How Will the Internet of Things Affect Office Design?
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? It sounds like a grand term, but essentially it refers to the litany of internet-connected gadgets we have in our lives today. Smart speakers, smart TVs, Google Homes, Alexas and more – these all form part of the Internet of Things, able to communicate with each other and automate tasks.
While we make use of these devices in our everyday lives – asking a smart assistant to play our favourite playlist or to dim the lights, the IoT is starting to have a significant impact on our workspaces, too.
Data collection and hot desking
One of the best examples of data collection being used for better utilisation of office space is coming from finance giant Deloitte. Named The Edge, the space is a truly revolutionary innovation – employees connect to an app via 30,000 sensors in the building’s LED lighting. The app can tailor aspects of their day, from changing the workspace lighting based on their preferences to allowing the coffee machines to recognise user’s go-to drink and make it as they approach the machine. It also allows for more efficient use of meeting rooms and workspaces, as they can be moved, allocated and changed with ease.
One of the most impressive features of this connectivity is the way it allows for efficient use of desks and time. Rather than having a desk for each employee – which can be costly and take up a lot of space – employees can ‘hotdesk’, which means they can allocate desks to themselves as and when they need to, rather than being permanently stationed. Office fit-outs will have to take into account hotdesking and office furniture will need to be designed and curated accordingly.
Minimal meeting rooms
Through smart technology and the IoT, information can be shared seamlessly between employees, no matter where they are. The ability to stream presentations to TVs, laptops and smartphones, and the growing implementation of VR – yes, really – means that the need for physical meeting spaces is lessening.
The onset of smart lighting will require office designers to rethink the ways they implement creative lighting into workspaces. Smart lighting will allow for presets when it comes to light colours, warmths and intensities, and therefore interior designers will need to make sure the lighting installations allow for the benefits of smart lighting to be felt. This may mean doing away with things like strip lighting and potentially needing to utilise more complex installations methods.
As technology becomes further embedded in our everyday lives, our workplaces will continue to change in both form and function. Arc Business Interiors are proud to be trusted providers of office fit-out services for customers throughout Derby, Nottingham, Leicester, and Birmingham. Whether you’re looking to set your office up for the Internet of Things or you’re at the earliest stages of planning an office renovation, let our expert team create your dream space. For more information, please contact us today on 0800 6122 107 and we’ll be happy to help.