How the IoT will create the smarter, greener workplace of the future
We know that the advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to transform our daily personal and working lives, with multiple devices soon able to communicate with each other; but as a recent article on the Information Age points out, as well as making our workplaces smarter, this technology is going to make them greener, too.
In the near future, we're going to be more connected to our machines than ever. As a result, we will also be more connected to our environments and the systems that operate within them, with enhanced sensors and software drastically changing the way we live.
According to Gartner research, by 2020 there will be 25 billion connected 'things' in the world; many of which will have clear advantages in the workplace. From printers to security systems, smarter buildings will be better for the environment and a company's bottom line. Below are just some of the possibilities.
Traditional offices and working patterns are changing, and at the same time are becoming filled with more and more digital natives. As early adopters of connected devices, Millennials will need to be catered for in the offices of the future - this means technology and the ability to connect must be accessible all the time, everywhere. Businesses will need to provide the solutions, software and hardware required to support the rise in collaborative and flexible working.
Running like clockwork
With smart building technology and automation, leaders already have enhanced oversight and control over their facilities. This could soon be replaced by biometrics and mobile apps that, for example, can track who is in a particular meeting room, when it will next become available, and what lighting, audiovisual applications and network services will be required for the next tenant. Smarter workplaces can automatically turn the lights off when there is enough natural daylight, or switch off the HVAC in empty rooms, significantly reducing energy wastage.
Taking the step
Unfortunately, while many companies have the basic foundations required to roll out smart building technology - ie. 'things' and connectivity - most are still struggling to co-ordinate all these elements into one cohesive strategy. There remains a lack of awareness of the benefits of IoT, which means it can be difficult to persuade business leaders that it's worth their investment. The real value of IoT will be realised when all these devices and services can be brought together as one central system.