The average employee spends just over half their working day on productive tasks, with the rest taken up by distractions such as social media, emails and non-essential phone calls. During and after the COVID pandemic, remote-first work was the norm, but now businesses around the world are recalling teams back into the office either part or full-time, with the aim of promoting collaboration, creativity, employee wellbeing and productivity.
The role of the office space has changed dramatically over time and is still evolving. Once seen as a rather rigid environment where employees came together every weekday under one roof, at set times and at set desks, today's offices are adapting into flexible spaces where the latest technology and design combine to create a workspace in perfect balance.
Have you ever been in an office space where at the end of your day your contact lenses felt stuck to your eyes? Or, have you ever felt like a bug in a lamp with vile, vibrant light that makes you feel nauseous. Smart office technologies work with what makes us human, ensuring a comfortable and productive day at work, by delivering the best:
Temperature control systems that keep temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20-22 degrees Celsius).
Commercial lighting management systems that adjust light levels automatically based on the time of day and year, and outdoor lighting conditions
Smart Office Shading systems that block out sunlight when you need shade, but allow natural light in during the day, so you don't feel like you're working in a cave all day long!
For those unfamiliar with lighting temperatures and colours. The temperature of light is measured on the Kelvin (K) scale, the scale is a numerical measurement of the colour.
Just take, for example, the heating of a lighting filament.
As the temperature of the filament increases, the filament will start to glow different colours from red, then orange, then yellow, then white, and, finally, it will emit a bluish-white colour.
Lower colour temperature light sources are called “warm” because they emit red, orange and yellow colour, whereas higher colour temperature light sources are called “cool” because they are on the violet and blue end of the colour spectrum.
You can use lighting in different rooms and spaces to stimulate different types of collaboration depending on use cases.
The glow-from-the-fire lighting is about 2,000K and is considered a warm colour ( intimate settings and break rooms)
A sunset is about 4,000K and is considered a warm white colour. (Conference rooms)
A typical sunny day is about 5,000K or 5,500K and is considered a cool colour (Creative spaces)
An overcast winter day is measured at about 7,000K and is considered a very cool colour (brainstorming rooms)
Lutron is a leading provider of smart lighting and shading systems for homes, offices, and commercial buildings. The company has a wide range of products and solutions for different applications for commercial lighting control, lighting management, and shading.
Lutron enable businesses to access state of the art smart office technologies focused on promoting employee health and wellbeing such as circadian rhythm lighting, which is designed to mimic the natural light patterns of the sun and promote a healthy sleep-wake cycle, as well as being energy efficient.
New ESG regulations are coming that hold businesses and facilities managers accountable to meet climate targets; old commercial lighting systems are having to be updated to improve efficiencies that meet BREEM certification ESG requirements and standards.
Lutron's VIVE system provides a comprehensive commercial lighting management solution for corporate settings. The system can be used to control lighting in individual spaces or across an entire building, with a range of customizable options to suit different needs. The difference, with VIVE to other systems, is that it's wireless and can be retrofitted meaning it can be integrated into old buildings and alongside new commercial buildings.
As a creative, you need to get into a flow state to be productive. So office spaces are now creating dedicated quiet zones where employees can focus without distractions. Office space designers are taking the best practices from both traditional and modern "open-plan" offices to provide employees with a wide array of office space ecosystems that work for them:
Creating specifically designed areas for different work personas/ disciplines (e.g., one area for coders and another for designers). This allows people who work on different projects at the same time to collaborate easily while also having some separation from each other when needed.
Giving employees privacy and a sense of belonging; by providing them with their own desks or cubicles that they can close off when they need peace and quiet but also make sure there are plenty of communal spaces available so teams can come together when needed.
Sound Proof Cubicles: to ensure that privacy and confidentiality are maintained, while also providing the perfect environment for 1-to-1 and confidential calls.
Smart office AV solutions enhance communication and collaboration in modern office environments, with remote and on-site team members. Smarter AV technologies are now crucial to ensure seamless communication and efficient collaboration.
There are a wide variety of smart office AV solutions available, including:
Video conferencing solutions allow remote teams to connect and collaborate in real time using video and audio technology. Video conferencing solutions typically include hardware such as cameras, microphones, and speakers, as well as software that enables participants to share files and collaborate on documents regardless of their location. Popular systems Google Meets, Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Interactive displays are becoming increasingly popular in modern offices. These displays are touch-enabled and can be used to collaborate on real-time projects. They can be used for anything from brainstorming sessions to interactive presentations.
Digital whiteboards are another popular AV solution for modern offices. These whiteboards allow users to collaborate on ideas and concepts in real time, which can be saved and shared electronically for later reference.
Wireless presentation systems enable users to connect their devices wirelessly to displays and projectors, making it easy to share content and collaborate on presentations.
We’ve all heard how some larger companies are suffering from having too much office space and see that having 10 employees in a 200-seat office on quiet days is neither cost-effective, nor a great experience for the team member. Many companies are downsizing their office space, to create more intimate work settings while saving money at the same time.
Smart Office Desk Allocation: If you're looking for a way to maximise your square footage without spending any extra money on new furniture or equipment, consider using desk allocation as an option. You can use this method by dividing up your existing desks into smaller spaces and allowing employees to choose which one they'd like during a certain time frame (for example: Monday through Thursday). This enables people who work remotely or prefer working from home at times access those spaces while also giving others who come in more frequently to have assigned or dedicated spaces.
Smart Office Meeting Room Booking: With leaner spaces often this means meeting rooms are booked out, double booked or meeting room diaries clash. Smart Meeting Room Booking solutions allow teams to book meeting rooms seamlessly. Never double-book when your key client is coming in or find out that your important sales meeting now has to be done at the coffee shop around the corner.
Technology can play a significant role in getting people back in the office, motivating them, and ensuring in-office, remote and global connectivity. By creating smart workspaces designed for people, not just functionality, companies can improve connectivity, comfort, and collaboration, which ultimately leads to increased productivity. Providing quiet zones, soundproof cubicles, and well-designed areas for different disciplines can help employees focus and stay motivated. Utilising technology such as temperature control systems, corporate lighting management, and smart booking solutions can also improve the overall office experience.
By taking a people-first approach to office spaces, companies can create a productive, motivating, and globally connected environment that attracts and retains top talent.
If you are looking to take advantage of smart office technology, speak to a liv smart office expert today.