Smart Workplaces – facilitating workplace wellbeing
Workplace wellbeing has always been a necessity for productivity. However in the post-COVID environment, it will be more important than ever before. Where once upon a time the focus was on ergonomic workstations, air quality and mental wellness – all still valid areas of concern - there is now the added emphasis on providing an environment where the risk of disease transmission is as low as possible and importantly, where employees believe it to be so.
Many companies have had the chance to rethink the working environment, with lockdown revealing the potential of home working. This will not remove the need for employees’ presence in offices entirely though, and it’s important to ensure that those workers are not only safe but happy and supported in their workspaces.
Back to ‘normality’
The return to work, when it happens, means more than simply ‘business as usual’. For employees who found home working a lonely and isolating experience, the normality of water cooler conversations, office friendships and the ease of exchanging of close-proximity ideas, is integral to workplace wellbeing and this must be factored in by office managers
The smart office can implement measures that cultivate that trust. Long-lasting, non-invasive sensors that support next-generation Internet of Things tech, for example, can provide remote monitoring and insights. Reassuring the workforce that their employer is doing everything they can to maintain a safe and secure workplace.
A discrete desk sensor that checks occupancy will allow an employer to use a data-driven approach to allocate space capacity and efficient cleaning routines, ensuring that those returning to the office are able to maintain safe distances from each other and have clean and safe spaces to work.
Maintaining appropriate staffing levels
Should employers wish to start staggering returns, then workers can choose available desks or meeting rooms at the touch of a button with a system set up to maintain appropriate staffing levels, so spaces are never too crowded.
As well as staffing data, sensors can be used to measure the workplace temperature, ensuring that it maintains a precise figure that stops people from getting too hot or cold, and that the humidity is at pleasant levels.
More than ever before, employees need reassurance that high traffic areas such as bathrooms and toilets are hygienically clean. Smart monitoring can track how frequently the doors are opened and closed, and what bathrooms are not being used, allowing estate managers to schedule cleaning. With a survey tablet, employees can request specific cleaning services straight away.
Openness and transparency
Transparency is a key part of fostering trust. Remote monitoring offers employers the opportunity to demonstrate to their staff that they are keeping an eye on office occupancy, overall comfort, and hygiene, in order to keep everyone safe.
An energy-efficient building saves money and cuts a business’s carbon footprint. Remote sensors will monitor temperature, office occupancy, open doors and windows, building use and water waste, providing insights into what can be done to optimise energy use and cut costs.
Smart workplaces lead to happier employees, cleaner facilities, increased confidence on the part of those employees, and more productive workers. And these are all things that every office will need in the post-pandemic world.