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Technology is transforming the workplace, and smart office solutions are at the forefront of this new change. But what exactly are smart offices? And how can they benefit your workplace?

What is a smart office?

This modern type of office space makes use of smart office technology to improve productivity, increase collaboration, drive efficiencies and create a safer workplace. 

A smart office will utilize different smart technologies and systems while linking them together to create a comprehensive smart office system that can help to improve ways of working while providing a huge amount of data and insights from which the business can learn to make further improvements in the future.

Some of the key components of a smart office include:

  • Internet of Things (IoT): Smart office IoT solutions are on the rise and can support you in every area of business. From lights and thermostats to employee management and access control, IoT smart technology is at the heart of the smart office.
  • Interconnectivity: One of the key components of smart offices is that all of your systems work together to make working environments more efficient, improve productivity and increase safety. 
  • Machine learning: Smart office solutions should help to make your ways of working more efficient, but they should also provide deep, data-driven insights you can utilize to further improve your ways of working in the future. Machine learning capabilities should be built into any smart office design, with real-time data collection to support analysis and future strategy creation.

Types of smart office systems

What is office technology? It comes in many different forms, covering everything from security solutions to space management to office climate control automation. Here are some of the leading smart office ideas you should consider in your office space planning to increase productivity, collaboration and security.

Access control systems

Office security can be greatly improved when you switch to a smart system. A customizable access control system should be a vital part of any smart security system, allowing you to stay on top of who’s coming in and out of your premises from wherever you are in the world. Smart access control systems can offer:

  • The ability to approve or deny access requests from a mobile device
  • A comprehensive cloud-based security system
  • Visibility from anywhere, including a real-time view of your video camera system and the ability to immediately trigger emergency a lockdown system from your remote device
  • Increased security through two-factor authentication
  • Easier visitor management 
  • Simple integration with your other smart office systems, including video cameras, communication channels and reporting software
  • Enhanced coworking space security and privacy in shared areas
  • Access to reports and real-time data with useful insights for immediate emergency responses and future planning

Space management tools

Smart technology can help make your office management more efficient, and a meeting management platform and smart meeting rooms can ensure you make the most of the space in your office. A space management tool is an important part of smart office design, as it can help you to:

  • Ensure your employees and visitors can see what meeting rooms and desks are available to book at any given time
  • See which equipment is most frequently used, and whether there is anything you should invest in based on popularity
  • Better understand which office spaces are most frequently used and whether you should, for example, reconfigure the space to increase the number of hot desks or bookable offices
  • Enable your employees to make, amend and cancel bookings more easily, all from one easy-to-use platform
  • Help employees to locate co-workers within your building
  • Ensure you can locate all employees in the event of an emergency

Energy and climate control

Climate control is a valuable part of smart office automation that can ensure your office is always at the right temperature without you having to go through your maintenance department. These systems can take user preferences, usage patterns and the weather outside to ensure the office automatically adjusts to be at the correct temperature, giving your employees a more pleasant office environment in which to work and improving employee morale. In addition, smart office automation of climate control and HVAC systems can improve energy efficiency and help workplaces become more sustainable.

Hybrid work tools

Hybrid working models are on the rise, influenced by the shift to working from home many businesses experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, 63% of high-revenue growth companies use a productivity everywhere’ hybrid work model, meaning that with the right resources, employees can work productively from the office, home or any other location. 

Investing in the newest office technology can help you create a human-centric office space that allows your employees to communicate and collaborate effectively from wherever they’re working. Tools you might consider in your smart office design include:

  • Video conferencing software to stay connected with remote workers and clients all over the world
  • Virtual whiteboard software, ensuring all meeting participants can fully participate, wherever they’re dialing in from
  • Quality webcams for better video calls
  • Cloud servers, so data and files can be accessed from either at home or in the office

Smart office accessories

Office accessories and furniture can help you to work more efficiently and productively — and they look the part in a modern workplace, too. Smart office technology and automated office equipment you might want to consider for your building include:

  • Workstation booking software that allows your employees to search for and book suitable desks and workstations through one single platform — which will also give you real-time data on how your workstations are being used, as well as remembering user preferences for their convenience when it comes to future bookings
  • Standing desks that can be customized for each employee
  • Smart desk phones 

Benefits of smart office technology

Whichever type of smart office technology you choose to use — or a comprehensive system that utilizes all of the different types of smart office technologies, there are myriad benefits for your people and your business. These include:

  • Increased productivity: Smart technology can reduce the manual element of your employees’ day-to-day tasks, ensuring they have more time to focus on the key elements of their role. By removing the need to do mundane or time-consuming tasks like trying to find a free meeting room or locating their co-workers within your office space, you’re giving them more time to concentrate on business-critical tasks and business development. This can improve not only employee morale but the business’ bottom line, too.
  • Better collaboration: If your business is using a hybrid or remote-first approach, a smart office design that uses smart devices and connected IoT technology can help your team to become better connected — and it can also ensure you have better communication with your clients and suppliers around the world. With high-quality video conferencing software, for example, meeting participants can all have the same experience, no matter where they’re based.
  • Improved security: Smart office security systems can give you better visibility and control over what’s happening at any given time in your office. From remotely approving access requests to viewing video camera footage in real-time, you’ll be able to stay on top of your security from anywhere using one central interface. What’s more, you can link all of your systems to work together — for example, if someone enters your office using a keycard, motion sensors can then activate the video cameras. Similarly, smart cameras with AI technology can detect abnormal motion or noise levels, helping to alert teams to potential incidents faster.
  • Improved energy efficiency: With smart office technology, you can program your lights, heating and smart devices so that they’re only turned on when they’re actually being used — helping you to save money and energy.

How to choose the right smart office system for you

If you’re thinking about installing smart office products in your workplace, you’ll know that there are a lot of different options out there. How do you decide what’s right for your needs? Here are some key questions to ask yourself when considering different smart office ideas:

  • What smart office technology is most important for your business? Perhaps you’ve recently moved to a hybrid working model, and you’re most focused on creating a better experience for all of your staff. Or maybe you’re interested in how smart office technology can improve your workplace safety. Think about what you need from a smart office system, and start by looking at that technology first.
  • Can your new smart office solutions integrate with your existing systems? As we’ve mentioned, one of the key tenets of smart offices is interconnectivity. So, when thinking about investing in smart office products, it’s important to understand whether they can be integrated with your existing systems. Can your smart sensors, for example, be integrated with your camera systems to give you a better picture of who is accessing your office space at any given time?
  • Does it give you the flexibility to grow? If you have plans to expand in the future, it’s important that your smart office solution can grow with you, saving you time and money without having to invest in a new system later down the line.
  • What is your budget? Different smart office products come with different price tags. Once you know what technologies you want to focus on first, set a budget — and if you can only afford one system at the moment, choose the one that will have the biggest impact on what’s most important to your business, whether that’s productivity, security or collaboration.

Are smart office technology solutions right for your workspace?

There are myriad benefits to smart offices, from increased security to better productivity for your whole team. But whether smart office technology is right for your business will depend on your specific needs and your budget. You should do an in-depth analysis to determine what your key priorities are and what areas of your business would benefit most from smart office technologies. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a clearer picture of what smart office components will best suit your business — and remember that you can start small and build up to a fully comprehensive smart office system. 

Look out for technologies that can be integrated with your existing systems to reduce your budget and increase efficiencies, as well as those that have the capacity to grow with your business over time.

Have questions? We can help

Our video security experts can help you implement the right security system for your business.