Building a people-friendly workplace with smart technologies

Smart Technologies May 29 Resolve Tech Solutions

It is not uncommon for an office worker to be emailing a colleague barely 10 feet away. Or for 30 participants across 10 buildings from 3 locations to huddle up on a Zoom call. Across industries, office workers are increasingly relying on digital tools to manage their day-to-day activities. Meetings are nearly always scheduled on Outlook or Google calendars; project plans are routinely published on web-based tools like Trello and Jira; shared notes are captured and synced through Evernote and OneNote; and documents get circulated via Dropbox and Google Drive.

With the advent of all these digital tools, it isn’t too hard for the enterprise to know what individual employees have on their daily agenda. With this knowledge comes the enterprise’s ability to help the individual become more productive. Indeed, according to a survey by Aruba Networks, 73% Digital Revolutionaries report high productivity levels and more importantly, 74% report a higher sense of job satisfaction. And in the digital age, the workplace has become the place where the office worker’s digital and physical environments converge.


HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY

74% of employees who believe their workplace should be completely digital report higher productivity levels

Aruba survey

For an office manager, a question arises: how can digital technologies simplify not only the employee’s work, but make workplace itself people-friendly?

In the area of software development, programmers routinely automate their tasks with the help of event-driven programming. Essentially, programmers identify actions to be carried out when certain events are triggered. One example could be to notify all team members whenever a new nightly build is available for routine testing. Another could be to notify developers when a regression test fails.

With the advent of smart technologies, triggers can be set up to monitor the physical environment of the office. Smart technologies, as we’ve discussed before, rely on IoT-based devices in conjunction with physical resources – air conditioners, lighting, etc. With a smart integration of RFID smart cards (which are typically already present in employee’s identity cards) with the company’s messaging platform, facilities managers can be notified when a large meeting has ended in a conference room – thereby prompting the cleaners to tidy up the room for the next meeting. Smart integration of calendars could notify the parking facilities to proactively reserve parking spots for clients visiting the office and the front desk to keep a visitor’s badge ready. Door sensors at restrooms could prompt a cleaning ahead of the routine schedule if there has been significant usage. In an earlier blog post, we discussed how smart technologies are being used to deliver energy efficiency in the modern workplace. However, smart technologies easily go beyond merely providing energy efficiency: they are an important lever in making workplaces more people-friendly.