Does a robot vacuum your floors? Remind your kids of the weather so they wear their (darn) rain boots to school? And make sure that your thermostat turns itself down to 63 when no one's home? The Internet of Things (IoT) has probably transformed the way that you live your life in your off-hours. Now, it's coming to your office. In a big way. Here are eight real technologies that are transforming the ways that we work in, take care of, and think about office space. All are available today, so you might see them at your desk tomorrow!
1. Find EVERYONE
The combination of wearable sensors and mapping software means that you won't have to worry about finding co-workers. The same sensor systems that help your company better use your space can also help you track people down and obsolete the "in / out board" by your front door. But remember... No one wants to talk about TPS reports when they're in the bathroom!
2. Robot Janitors
The same Roomba that sucks up the dog hair at home comes in a commercial model. While you probably can't completely replace your company's janitorial service, having robotic tools taking care of some cleaning tasks can let you have a cleaner office with lower cost while also shifting janitorial activities even further into the fringe of the day.
3. Alexa.... Do my job
While we're still a ways from having a computer do all of our jobs for us, tools like Amazon's Alexa for Business let you leverage the power of smart assistants at work. Whether it's updating your calendar, dialing into your conference calls, booking conference rooms or even interacting with your customer relationship management software, smart assistants are making their way into the workplace.
4. Better Light. Better Health
IoT powered smart lighting systems can mimic the sun's natural movement and color shifts to do an even better job of waking you up than office coffee while also helping you transition back to home at the end of the day.
5. Is it Warm in Here? No. It isn't.
Smart thermostats don't just save energy. they also help to keep your office comfortable. Whether they're warming up a conference room before a meeting or remembering that you like your office at 68 degrees instead of 72, building climate controls are getting more and more advanced.
6. I DIDN'T Forget My Laptop
Smart devices know where they are. And they know what you're doing with them. That means that, in an IoT enhanced office, they can save you from forgetting them. Of course, they can also reduce the risk of employee theft. But you wouldn't do that!
7. We Aren't Out of Coffee
Imagine if your coffee machine knew when it needed to brew another pot... And actually did it. Or if it warned someone before the stock of coffee beans ran out. Smart coffee devices can do this, and this means that you can always be able to count on finding one more hot cup.
8. ...Or Ink
And smart printers mean that clearing someone else's paper jams can be a thing of the past. Imagine if the copier in the corner warned someone which it was stuck. Or when the paper or toner was about to run out. Smart printers can do this, which means that you spend less time fighting with the printer, and more time getting back to work.
Here are a few other articles you might enjoy: