A-Z of the future workplace:

Intelligence

Intelligence, and artificial intelligence (AI), have become common buzzwords regarding the future of technology. Over the next few years, we will begin to see this technology becoming commonplace, helping us transform our workplaces and work in a completely smart and efficient way.

According to Forbes, a recent Gartner survey showed that more than 50% of companies with a turnover above $750 million use intelligent digital data-gathering tools to monitor employee activities and performance. This includes analysing the content of emails to determine employee satisfaction and engagement levels. Some companies are known to be using tracking devices to monitor the frequency of bathroom breaks, as well as audio analytics to determine stress levels in voices when staff speak to each other in the office.

With agile / flexible working on the rise, it is becoming increasingly crucial for employers to consider creating a flexible and productive environment for your staff. Whilst these spaces look great, employers want to know whether these spaces are being efficiently utilised, which is where companies like Hamilton Apps, a global leader in workplace technology, come in. Hamilton Apps believe that your workplace deserves software that integrates to the way you work. They have created a sensor-based Occupancy & Utilisation platform, which constantly monitors spaces throughout the building and is an intelligent tool that can provide clear proof-data on actual usage or even mis-usage of space. This information is crucial for space utilisation, helping us advise you on the best use of your space.

What do these systems involve?

There are many intelligent systems in place which can accurately find out information such as how exactly you are using your workplace; whether or not a flexible working environment would work for you; and how to successfully manage your flexible workplace. These systems tend to be made up of sensors, routes and loggers, with the option to report on the data after. Users are able to measure occupancy, environment, and automation and passive management.

Occupancy Sensors

There are numerous different occupancy sensors that help offices to manage their space effectively. These sensors can be used on any work setting, including workstations, soft seating, and high benches, sitting underneath work surfaces and are practically undetectable. There are some work settings that are more difficult to measure, and for these, vibration sensors are used.

With health and wellness at the forefront of employers’ minds, office furniture such as sit stand desks are becoming increasingly popular due to them encouraging movement throughout the day. Whilst many employees may utilise these benefits, that is not always the case. Sensors can detect whether people are using these spaces whilst also measuring the desk height and how often the desk is changed.

Environmental Sensors

Sensors are able to measure temperature throughout the office space, ensuring every employee is enjoying the right environment for maximum productivity. Humidity, particulate, and CO2 can also be managed through the sensors, picking up on where there are high or low levels.

Noise sensors allow your employees to know where in the office is loud or quiet, enabling them to utilise agile working to the best of their ability, knowing where they can go to work to get their heads down, or which areas are suitable for efficient collaboration.

Light levels are known to impact an employee wellbeing in the workplace, with natural lighting and light temperature both able to change their mood, efficiency and output. Light sensors carefully measure light levels, produce reports allowing light to be changes accordingly throughout the office space.

Automation

Once you have gathered data on your lighting in the office, you are able to use lighting controls to automate the results throughout your workspace. Lighting should be designed for the tasks that individuals are carrying out within that environment, which is where these systems come into play. Automated systems can illuminate occupied desks, and light up adjacent desks to a slightly lower level, being both energy efficient and providing a user-friendly experience to your employees.

It is so important for employees to feel comfortable in their working environment - keeping the temperature in the office above 20 degrees and 23 degrees is imperative for morale and employee concentration. Intelligent systems are able to measure the occupancy in the area and as a result, adjust the requirement for fresh air throughout different parts of the day.

Passive Management

Once you have gathered data on these areas, it is crucial to be able to interpret this data and use the findings in the day to day running of the office. Wayfinding lights can be installed which emit a low-level ambient light against any surface, showing when seats, zones and areas are available to users. Live availability floor plans can also help when introducing agile working, so employees can see which spaces are occupied and choose their working space accordingly.

How can this information be reviewed?                          

Intelligent systems will provide full reports on all aspects of their workplace assessment. Occupancy reports will show graphs, charts and tables, broken down into building, floor, business unit, department and team so that employers can fully assess how their workspace and building works for them. Reports can be generated for your environmental findings, wellbeing, bookings, and live availability too.

What other intelligent software is available for your workplace?

Other than sensor-based occupancy & utilisation platforms, there are plenty of other pieces of forward-thinking intelligent tech making its way into our offices. Indoor maps help to improve internal collaboration and boost performance, through allowing employees to manage their work spaces, locate colleagues and instantly book meeting rooms through an easy to manage app.

Visitor management systems can streamline visitor sign in experiences, keep your building secure, whilst also providing a drink of choice for your visitor on arrival, and booking a taxi for your visitor’s pick-up time, all from inside an intelligent app.

Additionally, intelligent meeting room booking systems mean that meeting rooms can be booked anywhere, anytime, with an easy ordering system to allow catering and resources to be ordered to arrive for the meeting. These apps can offer wayfinding to help people find their meeting rooms seamlessly, with the room set up to each employee’s specific needs for technology, temperature and lighting.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to intelligent software in the workplace, and over the coming years we will really start to see how this technology is paramount for the future of the workplace. If you would like help with integrating intelligent software into your office, get in touch today.