Most corporate real estate professionals and workplace managers agree: we’re entering the era of the smart office. But what does it really mean? What makes an office ‘smart’? and what are the benefits of a smart office?
So, what is a Smart Office?
A smart office is a workplace where modern technology is leveraged to help employees work smarter, better, and faster. This can be achieved by clearing the way of hurdles for the employees. By removing menial tasks and unnecessary obstacles – activities that drain time and energy from the workforce – smart office solutions lets employees focus on what really matters.
Typically, a smart office solution consists of a suite of technologies that connect with the employees, the building and existing IT infrastructure to achieve these goals.
Benefits of a smart office solution
The smart office is far from a one-trick pony. Quite contrarily, moving to a smarter office will have a positive impact on several different areas of the organization in various ways.
In today’s knowledge economy, collaboration is of ever increasing importance. When people and ideas interact, new ideas are formed. Collaboration provides a fertile ground for innovation.
Smart office solutions like Senion at Work makes it easier for employees to meet up and find space for impromptu meetings. An organization where collaboration is encouraged is more likely to tap into the creativity and ingenuity of its workforce.
>> Learn more about how Senion at Work helps employees meet up to collaborate
One of the most popular reasons for implementing a smart office solution is to improve the productivity of the organization. It’s really quite simple: for example, by making it easier to carry out menial tasks like finding and booking meeting rooms, less time and frustration is spent on non-work.
According to our research, 39% of office workers spend as much as 60 minutes every week searching for available desks, conference rooms, or colleagues. In a large office, and over time, just this issue can accumulate to large resources being wasted. Hours that could have been put to better use: more time for meaningful work, or simply giving the time back to employees for a less stressful day.
>> See how Senion at Work makes it easier to find nearby available rooms
Better use of office space
Professionals in Corporate Real Estate and Facility management are always trying to provide the best possible work environment for employees. One of the most common problems is the lack of space. Smart office solutions can help unlock more space by optimizing the use of space.
As an example, almost 30 percent of booked meeting rooms end up unused – what is sometimes referred to as ‘no-shows’. By identifying no-shows, and even better predicting potential no-shows, smart office solutions like Senion at Work can eliminate no-shows and as a result free up space.
>> Learn more how Senion at Work identifies and predicts no-shows to unlock more space
Actionable utilization insights
How a workplace is intended to be, and how it is actually used are two different things. Understanding which rooms or office configurations are most popular, and conversely the least popular, is the first step to improving the workplace.
Shall we split some of the larger conference rooms to smaller two-person rooms? Shall we refurbish this office landscape to another lounge area? Questions like these are easier to answer if you have solid data to back up your decisions.
Attract and retain employees
With the ubiquity of smartphones and computers, professionals today expect a lot more from their workplace than before. Today’s workforce is used to working with the latest tech and tools to get work done and this doesn’t stop when they walk in through the office doors.
A situation where employees feel bogged down in a 20th century workplace with pre-historic ways of doing things is a sure way to scare away new recruits and current staff. By providing modern smart office solutions, companies can provide an employee experience that helps attract and retain employees.
Improve the wellbeing of staff
As mentioned above, one of the main benefits of smart office solutions is to take physical and cognitive load off of the employees. When staff don’t need to sweat the small stuff, they have more time to concentrate on the bigger, more important things.
It’s not about working harder, it’s about working smarter – getting more done with less stress, and less effort.
Shorter mean time to repair
A broken TV or a missing HDMI cable in a meeting room can sound like a minor thing – but it can be stressful, irritating and sometimes a real show-stopper for employees who really need it to carry out their job. A large corporate client of ours explained that it takes on average 7 times before someone reports a fault in a meeting room – something they were looking to improve.
By streamlining the employee-to-facility management channel, smart office solutions can radically reduce the time and effort to report broken or missing equipment. Easy and effortless reporting lead to quicker repairs – something everyone will benefit from.
* * *
This article has in no way exhausted the subject but merely scratched the surface of what and how smart office solutions will change the what, how, when and where of work. However, what is certain is that with smart office solutions that support everything from employee productivity and well-being to utilization metrics, companies can address some of the most crucial challenges in corporate real estate today.
>> Looking for a way to improve your workplace? Check out our smart office solution Senion at Work