Hybrid work models are used by 64% of high-growth companies, and these companies are experiencing a happier and more productive workforce. Hybrid and flexible working gives employees more autonomy in their schedule, which is why it is becoming popular.
But, how can businesses adapt their offices to support flexible and hybrid working?
Keep reading as we dive deeply into the concept of smart offices and the best technologies to support a smart office.
What Is A Smart Office?
A smart office is a space crafted to facilitate flexible and hybrid working. Since the pandemic began, businesses have started to reconsider their approach to the working day - finding that most employees are more productive when they have complete control over their work and working hours.
To ensure employees can access in-office resources for when they plan to work, businesses are implementing smart offices supported by technology.
In this article, we will begin to discuss some of the latest technology trends that are helping businesses to implement intelligent offices and take steps toward a more employee-led work strategy.
Top 5 Smart Office Technology Trends To Consider For 2022
Here are some of the technologies most relevant to a smart office space. Consider which technologies could help you achieve your smart office expectations.
Smart Desk Management
In a hybrid work model, businesses often struggle to ensure employees can access office resources when needed. For instance, if an employee were to take the trouble to commute to the office and see that there are no free desks, this could cause some distress (and wasted time).
If your company wishes to skirt this issue - consider the benefits of smart desk management. Smart desk management is a desk booking system. Your employees can enter the software app and view the entire layout of their office floor plan. The floorplan will display the desks in the office, the free desks, and the booked ones. If they wish to book a desk, they can see who has booked each reserved desk and sit with their team or friend.
Smart desk management is a user-friendly way to automate the desk assignment process and ensure your employees have complete freedom in how they choose to use your smart office.
In addition to smart desk management, you might consider investing in a conference room booking tool. When employees need the space to hold a meeting, they can easily view which days the meeting room is available and fit their meeting in at a convenient time.
Office Access Control
With flexible and hybrid working, it can become quite challenging to track who is in the office and who isn’t. Instead of hiring a receptionist, you might consider investing in commercial access control systems.
Modern access control solutions focus on the user experience and implement mobile credentials instead of keycards or fobs (which can be costly to keep replacing and are easily lost). While you might invest in technologies to keep data safe while users work remotely, you must keep your office space secure.
With mobile-first access technology, users can enter without needing to touch any credentials such as key cards or fobs. All they must do is wave their hand over the access reader. The motion sensor will detect this action and communicate with the device remotely to unlock the door. This technology is hygienic as the user does not have to touch a door handle or pin pad to enter - and they can enter with their morning coffee.
Modern access control solutions provide accurate access logs, letting you know who is in the office and working from home. You can even integrate access control with time tracking software to ensure your employees log their in-office working hours correctly.
Wellness Verification Software
Since the pandemic, businesses have a new responsibility: preventing a coronavirus outbreak in the workplace. Canceled meetings can hinder productivity in a smart office, and a coronavirus outbreak could make your employees too sick to work.
You can implement wellness verification software to ensure that your employees are responsible in response to the pandemic. Wellness verification software is a coronavirus screening automation - it integrates with access control and provides your employees with digital forms they must fill out before entering the building.
If they answer the form questions and show no signs of coronavirus, they will be permitted to enter. If they are symptomatic, however, they will not be able to enter the building until they have taken a coronavirus test.
Wellness verification software can also be helpful for effective employee management. If employees are hardly working in the office, it can be challenging to gauge employee mental wellness and employee satisfaction. You can implement mental health surveys with wellness verification software to identify any need for a wellness seminar or retreat.
Smart Visitor Check-In
Smart visitor check-in is in the same family as wellness verification software. It, too, integrates with your access control system, providing visitors, interviewees, and contractors with digital forms they must fill out before entering.
Automated visitor check-in provides you with the details of all visitors and accurate records of when they entered the building and left. This information could be helpful if you need to implement track and trace protocols or if a security breach occurs in the building.
Communal Office Space
With flexible working comes the need to design a more accessible space. When employees visit the office, they often collaborate and communicate with others. So, you need a space that facilitates communication.
Communal office spaces are spaces you can use for many purposes. There are no individual offices, and many communal desks and tables facilitate collaboration. If you had individual offices in a flexible hybrid work model, the spaces would be unused and thus would provide poor ROI.
The future of office work is not as rigid as it once was. Now, employees are granted autonomy over their schedule and where they choose to work. With these technologies and trends, businesses can give their employees a smart office that supports their needs when they visit the office.
AuthorJennifer Seene is an avid tech writer and tech enthusiast who writes for a number of tech publications including Tech Times, Tech Bullion, BBN Times, and iTech Post.