It’s the workplace, but smart

Creating an inspiring and productive workplace isn’t just about investing in the latest furniture and fit-out. Today, businesses expect more from their office space. Modern workplace providers must not only provide the ultimate in comfort and ergonomics, but also help to boost efficiency, productivity and employee engagement for their occupiers. And that means taking an altogether smarter approach. Smart Spaces enables building owners to add an extra dimension to their services via its internet of things cloud-based platform and smartphone app, giving clients 360-degree engagement with and control of their office environment. From a secure automated entry system, to control of lighting and heating, and connecting with the office concierge, the technology is revolutionising the role of the traditional building owner and what it means to come to work.

Building a community

With the rise of co-working, organisations and their employees increasingly want to work somewhere with a sense of community, and this is at the core of what Smart Spaces helps to deliver. In fact, when you first login to the app, it looks much like a social media platform, with a social wall where occupants can post, like and share content with others in the building. Users can also learn about and connect with their neighbours via an occupier directory or consult the events wall to register for upcoming seminars, presentations and networking opportunities.

Control over the environment 

Choice and autonomy over the work environment is one of the biggest factors in employee performance and Smart Spaces takes this to a new level. Through integrating with a building’s systems, the app enables occupiers to control various elements of their environment, including intensity, colour and rhythms of lighting, temperature levels and even the music in their vicinity. Employees can choose the ambience in which they are most comfortable and productive, while also saving time and energy they would otherwise spend liaising with building management.

Increased efficiency and productivity

By automating and streamlining various points of friction that exist in traditional office buildings, Smart Spaces comes with huge benefits for efficiency and productivity. For example, the system automatically recognises employees as they arrive, opening doors, calling the lift, and setting the temperature and lighting to their preferred settings. The ease of entry also extends to guests, who are automatically sent a QR code ahead of their visit, with instructions of where to go and what to do when they arrive. Visitors can use their own devices to navigate unmanned receptions and still attend meetings on time.

Supporting wellbeing and work-life balance

And it isn’t all about the bottom line. With the boundary between work and personal lives becoming increasingly blurred, Smart Spaces seamlessly spans the two. For example, building owners can choose to incorporate their own concierge into the app to organise lunch bookings, taxis and other local services for their occupiers. They can source the best local restaurants, hotels and gyms to help new employees settle in and visitors to get their bearings as quickly as possible. There is the option to include local offers, partnerships and set up a loyalty scheme, all redeemed from within the app.

Easy to implement and manage

It might sound futuristic, but Great Portland Estates plc, a FTSE 250 property investment and development company, is already rolling out the Smart Spaces technology across its central London office portfolio. And it’s actually surprisingly straightforward. As long as a building’s systems have been updated in the last ten years, no additional hardware is required, so you can have all the tech functionality of a new building, without the expense of moving to one.

The platform is totally customisable to the needs of each workspace and its occupiers, while access controls mean that employees and building management can be assigned varying levels of permissions and functionality, depending on their position.

How we work is changing. Organisations and their employees are looking beyond the traditional nine to five, to build a more fluid, flexible and sustainable approach. And workspace providers must evolve along with them, by giving their customers the environment and tools they need to work in better, smarter ways. It’s the workplace, but smart. And it’s happening right now.

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