As technology evolves, the way people work, interact with each other, and what they expect in the workplace has changed. Over half, 57%, of all employees believe they will be working in a smart office within the next five years, while 80% of millennials say that technology would influence their decision about where they work. These figures underline how technology has ushered in a new era of expectations in the workplace and why it’s vital that co-working spaces, if they don’t want to be left behind, need to start implementing technological solutions. As Allison Dew, VP of global client solutions marketing at Dell, states, “Employees have seen first-hand the ways new technologies can help them do their jobs better and are hungry to use the latest advancements to be more productive…it’s a business-critical opportunity for companies to be at the forefront of the future workplace and enable the future workforce.”
Enhanced Co-working Management
Leading co-working spaces have begun leveraging AI and IoT technologies to create dynamic, efficient and sustainable environments. From synchronized calendars that permit users to book available meeting rooms through intuitive online dashboards to controlling the workplace environment with intelligent sensors, technology offers seamless operations through streamlined interfaces. Outlined below are some of the main Smart technologies that have been springing up in co-working spaces across the world and the benefits they provide to the members of these sites.
It’s well documented that people – 74% to be exact – are more productive in coworking environments due to collaborations and open-plan settings. Yet, it’s only recently that we’ve seen how the adoption of advanced technologies has begun to improve members’ working experiences and enhance their productivity levels. 31.3% of people already believe that technology has increased their working efficiency.
One technology that has begun trending across co-working spaces, used to increase member comfort, is the occupancy detection system. Using automated on/off switch technology, it activates lighting and air conditioning only when an occupant is in a room and automatically disables it once no motion is detected. Moreover, this smart sensor technology intuitively adjusts the space to a chosen optimal temperature. Members can easily control both temperature and lighting, tailoring them to their preferences through mobile applications. These types of sensors run 24/7 allowing for round the clock monitoring and regulations.
Such seamless control and automatic adjustments enable the users to execute their work in comfort and, as a result, boost productivity. According to research conducted by the University of California, Berkeley – people who are more satisfied with their work environment are more productive; for every 15% increase in work satisfaction, there is a 4% increase in productivity.
Stay Safe and Secure
Another growing trend within co-working spaces is the integration of environmental control sensors that monitor the carbon dioxide levels within the site’s air. This is crucially important for members who spend a large portion of the day in the office or if there is a lot of people in a meeting room or event space. If unchecked, CO2 levels can quickly rise above the standard 350 -1000 ppm. Moderate to high levels of CO2 can result in a variety of adverse effects from fatigue and headaches, to dizziness and loss of attention. This cutting-edge technology ensures the wellbeing of members and allows them to work at their peak performance levels.
We’re also beginning to see the era of door keys coming to an end at co-working sites. Keyless access through mobile applications has come to the fore, improving members’ overall experience and creating hassle-free spaces. Providing secure, 24/7, access to sites, that allows members to work around the clock with ease. It doesn’t just stop at doors either, IoT technologies, such as intelligent lighting systems, can prevent break-ins by turning the lights on when motion is detected. They can also turn on the emergency lighting if the power goes out. Wireless IP Security cameras, that can send recordings instantly to the user’s phone when triggered, have also been popular additions to co-working environments.
Keep it Green
It’s estimated that by 2040, given the growth of the middle class in India and China, the world’s energy consumption will have grown by almost 50%. This stat, another from an ever-growing list, is further proof of how energy consumption is one of the main challenges we face as a species.
Thankfully, with the arrival of Smart buildings and the technologies aforementioned in this article, businesses are now at least beginning to cut back on energy waste in the workplace. Mr. Braund, CEO of Redstone Connect, elaborates by saying “Smart buildings present a significant opportunity for businesses to reduce their environmental footprint by ensuring that space and resources are used efficiently”. As IoT and AI technologies continue to develop and become readily available, expect prospective employees to demand that their workplaces are energy-efficient and contributing to a greener tomorrow.
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