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4 staples of a smart workplace and how to implement them

A smart workplace once sounded like a futuristic concept. But now, it’s expected. Learn about the basics for a smart workplace and productive company. 

Madison Stein
By Madison Stein Head of Content

A smart workplace once sounded like a futuristic concept. Lights, temperature, and doors controlled with motion sensors and voice commands. Desks and rooms reserved with the click of a button. Airtight security with automated locks and access levels. Integrated systems and technologies that work with and talk to one another.

Doesn’t sound too far-fetched anymore, does it? In today’s working world, this vision has become more of the norm. Beyond looking impressive, smart workplace technologies help employees work more efficiently and productively.

Keeping your workplace sharp is a constant process. As technology and ways of working evolve, so must your smart workplace. If you get the basics right, then you’ll have a strong foundation to build on. Learn more about these smart workplace basics—and how you can implement them—for a thriving culture and productive company. 

What is a smart workplace?

A smart workplace is equipped with technologies that automate tedious tasks and manage people and workflow. The smartest workplaces are those that go unnoticed. Integrated technology hums in the background as employees reserve desks, book meeting rooms, access facilities, sign in at the front desk, track visitors, the list goes on. 

A smart workplace comprises many technologies that talk to one another. These technologies include:

  • Workplace booking solutions to help employees reserve desks and meeting rooms with the click of a button, no matter where they are.
  • Occupancy sensors to maximize efficiency by managing where, when, and how employees reserve spaces.
  • Security solutions to automate sign-in and building access levels for employees and visitors.
  • Health and safety solutions to screen employees and visitors.This helps your front desk and security employees proactively manage who’s coming and going.

Read on to learn more about each of these smart technologies and how to implement them in your workplace.

1.  Workspace booking solutions

A hybrid workplace, where employees split their time between remote and on-site work, has made desks and rooms less of a given and more of a commodity. Gone are the days when employees sat at the same cubicle for the same hours every single day. Now, teams want to choose where and how they work for effective collaboration and productivity. Workplace booking solutions help manage this new expectation. Workplace booking solutions include:

  • Meeting room booking. Sync up employee schedules and meeting rooms with room scheduling software. This technology allows employees to reserve a meeting room in advance, and check into meeting rooms on-the-go. All from one, centralized app. The most effective meeting room booking apps also communicate with display screens outside of the room. This shows when the meeting room is in use and when it’s available. It should also detect if a room isn’t actually in use during the reserved time, to free up space for impromptu meetings. This synchronized smart workplace technology makes planning easier for employees while ensuring spaces are being used to their fullest potential.
  • Desk booking. Enable hot desking and flexible working with desk booking solutions. With this feature, employees can select a preferred desk before they come into the office. They can even reserve that desk for certain hours, freeing it up for others to book while they’re in meetings or out to lunch. This helps maximize office space and makes employees feel more in control of their on-site experience. 

2.  Occupancy sensors

You can integrate occupancy sensors into all your smart workplace technology. This includes workspace booking solutions, security solutions, and your building maintenance software. Occupancy sensors track who’s using your workplace and how often. This data helps workplace managers decide how to use the space (like whether to right-size the space or remodel certain areas). It helps security and front desk staff manage guests and visitors by tracking capacity and traffic flow. It helps your building cafeteria managers decide how much food to prepare on any given day, based on attendance trends. Knowing how many people are coming in, and when, helps your workplace be more proactive and responsible.

3. Security solutions

Smart workplace technology can also make your workplace more secure. Especially in a flexible workplace, it can be hard to track and manage who’s coming and going at any given time. Security solutions take the burden off of your front desk staff and help your security team prevent safety breaches. Security solutions include: 

  • Visitor management. Integrate visitor screening systems and visitor sign-in with smart workplace technology. A touchless visitor management system allows visitors to complete a questionnaire ahead of time. This could include a health screening, a reason for visiting, and an anticipated time window for their visit. When the visitor arrives, they can check in and notify their host without having to wait in the lobby. 
  • Access control. Integrate employee ID badges and rooms with smart workplace technology. With these synchronized systems, you can give different employees different access levels depending on their position. For example, building maintenance should have access to the boiler room, while the sales team doesn’t need that. This ensures the right people are in the right place while keeping your office secure. 
  • WiFi provisioning. There are many opportunities for harmful actors to get onto your company’s WiFi and steal important information. Prevent cyber attacks with an airtight WiFi provisioning system. Smart security solutions can unite your visitor management and employee ID systems by identifying employees and other authorized visitors and allowing them access to your network. 

4. Health & safety solutions

Keep your workplace healthy and safe with a proactive monitoring approach. Integrate health and safety solutions with your employee and visitor management solutions. This technology equips front desk employees, security folks, and workplace managers with the information they need to maintain a healthy and safe office. Integrate your health and safety solutions with your management systems in the following ways:

  • Vaccination verification. Verify vaccination status or COVID test results for anyone planning to enter the workplace. Your health and safety solution should prompt anyone who is coming on-site with a request to screen and upload proof of vaccination. It should also store this data to streamline future check-ins.
  • Touchless sign-in. Manage lobby traffic with touchless sign-in. This feature allows visitors to check-in when they arrive on-site and get a virtual ID badge with the right access levels. It should also alert the host of their arrival. This ensures no one can slip through the cracks.
  • Capacity limits and results. Occupancy sensors are a central feature of health and safety solutions. They can detect when your workspace is close to capacity and automatically manage desk bookings and meeting room reservations. This ensures a safe amount of people are in your building at any given time. 
  • Contact tracing. Visitor and employee sign-ins and activity shows workplace managers determine who to alert should a virus exposure occur. Contact tracing software enables a preventative, organized, simple approach to sickness outbreaks in the workplace. 

Smart workplace technologies can seem overwhelming. But the good news is that they create a seamless employee experience and a workplace that is efficient and productive.

Download this ebook to learn more about smart workplace technology trends and how to stay ahead of the curve. 

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Madison Stein
Author Bio Madison Stein

Madison is a writer, story-teller, and problem-solver at Envoy, where she inspires workplace teams to make the workplace work better. When she's not thinking of clever puns in the office, you can find her on the beach with her dog, planning her next vacation, or exploring new restaurants in San Francisco.