What do you think about when you hear the words “modern office”? Many people start to talk about open plan offices with ample lighting and contemporary furniture however, today’s modern office is much more than just the physical environment. Technology is changing the way employees interact and work within their offices, defining the true meaning of a “smart office”.
An investment into smart technologies is an investment into the office as a whole – both the way employees work and the environment surrounding them. The right tools need to be intuitive and communicative to streamline workflows and remove non-strategic tasks from to-do lists so employees can gain more focus on what is actually important.
As we move further into 2020, it is important to determine which technologies will create the biggest impact to your office. We have highlighted the top 5 “smart office” technologies you should consider to refresh your office and your employees’ ways of working:
1. Diverse Communication Tools
Real time collaboration has been an extremely essential technology for the modern smart office as it greatly improves productivity by allowing enhanced collaboration between different teams. Making it quick and easy to share ideas – whether using physical whiteboards, video conferencing or digitally sharing screens – the specific technology will depend on the need at the time.
What we do know is that a single tool is very unlikely to fulfil all the needs so finding smart tools that work together is crucial. The office of the future will not be defined as four walls and people in cubicles but rather it will be a collaboration of individuals regardless of location and proximity to each other.
2. Cloud-Based Platforms
Every office should be using cloud-based platforms – they are essential to protect data and make it accessible to those authorised to have it. One of the biggest advantages of using cloud-based platforms is that it allows businesses to double, triple and even quadruple in size without having to move office or even buy more hardware.
All applications are stored and operated online, meaning there is no need for bulky servers or external storages. Even remote employees can easily manage their workload via the cloud with workers able to access the office from everywhere, collaboration among teams is enhanced and communication becomes even easier. Essentially, the entire office can be run from the web.
3. Sit / Stand Desks
Wellbeing in the workplace has becoming a hot topic of late with employee wellness and collaboration being promoted throughout businesses. One of the innovative products introduced into the market are sit/stand desks which allow users to control the desk height and choose whether to work sitting down or stretch their legs during the day and work standing up.
4. Electronic Whiteboards
Every office should be investing in electronic whiteboards – they have the capacity to store and print everything that is written on them, saving time with note-taking and printing. All notes that are taken during meetings, for example, can be saved without having to rewrite them from the whiteboard, creating a better note-taking experiences and increasing overall productivity.
5. Environmental Sustainability
We are increasingly seeing new and innovative ways to save energy with environmentally protective solutions in the workplace. From green office supplies to energy-saving lighting, offices are stepping up to help take responsibility for the natural world.
We are starting to see office buildings integrate renewable energy solutions such as solar and wind to meet high energy needs and even the integration of smart technology. New technologies such as super-efficient air conditioners, advanced window controls and better building materials help to monitor energy usage where solutions can then be applied to improve energy efficiency, helping to make offices even greener.