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Hybrid work
Space optimization

Workplace IoT: a key ally to optimize and make the most of your office


July 4, 2023


September 13, 2023

Do you manage to keep up with all the new amazing tech flourishing daily? Every department in the office, including CRE (Corporate Real Estate) teams, now has access to many  tools to work more efficiently. Workplace IoT (Internet of Things) represents a big part of these life-changing devices

Corporate Real Estate implies creating a work environment that makes people thrive while meeting your company’s budgetary limits. To do so, collecting data is key to developing successful strategies tailored to your organization’s needs.

Do you use virtual IoT solutions to help your teammates maximize hybrid work? How do you monitor your office occupancy? Have you already implemented smart furniture in your modern workplace?

IoT is a big chunk of the future of workplace technology. While 35 billion IoT connections were reported in 2020, experts expect this number to reach 83 billion by 2024. If you are curious to learn more about the role of the Internet of Things in the office, this article is for you. 

What is the Internet of Things - IoT?

The development of the Internet of Things

IoT stands for Internet of Things. These technologies aren’t new. Many of us have used them in our private lives for a few years already. One of the most common examples of personal IoT devices is smartwatches. Some of you might also delegate tasks to Alexa regularly. 

The development of IoT over the last couple of years has completely changed our personal lives. But it also shakes up the world of work, especially with the rise of AI in the workplace. Employing these technologies offers numerous advantages to your company across various aspects of your organization, including CRE and Facility management.

The rise of workplace IoT

Regarding CRE and Facility professionals, workplace IoT helps them better monitor the physical work environment and make data-driven decisions. This smart technology is based on sensors and includes temperature control systems, smart furniture, robots, and so on. 

These devices enable them to gather real-time data to implement relevant strategies to improve employee experience, boost collaboration and productivity, and reduce expenses.

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What are examples of workplace IoT?

Infrastructure IoT devices

Many IoT sensors are incorporated into the office building infrastructure itself. Some have been utilized for quite a long time. They are so deeply integrated into our working environments that we don’t even pay attention to them. 

For CRE and Facility managers, these tools are real support for maintenance, risk prevention, employee and customer experience, cost-saving purposes, and much more. 

Some examples of workplace IoT include:

  • office security systems;
  • temperature control solutions;
  • air quality monitoring tools;
  • lighting and water sensors;
  • occupancy detectors.

Integrations play a crucial role in making the most use of these technologies. For instance, integrating these smart devices into your desk booking app enhances greater hybrid workspace management and fosters a better employee experience.

Business-specific smart technology 

Some other IoT technologies focus more on improving the employee experience, making productivity thrive, and adapting to new ways of working

Smart desks are equipped with sensors that detect when an employee hasn’t moved for some time. Notifying team members of this information can help prevent physical health issues like back pain. 

Another application of IoT in the workplace is the introduction of telepresence robots. When combined with artificial intelligence systems, these robots offer a virtual office experience for workers, partners, and customers, opening up new opportunities for online collaboration.

Have you heard about smart videoconferencing setup? Employees can now enter a room, and the place interacts with them. For example, the lights turn on themselves, the meeting room equipment switch on, a voice welcomes them into the room, etc. Add to this the introduction of Alexa for Business, and your team meeting experience dives right into the future of work!

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light switch off
IoT helps manage energy consumption

How can the IoT in the office help Facility and CRE managers in their daily job?

Office occupancy

IoT devices connect multiple resources, such as hardware, software, and artificial intelligence tools. This enables CRE professionals to access and collect much  data about what is happening in the workplace. A core aspect is how much and how the office is used. Office occupancy information helps them determine the best strategy to optimize costs while providing team members with a work environment that answers their needs. 

Energy consumption and sustainability

How many of us have passed in front of a building by night, seeing offices with the light still on, whereas all employees have left? Not only does it cost businesses tons of money, but the energy it requires contributes significantly to global warming. Smart workplace technology, like sensor devices, is crucial in helping CRE managers control and reduce energy consumption. 

For instance, tracking office occupancy allows them to adjust the workplace's temperature.. Or this information could be directly transmitted to the cooling/heating system, automatically making the appropriate changes.  

Employees’ needs

These modern devices also provide you with a lot of information about your employees’ ways of working and needs. For example, your desk booking software might indicate that most of your team is highly in demand for meeting rooms, but some still want to have assigned desks. Rethinking your office space layout can therefore be a great idea to answer their expectations, boost satisfaction, and improve collaboration.

Hybrid work model optimization

IoT sensors give you key indications about your office occupancy. With desk booking and room booking software like deskbird, you can successfully embrace more flexibility at work. These tools help you optimize and manage your workspace in addition to contributing to creating a work environment that promotes collaboration and answers hybrid teams’ needs.

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Woman looking at floor plan on laptop
Facility manager understanding office occupancy

Safety risks management 

IoT sensors can notify Facility leaders of any safety hazards in the office environment. For example, risk-prevention smart devices that report any potential risks of system failures or gas leaks in the workplace. 

This technology helps protect employees from injuries and other threats and keeps the physical work environment safe. The good thing with an automated and AI-based structure is that these tools never sleep, making the office safe and secure at all times. 

Efficiency and productivity

The effects of workplace IoT on efficiency and productivity are visible from a CRE leader’s perspective and from the whole workforce. The core pillar of their job is to create a work environment that enhances greater employee experience and satisfaction. Working within an optimized office setup helps team members be more efficient and productive. Therefore, smart technologies benefit everyone in the workplace by multiplying their productivity and efficiency abilities.

Assets management

Speaking of efficiency, workplace IoT is also handy for CRE managers for asset management. From monitoring building systems to keeping track of office furniture, you need to handle so many assets at the same time. The best way to keep up is by using modern technology such as IoT devices and automation. 

These tools can, for example, send you notifications when an area of your office hasn’t been used for a while. This can make you want to investigate why employees aren’t using that spot in particular and proceed to some changes to make more use of it.

Workplace IoT is part of the modern ways of working and physical work environments. Combining artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things in the office is the future of work. However, a few adjustments need to be made. For instance, HR managers must deal with data privacy procedures, and IT teams must implement new cybersecurity measures. When these aspects are under control, IoT devices are an essential support for CRE leaders and all other departments in the workplace.

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1 7 Ways The Internet of Things Is Changing The Way We Work, iOffice by Epura.

Workplace IoT: a key ally to optimize and make the most of your office

Paulyne Sombret

Paulyne is a highly respected expert in hybrid work. She's known for her writing on sustainability in the hybrid office, flexible work models, and employee experience. With a strong background in content and SEO, her work explores the exciting trends and latest news in the world of work.

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