With Smart Office Solutions, you can allow your employees more creativity and efficiency in the workplace. This will help your whole company. Learn about your options and find out all the other benefits of having a Modern Workplace.
Smart solutions for rooms and buildings
The world is getting more and more digital. The internet of things (IoT) means that everyday objects can be connected to each other to make life easier. This is especially true for private homes: there are smart heating systems that can be controlled through an app, lights that turn off when people leave a room, and refrigerators that create shopping lists automatically. But even businesses are changing their offices into smart offices, and entire office buildings into smart buildings. We will explain to you what a smart office is, and what benefits an intelligent workplace can have.
The benefits and uses of a Smart Office
Get an overview of the different ways you can use this solution.
Efficiency is improved with flexible workplace booking.
IoT sensors are the key to a smart office. How does the hardware work?
Smart Facility Management
Smart Office solutions can help make managing your office easier.
There are endless possibilities in a smart office building.
Health safety during the COVID-19 pandemic
You can go back to the office with a minimum risk. Stay healthy!
How to define a “Smart Office”?
The subject of the Smart Office is continuously becoming more relevant in all industries, involved with more modern companies. With the advancing digital world, this naturally affects offices too- if not even more so. In today’s work environment, employees expect their workplace to allow them a maximum creativity and flexibility to be productive and efficient. The Smart Office provides these conditions exactly. Various applications are connected and coordinated with each other here to make working life as pleasant and safe as possible. But what exactly is a smart office? There is no universally applicable answer to this question because the term can be interpreted in different ways. However, there are certain characteristics that are included in most interpretations of the term. These features can be divided into three main categories: communication, security, and sustainability.
- Seamless Communication in the Workplace: In an intelligent office, all communication systems are integrated and seamlessly connected. This includes everything from phones and video conferencing to email and instant messaging. Intelligent office communications systems are designed to save time and increase efficiency by making it easier to connect with colleagues, customers, and partners.
- Intelligent office security: In an intelligent office, security has the highest priority. Intelligent security systems use the latest technologies to protect people, property, and data. These systems can e.g. include biometric access controls, surveillance cameras, and intrusion detection.
- Sustainability in the Smart Office: In a smart office, sustainability is more than just a buzzword. Intelligent sustainable solutions help businesses save money by reducing energy consumption and waste. These solutions can include things like energy-efficient lighting and heating/cooling systems.
Our definition of a Smart Office is, therefore: A Smart Office is a room within a company that uses technology to make processes easier or completely automated, in order to make work more efficient and secure, and companies more economical and sustainable. This includes everything from intelligent lighting and heating systems to smart security and communication tools. The key factor for the successful implementation of a Smart Office is the use of digital technologies. This allows your employees to streamline their workflows, and on the other relevant data is gathered which is needed for designing and managing a Smart Office. The application of Smart Office technologies enables various use cases in a modern workplace. In a Smart Office, the software is often connected to IoT sensors, classic IT applications, as well as building automation tools.
What are the benefits of a Smart Office solution?
Smart office solutions are increasingly common in newly designed workplaces with an activity-based working concept. Here, the individual needs of employees take precedence. The key is to provide a work environment that best supports each employee in completing their tasks. As a rule, there are no more fixed workplaces (desk sharing), and different work areas and meeting rooms can simply be booked by the employee via a smart office app.
IoT sensors detect the occupancy of areas as well as provide various pieces of information, such as room temperature and air quality. In practice, these Smart Office solutions are often coupled with other building functions. For example, an employee could use their smartphone to gain access to the building, control lighting, operate blinds, and utilize media technology.
By implementing a Smart Office system, you and your company will reap a variety of benefits. For example, you’ll be able to optimize the booking and utilization of meeting rooms. In addition, intelligent solutions make it possible to navigate new employees and visitors to the nearest meeting room quickly. Service processes can also be designed more efficiently – for instance in facility management – as service personnel can act at “the push of a button”. This means that routine checks are no longer necessary, making things much simpler overall.
Ultimately, Smart Offices lead to significant time and work savings. Through innovative solutions, work and communication processes are optimized, as well as the creativity and productivity of your employees are increased. For many companies, the increase in energy efficiency and the resulting cost reduction is also a decisive reason for implementing Smart Office solutions.
Do you have any questions? by all means don’t hesitate to contact us anytime. We would be happy to give you a personal consultation – or feel free to take a look around our FAQ section!
Smart Office solutions and use cases
In general, Smart Office approaches provide employees with a better feeling at work and enable them to carry out their work more efficiently and effectively. However, the office of the future has many other advantages. To give you an overview of the different use cases in the Smart Office and show you examples of digitalization in your office, we have compiled some of the most common use cases here and explain to you the benefits that these application possibilities bring with them:
- Information and Communication: With a Smart Office app, you can provide visitors to your building with important information such as directions or current security notices before they even arrive. Users can communicate and exchange information via chat functions within the app. For example, if there are technical problems in the conference room, your employees can request help with the push of a button.
Benefits for businesses: The comfort factor and the safety of employees are both significantly increased by digitalization in the office.
- Intelligent booking systems (smart parking, smart cleaning, hot desking): Booking solutions in smart office buildings enables employees to select from a range of amenities including conference rooms, workstations, and parking spaces—all bookable via the Smart Office app. With IoT sensors measuring occupancy levels in real-time, these sorts of ‘intelligent bookings’ enable businesses to make more efficient use of space as not every employee requires their own dedicated workspace.
Benefits for businesses: The search for an available meeting room becomes unnecessary. In the event of a canceled meeting, the system detects the unused room and can list it as available again in the system. Another benefit of Smart Office during times like these is that thanks to movement sensors, we can ensure that not too many people are gathered in one office or certain areas of a building at once.
- Indoor Navigation & Positioning: The flexible office environment and the increasing prevalence of work-from-home arrangements can lead to confusion in day-to-day life: Where are certain colleagues at this moment? Or, in which conference room is the meeting taking place? Especially in large office buildings, indoor navigation and positioning help with orientation and make it easier for your employees to find people and rooms.
Benefits for businesses: With the navigation and personal approach, employees and customers feel comfortable and well-supported. They associate positive feelings with your company.
- Access Control: Traditional keycards and keys are a thing of the past in smart offices. Access control is done via smartphone instead, where digital keys with corresponding permissions are stored. Employees enjoy the increased convenience while also lightening the load for management–access permissions can be easily managed centrally through Smart Office software.
Benefits for businesses: Time-saving and higher flexibility for your employees.
- Building and room control: Users can control building functions via the Smart Office app, which usually interfaces with room technology via gateways. For example, they can select lighting scenes, open blinds, or also operate audio-visual equipment in meeting rooms. The positioning function makes room control even smarter: thus only employees have access to the room controls of a space who are actually located therein or have booked it themselves.
Benefits for businesses: Your employees work more efficiently and can adapt their working environment to their needs flexibly and comfortably.
- Intelligent building management: Services such as building cleaning, catering, or technical facility management can all be integrated into a smart office. For example, users can directly report a disturbance via the smart office app. But automated processes are also conceivable: Sensors can detect the frequency of use in certain areas and automatically place a service request when threshold values have been reached. Like that, you save unnecessary costs and increase the well-being of your employees in the building.
Benefits for businesses: If light and air conditioning are only turned on when people are actually in the room, resources can be used more efficiently and avoidable energy costs can be avoided.
- Digital service requests and feedback buttons: The feedback from employees allows us to optimize the intelligent systems in our office. This can be done by using digital service requests and feedback buttons to collect this information. With a structured analysis of the data, we can then identify trends and make continuous improvements. Feedback buttons can also be used to place orders for new coffee beans or notify facility management if, for example, the soap in the toilet is empty.
Benefits for businesses: Communication between departments is improved, and support processes are accelerated.
You find out: Digitizing offices into smart offices offers companies numerous advantages and possible applications. When doing so, always ask yourself what goals you hope to achieve through the implementation of the smart office. This way, you can derive the right strategies and determine the necessary technologies.
Implementing Smart Office solutions in your workplace
If you would like to make the switch to a smart office in your company, you will quickly find yourself questioning the usefulness and privacy protection of such a move – especially when data collection is involved. For these reasons, it is incredibly important to plan ahead before collecting any data. This allows you to define the goals and possibilities of your smart office more clearly and lay out measures and technologies for data collection that are better suited for your needs. Here is an overview of how the implementation of Smart Office solutions can be successful:
- Defining your Smart Office use cases
The first step to digitalization is often analyzing the desired use cases. You should think about what functions the Smart Office will serve and what benefits it can offer you and your employees. Knowledge from similar projects is required for this, as well as an overview of available platforms and sensors.
- Pilot projects to gather data
After you’ve decided on your specific Smart Office use cases, they will be supplemented by the collection of relevant usage data. This step is often carried out in pilot projects. At defined intervals, data is collected via sensors that allow statements about the current use of the office building. This data is only made available to a small project team.
- Data interpretation and definition of KPIs
This step is where things get interesting: Now it’s time to analyze and interpret the data that has been collected. This step is extremely important because a smart office isn’t just an end in itself. In addition to improving the workplace, oftentimes budgetary goals can be achieved as well – such as increased utilization of available space or optimized facility management processes. The data collected must be tailored to your company and the specific environment, and should be given KPIs that make sense. This will allow you to measure success over the long term, and fully reap the benefits that a smart office has to offer.
- Selecting appropriate technology
The selection of the appropriate technology depends on your desired use cases, but also on the physical conditions. In new construction, different technologies can be used than in a retrofit. The hardware market for smart building technologies is growing rapidly. Therefore, the decision for the technology should be made carefully.
- Make your smart office user friendly
To give your employees the best possible experience, you should use technical platforms that combine as many use cases as possible into a single simple user interface. Ideally, the smart office platform should be available as a smartphone app. Furthermore, the staff should be prepared for the introduction of smart office technologies. Clear communication and targeted change management can help reduce employees’ fears and reservations. During implementation, a training concept is also helpful in which the new possibilities of the smart office can be discovered and tried out.
GMS provides the technology you need according to your specific requirements
The Smart Office is a rapidly growing trend in the business world because it offers many advantages to both businesses and employees. Here at GMS, we are familiar with planning, setting up, and maintaining Smart Offices. We also partner with leading providers of Smart Office technology such as Thing-it, Disruptive Technologies, wtec, and EnOcean. We see the Smart Office as a perfect balance of audio/visual media technologies, collaboration solutions, and sensor tech – when these three components work together flawlessly, you’ll reap the benefits of having a fully realized Smart Office.
Are you interested in learning more? GMS is your go-to partner for all things Smart Office solutions – we can advise, plan, and implement the perfect solution for your needs. With years of experience under our belts, you can trust us to get the job done right. Contact us today for a free consultation!
Do you want to know more?
Sometimes people still have questions about things like what does it cost to have a smart office or are smart offices and smart buildings the same thing? Here we will answer some of the most common questions in a short and easy way so that you can understand!
A Smart Office is a commercial building that has been completely digitized. A Smart Office is an office that is intelligent and can be part of a Smart Building or a regular building. The term “Smart Home” refers to a residential building that has been digitized and is not the same as a “Smart Building.”
There are a few steps you need to take in order to install a Smart Office. First, you need to plan for it by figuring out what your goals are. Then, you need to figure out the technology needed for your office. Implementation of the technology includes both installing it and integrating it into your IT system. Finally, you should monitor and optimize your Smart Office on an ongoing basis. At GMS, we can provide all of these services for you – just contact us for a free consultation!
If there is a problem in your office, you should know about it right away. You should also take steps to fix the problem as soon as possible. That’s why we at GMS work with an intelligent ticket system. This system automatically recognizes the location of the problem in your office and saves it. Based on this information, measures to fix the problem can be started automatically. So our smart ticket process not only helps you recognize problems but also saves you time and money.
A feedback button is used to rate different rooms, tools, or offers in your company for employees and visitors. You can either do this with the corresponding smartphone app or by using “real” buttons inside your Smart Office. For example, you can use the button to call for cleaning a toilet (Smart Cleaning) or to let people know that there is a lack of devices in a meeting room.
The workplace app lets you and your employees control different elements of your office. So, for example, you can control the light, power, internet, temperature, blinds, air conditioning, and CO2 fans in each room (Room Control). The Access Control and Indoor Navigation also work with the app. Your employees can also use their (company) smartphone to unlock lockers (Smart Locker) and reserve parking spaces (Smart Parking) and desks (Hot Desking [Link to new page]). The rights assignment works very gradually, and you decide which people have access to what.
Since the workplace app is available for Android and iOS devices, your employees usually don’t need new phones. They can also use the app on their desktops if they don’t have company phones. Additionally, you can put displays in the reception areas where people can quickly and easily book appointments without their own devices.
The topics don’t have anything to do with each other at first glance. However, it is possible that some aspects of Microsoft Cloud Office 365 will be used in order to better manage a Smart Office or the entire Smart Building. For example, calendar information could be utilized or user accounts from office 365 could be applied for Single-Sign-On also for Smart Office Apps.
The Smart Office is not a new building standard, but it does offer many advantages over a traditional office. The biggest advantage is probably the significant increase in efficiency and productivity that can be achieved through digitization and automation. In addition, Smart Offices are much more flexible and easier to adapt to changing user needs. In the end, this results in lower operating costs and higher tenant satisfaction, which leads to higher rental rates and property values. If you want to make sure that your building meets international smart standards, it’s worth pursuing SmartScore certification.
The “Smart Working” concept can be executed without a Smart Office. It’s all about the motto „work smart, not hard“ – and it’s best done with technology support. With Smart Working, the goal isn’t to achieve the same thing in fewer hours; rather, it uses tools and technology so that you work more efficiently – anytime and anywhere. You don’t need to confine yourself to office space; working from home or elsewhere is fine too.
The number of employees is not necessarily a sharp criterion. The question is rather which problems one can solve and what advantages one can offer the employees. For example, if a team is to be brought closer together in order to increase information and idea exchange, smart offices are an interesting option. It is still evident that the implementation pays off better and faster if you can manage multiple floors or buildings, and in this case, more than 200 employees are usually the norm. However, this of course does not exclude the possibility for smaller businesses.
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the individual product and usage. As with most products, there are different levels of quality available on the market. The products offered by GMS are designed for long-term use and can be used without issue for many years. With proper maintenance, however, it’s likely that the technology will outlast your lease agreement.
The most popular sensors are powered by very efficient photovoltaic systems that can “harvest” enough energy from ambient light, making them self-sufficient. For areas without natural light, such as basements or parking garages, either IoT sensors with batteries or a direct connection to the power circuit are suitable.