Major developments in the technology sector commonly referred to as the Internet of Things will affect every aspect of our lives in the not so distant future. From networks of personal smart devices that already allow us to monitor our living spaces, stay in constant communication with another, the Internet of Things has gone from a vision of the future to the soon to be “infrastructure of the information society”. And it’s not just developments in the tech sector, interconnected technologies are changing the workplace, affecting everything from the physical office space to the way we interact with our colleagues.
IoT will make the physical office safer and more accessible
Epicenter, a digital hub based in Stockholm, Sweden, is a remarkable example of how some companies are heading into the future full speed ahead. The futuristic workspace and innovation center is taking wearable technologies to the next level, offering employees the option of getting a microchipped. The small chip, gives workers full control over the workspace, replacing the employee badge and key card. While not everyone will be inclined to be microchipped, interconnected networks of devices have improved smart security systems, granting employees increased access, in addition to monitoring activity within office spaces, keeping a close watch on who is coming and going at all hours of the day.
Iot will improve collaboration and grow networks
As workplaces around the world become more flexible, companies are giving employees more agency over their working hours, in addition to paying more attention to office relationships. The rise of open plan workspaces has placed emphasis on increased collaboration, making it easier for teams to manage communication inside and out of the workplace. Everything from chatbots, to in-house communication tools, and digital assistants, have made it easier for employers to keep track of worker activity. More advanced communication technologies have contributed to the rise of a freelance workforce, with progressively more companies hiring freelancers, promoting talent based network growth in the long run.
IoT will make the office more cost efficient
Like smart security systems, one of the premier developments in Internet of Things is smart devices, which are already being used in the home to help users cut costs on utilities. For offices, installing smart devices can help control how much energy you are using, while also optimizing consumption, adjusting it to your needs. The Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat is a great example of how smart appliances help keep the office space comfortable without being wasteful. As the smart appliances are connected to wifi, or for more secured setup – through virtual private networks (VPNs) – they can be easily turned off and on remotely, in addition to having the ability to power down other connected devices in the office.
Better data analysis will help the workplace be more human-centric
In recent years, companies have turned to data analysis to help them create more productive and human-centric workplaces. With an increase in interconnected devices, it’s easier than ever for businesses to access a vast network of data sets, thus giving them more insight into how their workplace is functioning. Companies can adjust everything from working hours, task management, to time off, to ensure optimal productivity without compromising a good work/life balance for employees. Overall, investing in professional data analysis highlights changes needed to be made in the workplace, helping individual businesses understand their specific needs and allowing them to become better places to work in the future.
Overall, the Internet of Things has contributed to the development of more secure, well-managed spaces, while also granting employees more autonomy ever before. While the full potential of the IoT has yet to be revealed, there have already been various positive changes taking place within the workplace thanks to a more connected workforce.
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This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.
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