What will the office of the future look like?
What is meant by the office of the future?
Behind the concept of the office of the future lies the idea of the Smart Office, which literally means an "intelligent office." This mainly involves a space equipped with internet-connected devices that communicate with each other through a shared network.
This "intelligent" system is capable of monitoring and analyzing a large amount of data, managing multiple actions, and improving working conditions in various aspects, including:
- Comfortable working conditions
- Enhanced employee productivity
- Automation of tasks considered secondary
- Energy savings
- Improved workplace security, and more.
Simplification of daily tasks
The office of the future helps reduce time losses associated with certain seemingly simple and non-value-added daily tasks that can cause significant time wastage. This can include access to premises as well as the use of different workspaces.
Regarding office access, currently, an employee needs to present a badge to enter the parking lot, premises, or secure areas of the site. The office of the future, for example, may feature connected badges with integrated access rights for their owners. The various doors can open without the employee having to take any action.
In terms of managing different rooms and restrooms, sensors can be installed to determine if a room has been used or not during the day. The same applies to toilets, thanks to door opening sensors. This technology efficiently measures real-time room occupancy rates. Similarly, the cleaning staff can focus only on areas that have been used during the day, resulting in significant time and productivity savings.
Improvement of the work environment
Improving the quality of work life remains one of the main objectives of the office of the future. The support of connected devices and data applies not only to different workstations but also to enhancing the environment throughout the building.
With thousands of sensors, data regarding temperature, air quality, or humidity levels can be processed in real-time. Based on this information, the office of the future can automatically make adjustments necessary for the well-being of employees. For example, maintaining a humidity level between 45% and 65% and a temperature of 21°C. Additionally, the CO2 level can be analyzed, and if it is too high, the Smart Office can activate air ventilation in the offices.
Beyond improving the quality of work life for employees, by calculating room occupancy rates, the office of the future enables energy savings. It can adjust energy usage based on actual needs, such as increasing heating or reducing lighting in unoccupied areas.
Reducing constraints for employees
Directly linked to work-life quality, the office of the future should have a positive impact on employees' well-being. This involves reducing stress and preventing physical risks in the workplace. Connected devices can also be integrated into furniture.
In the near future, it is conceivable to have a device indicating to employees when it's time to change position—for example, alternating between sitting and standing at their desks, taking a short break, stretching, etc. Similarly, an intelligent desk can learn user preferences and adapt to provide personalized comfort that enhances productivity. In the same vein, the desk can change colors according to the employee's preferences. For instance, a red light indicating "Do not disturb" or blue to signify "On break."
The office of the future should place employees at the center of the organization by facilitating their daily routines while preserving their well-being, allowing them to evolve and work with maximum efficiency.
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