As the old adage goes, work smarter, not harder. Workplace technology makes this increasingly apparent. Today, the digital tools and systems that organizations use to increase their efficiency, and in turn their productivity, are an essential requirement to a commercial office. To meet workplace demands and spur innovation, having the right tech in place is is an important component of an agile office strategy. When implemented correctly, workplace tech can enhance the employee experience, adding economic value and a completive advantage.
Insights from The Future of Work survey by JLL survey reveal that over 1,000 CRE decision-makers from across the globe suggest that the period from 2022 to 2025 will represent a crucial window of opportunity for organizations to redefine their workplace strategies and to create flexible, tech-enabled, future-proof real estate portfolios. A major key takeaway is that CRE functions need to double down on intelligent technology investments.
The Future is Hybrid
According to a report from Microsoft, published on their online magazine WorkLab, 57% of people are likely to consider transitioning to hybrid in the year ahead. Hybrid is here to stay, along with the many challenges it presents. Utilizing smart technology will help optimize your facility and operations as well as provide a more comfortable environment for your team.
A thriving hybrid workplace starts with thriving employees. Measuring and managing employee engagement and well being in your organization is critical to success and will provide insight towards the best use of technology.
To ready your office for the future of work, invest in high-tech strategies that increase energy efficiency in building operations, such as automation, and adopt workplace technologies that provide insightful analytics to help employees achieve their potential. Below are three areas of high-tech that are transforming how we work.
1. Smart Office Technology
Automate your building operations with sensors that detect motion. In doing so, you can create comfortable environments that are well-lit and temperature-regulated when the space is utilized. Depending on your equipment, when the sensor detects movement, it will automatically turn on lights or adjust temperature settings in the HVAC system. By using lighting and thermostat sensors, companies have more control over their energy usage, reducing utility bills and their carbon footprint. Furthermore, by analyzing the data, companies can better understand how and when office spaces are being occupied, giving greater visibility on how to elevate workplace practices.
Another practice you can put into place for a more effective utilization of workspaces is to install desk occupancy sensors. These sensors detect body heat and movement, helping to measure the occupancy rate of a desk. In the era of hybrid working and flexible in-office schedules, this smart tech can provide an accurate picture of how long workstations are being used. Ultimately, this data can be used as part of a space booking strategy or to provide intel on future seating plans, helping to make scalable optimization decisions to cut costs. These sensors can also be used in amenity areas, like locker rooms and lounges, giving employees real-time data to make informed decisions. While the crux of COVID is behind us, many people are practicing social distancing and taking precaution. Sensors are the perfect tool to empower employees to take control of their personal safety.
To provide a truly healthy and comfortable workplace, consider air quality sensors which detect pollutants, harmful gases, particulates, and other contaminants in the air. By monitoring and measuring air quality, businesses can assure a great indoor workplace environment. Using these advanced tools pave way for stronger safety protocols, putting employees health and wellness front and center.
2. Virtual Realty Capabilities
Beyond monitoring and measuring, workplace technology can also be used as a tool to help design office spaces. Using VR to design and simulate office space in 3D is an innovative way to reconfigure office layouts as part of an agile furniture solution. These high-tech tools can help designers communicate the optimal usefulness and usability of furniture systems and layouts.
A VR experience is also a wonderful way to introduce prospective talent to the company. Take video conference calling one step further with VR. Let candidates get a physical sense of the office, both the layout and the overall environment, with VR. Use this workplace technology to attract the best talent and communicate corporate culture, all while streamlining the hiring process.
3. Gaming and Social Media
Workplace technology doesn’t have to be all serious. It can be fun and games! Using social media and gaming in the office can enhance on-site, hybrid, and remote teams, helping members connect and collaborate. With gaming now mainstream, integrating gaming spaces into the workplace to team build and combat stress is a forward-thinking avenue to express company culture.
For everyday corporate communications, utilizing company social media channels to celebrate firm-wide milestones and spotlight employee achievements can boost morale, connect employees across divisions, and convey corporate culture to potential hires and clients.
Both these platforms can also be used for training and skill building to boost productivity and workplace excellence.
We are living in a technological era where many of our communications and experiences happen with the aid of digital tools. Technology has become an essential part of our working lives. It has redefined operational processes, improved employee experiences, enhanced collaboration, and shifted client behaviors and expectations. The future of work depends on it.