The smart office is a new way of working and office design that uses technology to be more productive and collaborate more effectively.
Consumer technology is constantly evolving and advancing, and your office should be no exception. New innovations in technology that make it easier to work every day are allowing companies to connect employees and teams no matter where they are.
One of the innovations in question is the smart office!
The smart office is a type of office that uses technology to help organizations work productively and collaborate effectively.
The smart working is also developing very strongly in organizations. Be careful not to confuse the two terms, which are however complementary.
Smart offices use connected technology and data analytics tools to ensure that workplaces are equipped for the specific needs of employees at all times. This allows workspaces to adapt and evolve as organizations change and grow.
Let's now go into more detail about how the smart office concept works in companies.
Smart office companies use technology to help their employees work more productively and efficiently, whether they are working in the office or remotely.
Smart offices use technology and data to analyze how the workplace can enable employees to work productively and feel most comfortable doing their jobs.
A smart office is a hybrid workplace designed around technology with a human touch.
Initially created to enhance the workspace with the best digital tools, they allow employees to work smarter, better and faster.
In 2023, companies are becoming increasingly mature in leveraging technology and digital tools in the management of workspaces.
The pandemic period has forced companies to massively adopt the hybrid work (mix of telecommuting and face-to-face work). Now, these practices are becoming widespread and are deployed to improve the use of offices and the way employees work.
The main components of a smart office are the meeting rooms and smart workspaces. These are the areas where employees work most often and can benefit from using technology to enhance their work experience.
We are entering the era of the smart office!
Like the flex office which adapts to the capacity needs of the real estate asset, the smart office adapts and models itself to the needs of the employees.
When we talk about a modern office, we usually think of open spaces, greenery, natural lighting or sleek furniture. This is partly true, but the physical work environment is not enough for a modern office to be called smart.
According to Sarah Proust, author of Telework, the end of the office: the occupancy rate of workstations in offices is 60%. All the more reason to intelligently optimize work spaces.
We must therefore emphasize the role of technology as a support for employee well-being, business performance and the rationalization of organizational resources.
Smart office technology includes several elements that are found in almost every business.
Examples include: video conferencing equipment, messaging applications, digital workspace, presence planning, meeting room and office reservation software or even tools for analyzing work patterns. These tools help to understand how different office spaces are used and how to optimize them.
Technology and the smart office are enabling changes in the way people work. They provide the data and resources to make the future of work as enjoyable as it is productive.
What are the advantages of a smart office?
Smart office and flexible workspaces make it easy to schedule hybrid meetings and help teams hold more productive meetings, regardless of where employees are located.
In a smart office, individuals can find the workspace that best suits their needs, whether collaborating with a workgroup or working on individual tasks.
In addition, smart office technologies help IT and team managers analyze how tools and spaces are used.
Companies use this data to optimize workspaces as efficiently as possible. This is especially useful when planning a move or office renovation so that the workspaces match the real needs of the company and its employees.
More details at the end of the article!
The notion of a smart office can take on several aspects in the enterprise. The devices associated with collaborative work or the office present a wide range of technologies. Generally speaking, we find several recurring elements.
In a hybrid work environment, dedicated offices are no longer economically viable. The role of smart office technology offers intelligent and functional "hot desking" solutions that ensure employees have a place to work when they come to the office.
With hot desking, workspaces can be reserved in advance or upon arrival at the office.
The most common hybrid smart office solutions also provide online attendance schedules, where employees can see when their colleagues plan to be in the office and which workspaces they have reserved, so they have the option to reserve a space nearby.
A hot desking tool also helps employees book the services they need while in the office (meeting rooms, IT equipment, meals, etc.).
In a hybrid work environment, booking meeting rooms on days when you are in the office is more important than ever for companies.
The smart office takes advantage of this situation to meet the needs of employees with innovative solutions. The rise of videoconferencing requires a whole new set of equipment for meeting rooms, and since office attendance is no longer guaranteed, the smart office optimizes meeting rooms according to the equipment needed and the number of people present.
The best smart office solutions will offer a room reservation system that allows employees to find the room(s) that match their needs and automatically releases the room(s) if no one shows up for the meeting, making it available for other teams.
Finding your colleagues is no easy task in a hybrid work environment.
The role of smart office technologies is to help employees find each other and collaborate.
How do you do it? With a presence schedule (weekly, monthly) and a floor plan to locate your teams easily.
Via a web-based solution, everyone can indicate where they work and reserve meeting rooms, for example, thus facilitating reunions between colleagues.
As seen in the previous paragraph, one of the main features of smart office technologies is to provide an enterprise with an interactive floor plan that shows the layout of offices and associated services.
In large offices, employees can have trouble finding the right resources, such as meeting rooms and workspaces.
An interactive floor plan, often displayed from an app, can dramatically reduce time spent trying to book services and help staff be more efficient.
Data plays a key role in optimizing workspaces. The smart office and associated technologies generate data that allows the various stakeholders (IT manager, facility manager, HR manager) to make better decisions.
The graphical representations allow you to control the management of the spaces, the preferred work modes, the filling rate and the utilization rate of the different resources made available to the employees (workstations, meeting rooms, etc.)
Companies are thus equipping themselves with tools that analyze the most used resources, the number of phantom bookings, meetings that take place over time, and the number of people present in the office over the course of a week, a month or a year.
As work becomes hybrid, the possibilities become endless in optimizing workspaces by comparing :
A smart office has many benefits. First, it optimizes a hybrid workplace and minimizes the friction caused by the inefficiencies of daily work life.
These benefits can take many forms: finding the resources employees need easily, improving the employee experience or optimizing office space.
Let's analyze the main benefits of the smart office, both for the company and the employees.
The use of smart office technologies facilitates the daily life in a hybrid work environment, including the booking of services and the visualization of available colleagues.
Based on the data collected on the use of resources by employees, the company can optimize hybrid workplaces (reorganization, flex office, hot desking, meeting rooms, etc.)
By providing easy-to-use tools for booking resources, finding colleagues or hosting work events, the employee will experience their time at the office as a seamless experience, which can encourage them to visit more often.
By analyzing employee habits, companies can create an environment that is fully adapted to their needs and well-being.
As a result, employees who are most satisfied with their workplace are also the most engaged.
The office layout and resources available to employees are representative of the organization's culture.
By optimizing offices in a smart office way, innovative companies provide their employees with modern and efficient working tools, thus increasing their long-term loyalty.
Smart office solutions will spread an innovative work culture that fosters harmony among employees. With the hybridization of work, creating a bond between teams with better communication practices promotes talent retention.
Meeting room reservations, attendance data management, smart offices are intended to be more productive workplaces because they facilitate the daily life of employees.
According to studies such as the Harvard Business Review or the CNP, companies that invest massively in new ways of working (hybrid, flex office, smart working) benefit from increased productivity.