Finding Dave in the Workplace of the Future

28 Nov 2017  |  Productivity  |  Design  |  Future of the workplace  |  Trends

We’ve all been there. That moment during the day when you’re trying to locate your colleague – let’s call him Dave – but he’s not at his desk.  Depending on the size of the office, you might have spent several minutes looking for him. 

In an agile working environment, Dave may not even have a dedicated desk.  Finding out where Dave is based on any given day makes the trip around the office something of a magical mystery tour – and if this report on workplace distractions is anything to go, it’s very likely you’ll bump into somebody else en route, wasting even more time as you get distracted.  

Looking for Dave might seem like a small matter, but multiply the number of times you go looking for Dave each day, by the number of Daves who work for your business (we bet there’s more than a few of them).  And then times that number by the total of people in the building, all looking for Dave.

Suddenly, there’s a lot of time being lost, simply from tracking down your colleague.  It’s not Dave’s fault (he’s a busy guy, and he likes the freedom of hot desking) but it’s a nuisance nonetheless.  What we need is a way to know where Dave is – and fortunately, the technology is already available.

Systems range from basic proximity sensors to more accurate presence detectors, but the next level is to have RFID chips in individual access cards.  These will sync with sensors in the furniture and the building to provide personalised information on light, heat, humidity and noise.

With such smart technology, the workplaces of the future will make finding Dave a piece of cake.  When Dave arrives at his desk – or chosen work station, if he’s hot desking – in the morning, he’ll be able to log in, powering up his area to pre-set lighting and temperature preferences.  And if he moves away, sensors will detect his absence, and power down until his return.

Better still, in an integrated system, you’ll be able to see where Dave – all of the Daves – are based that day. 

Smart office technology will bring similar efficiencies throughout the workplace, using App-based design and the Internet of Things (IoT) to bring small time and efficiency savings to your working day. Smart tech will tell you which parking spaces are free when you arrive in the morning.  It will set up the AV equipment in a meeting room ready for your presentation. It’ll even reassign a booked meeting room if nobody shows up for their scheduled huddle.

This isn’t science fiction.  Companies are already proving you can use smart technology to create better workplaces. Furniture manufacturers are exploring how to integrate the technology with sophisticated Building Management Systems (BMS).  Increasingly, smart offices are moving beyond simple Plug & Play set-ups to ‘join the dots’ between individual workstations and the central BMS.

At Sketch, we keep on top of these trends and can incorporate the right smart office technology into your workplace design, to suit your business needs.  That means, wherever Dave is, we can help you find him.

Click here to find out more about how Sketch has helped our customers achieve outstanding workplaces.

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