How does a smart office work and what are the benefits?

Future of work
April 3, 2023
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Workplaces that do not adapt to the needs of employees are coming to an end. We are entering the era of the "smart office".

When we talk about the office today and imagine the office of tomorrow, we usually think of open spaces, greenery, natural lighting or sustainable furniture. That's true, but it's not just the physical work environment that makes a modern office smart.

What is a smart office?

A smart office or intelligent office uses technology to help people work more productively and efficiently, whether they are in the office or working remotely and connecting with their team in the office. Smart offices use connected technology and analytics to understand how the workplace can best serve employees to help them be productive.

Smart office technology often includes video conferencing software and hardware tools, meeting room and office reservation software, and office analytics tools to understand how different office spaces are being used. This smart office technology adapts to the evolving communication styles of the workplace and provides the data, resources and tools needed to make the future of work as productive as possible.

So what are the advantages of a smart office? 

According to a study conducted by the ESSEC Workplace Management Chair, 47% of employees find that their office no longer corresponds to their way of working. The smart office can thus be a first response to these new needs.

Smart desk technology and meeting spaces make it quick and easy to schedule and run hybrid meetings, and help teams have more productive meetings, regardless of where the meeting participants are located.

In a smart office, people can find the workspace that best suits their needs, whether collaborating with a group or working on individual tasks. Smart office technology also helps IT and facility managers analyze how tools and spaces are used, so improvements can be made and workspaces can be used more efficiently now and in the future. This is helpful in planning office moves or renovations so that workspaces meet employee needs.

Smart offices enable hybrid work. If you want to attract top talent, you have to give them what they want. Flexibility in how and where they work. So to attract (and retain) top talent, you need to give them the ability to work both from home and from the office - and a smart office is the way to do that.

Smart offices are equipped with a variety of technologies that enable hybrid working. For example, meeting rooms are typically equipped with video conferencing software that allows team members who work from home to easily participate in meetings. Collaboration tools allow remote and in-office team members to work together on projects in real time. If your company allows employees to come and go as they please, a tool like Deskare that lets you know how many people are in the office - and how many workstations are available - can give remote employees important insights into office activity on any given day (and save them a trip if there aren't enough workstations available for them to work at). 

So smart offices make hybrid work better, easier and more efficient - and since employees want to work in a hybrid environment, smart offices play a key role in attracting and retaining top talent.

Is the smart office adapted to my current company and organization?

Now that you know what smart desktops can do for you, let's take a broader look at the question: is this concept everyone is talking about right for your office or not?

Start by defining your current office situation: 

  • What are the things that make your employees happy now?
  • What seems to be the problem?

You will then be able to make statistics on the use of your workspace and see what needs to be improved. 

This research should provide you with valuable data that will help you understand whether or not the move to a smart office is worth it.

Remember, not every office needs to adopt every possible smart and connected technology. Share your findings with others in the office to ensure you're not overdoing it and meeting everyone's needs.

For example, if you find that a lot of time is spent managing meeting rooms, you may want to consider smart locker management solutions that help automate the entire process. 

FAQ, your questions about the smart office

What is a smart office?

A smart office or smart office solution is an office space that incorporates modern technology to increase and improve employee productivity, experience and efficiency by optimizing the office environment, while keeping the office space environmentally friendly and cost effective.

What are the characteristics of a smart office?

Smart office technology often includes video conferencing software and hardware tools, meeting room and office booking software, and office analytics tools to understand how different office spaces are being used.

What are the benefits of a smart office?

Smart office technology also aims to protect the environment by making offices more energy efficient, safer and more comfortable. It also helps companies make better decisions about the space available for employees.