Smart workspace is an IoT submarket that encapsulates products and systems that link between employees their work environments and the digital space. It includes products such as Smart Furniture, Smart control over Utilities, Smart Tags, Smart Equipment, Mixed reality glasses and many other examples
In our competitive and self-aware market, manpower wellness and safety are entwined with increased motivation, work ethics, devotion, loyalty and productivity. Gone are the days where inside information on employee-employer relations and workplace conditions remained barricaded by management. Nowadays data is transparent and immediate - transmitted to the social media right after the fact; in some cases, it feels like before the fact - as we are all in a time-machine.
To meet the demanding requirements of 2020 workplaces, one must think outside the box. Fancy R&R areas are not enough anymore.
Fortunately, the recent trends of Internet of Things (IoT), which have started gaining traction in many traditional sectors, may offer innovative solutions and value to the workplace.
Smart workspace is an IoT submarket that encapsulates products and systems that link between employees their work environments and the digital space. It includes products such as Smart Furniture, Smart control over Utilities, Smart Tags, Smart Equipment, Mixed reality glasses and many other examples.
Such solutions benefit the employees as-well-as the employers since they use various Internet-of-Things technologies – such as sensor and location-based data gathering, wireless communication networks, Artificial intelligence, machine-learning, Big data analysis and cloud based BI solutions, to increase employee wellness, safety, security and productivity.
Please see Intel new Smart Building currently being built in Israel
Benefits of Smart Workspace
- Wellness, Safety and Security
In the shared-economy era, everything is ranked – workplaces included (e.g. glassdoor) ; Health, Safety and wellness are major parameter in which employees rank their workplace. Employers also gain significantly in decreased absence, due to sick leave, and increased productivity.
Smart furniture monitors the sitting habits of employees and employ the science of ergonomics to decrease sitting related injuries - since "sitting is the new smoking"; Smart Badges map and analyze poisonous gas levels inside a refinery; Smart helmets monitor hazards inside a mine, predict and prevent accidents; Wearable devices and Smart garments measure location, heartrate and variability of firefighters in a fire scene and provide alerts to a command and control centers.
- Conservation of Resources
When still depending on non-renewable energy sources like the fossil fuel or coal, conservation of precious resources is substantial and significant to decrease expenditures. Space and time are also invaluable resources that is being optimized by shared working spaces.
Wireless sensors embedded inside the office infrastructure measure the interaction between employees and their environment – monitor motion, pressure, temperature, humidity, light, location etc; and interact with a central command and control center to render a high conservation of resources: Energy (Light, Heating), Space sharing (Occupant measurement), Time (Location of co-workers) and social interaction (shared working spaces) etc.
- Monitoring equipment and inventory
Studies show that nurses spend an average of 21 minutes per shift searching for lost equipment. Factories lose hard cash due to their inability to track the lifecycle of raw chemicals - from arrival to the Wearhouse to their processing. Smart, low cost RF tags imbedded with sensors monitor location, condition and lifespan of equipment and inventory. They can be linked to the cloud via wireless communication to transmit the data in real-time. Price-Per-Unit of such tags is related to their technical complexity which is related to the type of thing they need to monitor.
- Increased productivity
Productivity has reached a glass ceiling in most places around the earth. Looking for cheap labor costs solutions has become a challenge. Even China, faces difficulties maintaining its position as the world's production hub, due to increased labor costs, and is seeking for Industrial IOT (IIOT) solutions to make its factories smart and efficient. Using smart workplace solutions (Sensors, Smart badges, Augmented and Mixed reality) to monitor the productivity of employees and efficiency of productions processes, without hindering worker privacy, has become a major goal for industrialist that wish to increase efficiency and beat competition.
Future of IoT
As Internet has changed the dynamics of business communications and decision-making, IoT is also poised for dominating improvements across the business and industry. The global IoT market is estimated to scale up more than 30% by the year 2020. The benefit would encourage discrete manufacturing, logistics, and transportation, and other utility sectors embrace IoT soon.
There is no exaggeration in saying that the enhanced entrepreneur-base is looking to IoT vertical markets for solutions. The data collection and management besides reduction in the cost of sensors is enabling accelerated adoption of Internet of Things.
One can reap enormous benefits of IoT in further improving the smart workplace by introducing Smart Tags, Smart Furniture, Smart equipment, Augmented and Mixed reality solutions and multiple other technologies.
Our next articles will present each major technology we believe that can revolutionize the way we will interact with our smart workplace – so stay tuned…