The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the billions of devices around the world that are connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. As IoT continues to gain momentum, it has made an impact in the workplace, as connected devices are allowing for seamless flow across work tasks.
Utilising IoT innovation is delivering solutions for a variety of business dilemmas. Along with the larger scope of data made available by connected devices, businesses are leveraging this technology to make better changes for the workplace from collaboration and productivity to employee health and safety.
The increase in number of connected devices in the office can enhance the efficiency of the organisation and improve the productivity of its employees. IoT devices, where information processing and other routine tasks are programmed or managed, are providing faster and more accurate operations, greater security, and improved channels of communication.
The rise of connected devices will lead to connected workplaces that will offer enormous improvements to keep their employees engaged. According to research from Deloitte, employees who collaborate are 10 times more likely to be satisfied with their job, as collaboration helps them work faster and improves the quality of their work.
Beyond connecting workers within a single office, IoT is allowing for new ways to facilitate collaboration among a dispersed global workforce. Cloud computing offers employees the same server access from any location, meaning an entire global team can all contribute in real time through their connected devices, promoting greater engagement and collaboration.
According to the 2018 CBRE Asia Pacific Occupier survey, 78 per cent of respondents plan to invest significantly in new office technology to enhance the user experience for employees. Smart devices using IoT sensors such as thermostats and security systems use data to respond to the work environment, creating a smarter workplace that improves cost efficiencies for businesses.
Hot desking is an example of a collaborative work environment made possible using connected devices. For employees to use different workstations throughout different time periods, hot desking accessories are required accommodate today’s tech-heavy office environments. Universal docking stations include specific benefits such as access to new devices, improved portability and use of multiple devices.
Connected devices are creating better workplaces for employees. Australian-based tech business, Atlassian, have designed their Sydney-based office to focus on user experience, including agile working spaces, soundproof meeting pods and open-space meeting areas, results which have played a significant role in the 99 percent employee approval rate of the office space.
Beyond a physical office space, businesses are using connected devices to promote intracompany engagement. KFC Australia uses the corporate social networking app, Yammer, to engage staff members and connect them to the company on a national level. CEO Rob Phipps, uses the app to engage team members for feedback on company performance. Encouraging engagement with connected devices to access the app builds company trust, promotes employee engagement and increases levels of collaboration.
Businesses need to take into consideration employee attitudes towards the emerging interconnectivity of devices when thinking about how smart their offices should be. Design and functionality in the office can have major effects on an employee’s productivity, so businesses must consider network, security and privacy challenges that are involved in the rise of connected devices.
By letting employees make autonomous choices and have a greater say in the workplace environment, connected devices will continue to make a huge impact in the transformation of traditional offices.
James Dibou, Product manager, Kensington