these spaces much more cost effective to the building owner. As a result, lower fees can be passed to the customer to make the offer even more appealing.


Conclusion


People are the largest investment of an organisation, and as new technologies evolve to make their lives easier, safer and more comfortable it is important to look at which technologies will create the biggest impact to your office. The efficiency, ease of use, cost-effective and customisable nature of what defines a smart office is what will drive both its growth and normality in the workspace. IoT is forcing its way into our business lives, and rather than watching it pass by, it is imperative that companies keep up with the trend and innovate their working space, or they will risk falling behind.


www.comms365.com


* www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/ top-10-technologies-driving-the-digital- workplace


** www.gallup.com/services/190118/ engaged-workplace.aspx


C 8 BUILDING SERVICES & ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER MAY 2019 About Comms365


omms365 helps businesses solve complex Internet connectivity challenges. It has been supporting companies of all sizes for over ten years and the experience and skills acquired over that time ensures that it is known as a trusted partner. The company’s award-winning solutions offer faster communications, access to bigger data, reduce exposure to network outages and put customers back in control of their data networks.


Read the latest at: www.bsee.co.uk


uRealme technology collaboraon has also become essenal for oces





The oce is now expected to be a worklife experience and keeping up with digital culture plays a large part in this change





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