If you’re interested in tapping into the full potential of your workspace, then it’s time to make your office smarter. A smart office is simply a space designed to optimize your work process through interconnectivity and thoughtful design. Most importantly, a smart office focuses on how to best motivate and support the people who work there.
What makes an office “smart”?
There’s a lot that goes into making an office a smart office, but one thing they all have in common in they reflect the way people actually work. What that will mean for each workspace will depend on your industry and work style. To learn the main characteristics of a smart office, and how to make your workplace support all areas of your organization, read on.
A smart office uses intelligent office design
Smart offices make efficient use of space and are strategically designed to support how your organization works. This includes the ability to be adaptable by opening or closing off spaces with flexible workstations and furniture. Space optimization should also be a consideration and can benefit workflow as well as lower operating costs. There’s a lot of potential for savings if space is properly utilized.
Some examples of smart office design:
- Smart use of vertical space can save floor space as well as increase grab and reach efficiencies
- Adjustable workstations with a wide range of uses for space planning and structuring
- Areas specifically designed to support each kind of task
- Harmony and flow between workstations, lighting, private work areas, etc.
All these aspects should be taken into account when designing and building smart offices.
Smart offices use connected technology
Today’s workplace is more connected than ever before, and much of a company’s success comes from coworkers being able to communicate and share more effectively. A smart office will be up to date with the latest technology best suited for your industry. What is smart for one, might not be for another.
New gadgets, artificial intelligence, and especially the internet of things present lots of new opportunities in offices. Imagine the time saved using something like Amazon’s “Dash button” to order supplies as soon as someone notices their low? Artificial intelligence assistants (like google home, Amazon Elexa, Cortana and Siri) are already popping up in homes, but they could prove to be just as (if not, more) useful in office settings.
Ask yourself if the technology in your office is:
- Based on the activities that need to be performed in the office. How are these tasks best performed?
- Is your technology helped employees perform their best?
- How can technology anticipate needs or eliminate tasks?
- Are there intelligent apps that will provide will give us with a better user
The goal of a tech-heavy smart office is to use technology to automate routine and everyday tasks to optimize workflow. Ideally, technology should free up time by doing as many tasks possible for your employees. This way, their time can be spent tackling the work that technology can’t.
Smart offices are designed with well-being in mind
How well is your office considering the well-being of all occupants?
So much of productivity is tied to the well-being of employees, that an office that doesn’t focus on the well-being of occupants isn’t very smart at all. Healthier work environments have a big effect on cognitive function, performance, and attendance. For this reason, improvements that affect wellness are worth the investment.
Some characteristics of a smart office that focus on well-being include:
- Intuitive lighting and heating
- Improved comfort with good quality or ergonomic furniture
- Good quality break rooms or seclusion areas for de-stressing
- Air purifiers, fresh air, and ventilation
- Sensor based furniture
A smart office is ergonomically optimized. Ergonomic furniture is just another way of designing a workspace to support and work with your cause, and not against it. Not only do ergonomic furniture improve employee wellness and workplace efficiency, but also the adaptability of your office design.
Working with a design-build firm that specializes in workspace design is a big step towards a smarter office. However, a smart office isn’t just a design and build project, it is an ongoing process that involves continuous attention to your work process, needs of your employees, and changing technology. As your business continues to evolve, use these ideas to makr your office work smarter.