If offices spoke: The era of Smart Offices begins

We have been hearing about IoT for years, the “internet of things”. What practical implications of the ‘Internet of Things’ will be the first we will begin to see in our workplaces?

Many of the applications of this technology to workplaces have to do with optimizing tasks that are already performed routinely, but in a more efficient and automated way: from clocking in and out of the office, to detecting fumes and fires, passing through the prevention and control of pests.

The famous phrase "new is always better" is not always necessarily true. Technology alone cannot make things better. We are the people who manage and use it, who are responsible for ensuring that the sum of the old and the new means a better, more efficient, more ecological and more permeable present and future to adopt future innovations.

Application of IoT in buildings

In the life of an office building, the influence of the IoT can occur from the very birth, from the construction. Real-time control of materials used and stored, operating costs or theft prevention are points at which this connectivity can increase construction productivity, as well as the ability to project the return on investment in a much more accurate way and updating parameters dynamically.

This scope of application of the internet of things in the structural area of ​​buildings is not limited to the construction phase. Real-time monitoring of different indicators can prevent and anticipate many of today's problems and save hundreds of thousands of dollars that could mean tackling the solution later.

The areas with the highest seismic activity are the first that come to mind, the measurement of cracks and projection of their evolution in real time will be the norm very soon thanks to the accessibility of this technology. But in areas where seismic activity has never been a problem, measuring the building's structural health indicators will also be necessary. In a world of changing climate, where floods, heat waves and torrential rains begin to occur in places where they did not occur before, or to occur with new intensities unknown until now, identifying and monitoring these indicators will make a notable difference (qualitatively and quantitatively) in the management of real estate and facilities, especially in the ecosystem of large companies, especially those with a physical presence in different territories of the globe.

Security and management model offered by the IoT

At the security level, the IoT already allows numerous ways of improvement compared to the most widespread models currently: backup alarm systems, real-time response capacity by companies in charge of security or monitoring of activity data of the guards to optimize their efficiency, know at all times the state of the first aid equipment, such as the charge level of the defibrillators, for example, something that could save a life.

The same happens with all structural aspects: boilers, electricity, water, energy, waste management and supplies in general. Where there are parallel or coordinated processes, there are connectivity possibilities to measure, study and improve them. Make them more efficient in themselves and in the set of operations of which they are part. In the case of creating more efficient buildings, the options to cross information and generate a single comprehensive management system for that specific infrastructure are multiple. We will find as many opportunities as buildings with unique characteristics.

In some way, we could foresee that the application of the Internet of Things in office buildings will bring with it a kind of “standardization of the specific”. Two buildings with different characteristics cannot be managed with maximum efficiency if they apply the same standard management model. In the study of each process there is a great opportunity to manage our buildings in the most efficient and profitable way possible.

Opportunities presented by the IoT for companies and people

Many large companies have already seen this window of opportunity and have been investing in this technology for years. It is not only a question of financial profitability when real estate management has a significant specific weight in the income statement, but the IoT also has a human face, creates buildings better adapted to people and can make your stays in the office more pleasant, healthier and more efficient.

And this is where we focus our work at Bookker, on making offices more profitable spaces for companies and more stimulating for the people who work in them. Because we know that we can measure occupancy, temperature, humidity, indoor air quality and the hours since the last cleaning of each workstation and each meeting room, but we also know that these data and these applications, by themselves alone, have limited efficiency. The learning brought by the use and adoption of solutions, the satisfaction generated, the increase in productivity associated with the application in teams, the profitability obtained by optimizing spaces and managing them, are what we must cross to create the best solution for every workspace.

Along with the innovations that we are incorporating into our solution, we try to standardize what is specific, to interpret the data at our fingertips to provide the perfect and tailored solution for each case; the 100% effective management model for the offices of each specific company.

The IoT, and other technological advances, allow us to achieve efficiency goals that 20 years ago we would not have even dreamed of. However,  the goals must be crossed by the people who decide to innovate and incorporate these solutions in our companies. Technology will not reach the goal by itself. Let's make it happen.

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