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How To Create A Healthy Workspace Using IoT?

We all know that sitting at a desk all day and breathing air full of CO2 isn’t good for health. In fact, it can lead to all sorts of problems like back pain, shortness of breath, and even headaches and dizziness. But what if there was a way to make our office spaces more ergonomic and healthier without having to constantly adjust them?

The answer is smart building IoT solutions. With IoT smart building solutions, employees can have their workstations automatically adjust to their needs throughout the day, making a workplace efficient. For instance, if you start to feel too hot or cold, the smart buildings IoT solution will automatically trigger the HVAC system and adjust the environmental conditions to prevent a worsening of air quality.

Internet of Things (IoT) devices not only make our workspace more comfortable, but they can also help to improve employee productiveness.

IoT and smart buildings create an efficient space to work, giving a company useful insight on such things as:

how many people are present in the office space;
how to optimize space usage;
how to reduce costs on security;
and how to organize a hybrid workplace to achieve boosted productivity.

So, if you’re looking for a way to create a healthier workspace, consider investing in smart building software and connected devices. They may just be the key to improving your productivity and overall health in the modern workplace.

WHAT IS NEEDED TO TRANSFORM OFFICE SPACES?

If you’re looking to transform your office space into a more efficient, productive, and safe environment, there are a few key factors to consider. First, the use of IoT applications in smart buildings can help create a building system that is better able to monitor and manage itself. This can include things like automated lighting and humidity control, which share data by real-time notifications and can help save on energy costs. Additionally, hot-desking – the practice of allowing employees to choose their own workstation each day – can help promote collaboration and creativity in the workplace. Finally, safety is always a key concern in any company workplace, and incorporating features like Internet access control and CCTV can help develop a more secure environment. By considering these factors, you can begin to transform your office space into a more modern, efficient, and safe environment.

MONITORING WATER USAGE

The Internet of Things (IoT) technology can monitor water consumption and waste to prevent costly damage to water pipes and equipment. The average household wastes 10,000 gallons of water per year (EPA WaterSense, 20171). In contrast, commercial buildings waste several times more than the indicated amount due to unnoticed leaks. Smart space utilization that incorporates IoT systems and devices is expected to overcome the point of $200 billion. Establishment owners can reduce water waste and increase efficiency by implementing smart water monitoring sensors in their companies.

What is more, with IoT-enabled water monitoring, businesses can ensure their water is clean and safe for their employees. Facility managers typically sample water only once or twice per year, but sampling only provides a snapshot of water quality at that particular moment of testing. By the time major contaminants are detected, they can go months undetected, exposing employees to harmful chemicals. The Internet of Things (IoT) technology can help prevent costly and harmful outbreaks of dangerous contaminants.

Smart water metering enables facility managers to track water usage at different levels in a building, including separate rooms, floors, or office areas. Using data-driven insights from this information, facility managers can make a comprehensive water management plan, keeping track of worker water consumption patterns. By identifying areas of excessive water use and implementing strategies to increase capability, they can improve productiveness in the whole workplace. The result is a healthier workspace, happier employees, and even lower maintenance costs.

Smart water devices can be used to detect leaks and identify faulty appliances. They can alert utility providers and consumers of leaks in real-time. They also contribute to water security by reducing the amount of water wasted due to metering inaccuracies. Smart water sensors are already proving to be a popular solution for these challenges. So, to create a healthy office, it is highly important to establish a water monitoring system.

FIRE ALARMS

One of the most important applications of IoT in the field of worker safety is ensuring safe environmental conditions. Fires can cause massive loss of life and have devastating effects on valuable assets and other physical objects in a company. IoT-powered fire safety sensors could help companies manage risks and improve fire safety in any building, both large and small. They could enable decentralized fire suppression systems, provide on-site fire trends, and even improve facilities’ predictive maintenance.

IoT devices can be connected to each other through WiFi, Bluetooth, and LoRaWAN. Using the right combination of sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT) systems can recognize hazards in the workplace. For instance, the sensors can determine if a certain temperature rise indicates the possibility of a fire or if the power supply is unstable, which can provoke a short circuit. When temperatures start rising in office space, these sensors can alert company managers, allowing them to evacuate employees in time. At the same time, it is critically important to connect all the sensors into one ecosystem, for which you need a gateway accepting data from different sensors, regardless of their manufacturer.

MONITORING AIR QUALITY

One of the most important factors to consider when transforming offices is the quality of the air. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ), as it can have a significant impact on worker wellbeing and productiveness. Poor IAQ can lead to a variety of problems, including headaches, dizziness, nausea, and respiratory problems. Additionally, it has been linked to a decrease in cognitive function and productiveness.

There are a variety of factors that can impact IAQ. Especially, the problem of air quality becomes critical in meeting rooms, which are usually full of people and, as a result, have high levels of carbon dioxide. The Internet of Things technology can help monitor these factors and provide data that can be used to improve IAQ. For instance, office sensors can be used to measure things when temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels exceed the norm, so managers can adjust accordingly. Additionally, automated ventilation systems can be used to provide fresh air and remove contaminants from the air. By considering IAQ when transforming office spaces, you can make a much better working environment for employees.

The IoT-powered solutions are already transforming workplace safety. By detecting and analyzing workplace accidents, they help facility managers apply appropriate room safety solutions. Ultimately, IoT technology improves work conditions and eliminates costs associated with possible worker injuries. These solutions also help increase employee satisfaction.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SMART OFFICES?

There are many benefits of incorporating IoT technology into office areas. Smart building IoT use cases go far beyond simply automating tasks or collecting data. Currently, IoT technology can be applied in assets monitoring systems, room tracking, data analytics, and others. The use of IoT technology is becoming more popular in the workplace, with numerous benefits ranging from increased security and productiveness to a more comfortable and healthier environment. By leveraging the latest technology, companies can create a more comfortable environment for their employees, while also reducing unnecessary expenses. Some of the most notable benefits of the connected building, in turn, include:

Improved employee productivity
Improved energy efficiency
Reduced COVID-19 risk
Improved communication and collaboration

IMPROVED EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY

Smart buildings can provide a variety of features that can help improve employee productivity. For example, smart meeting rooms that are able to adjust brightness and temperature based on worker schedules can improve productiveness and boost the level of comfort. Smart scheduling systems can help make better use of space, while smart lighting systems can also increase security and reduce energy consumption. Besides, automated lighting systems can help reduce eye strain and fatigue, while also providing the right amount of light for each task giving a rise to the productiveness of an employee. Access to natural light in the room has been linked to increased productivity and using smart systems, it is possible to organize a workplace in such a way that workers have access to the natural light during daylight hours. By providing employees with an environment that is optimized for their needs, you can help them be more productive.

The IoT can provide real-time data on office processes, rooms, and workers. With data gathered from IoT sensors, managers can easily pinpoint where colleagues are sitting, and make sure they have the right workspace even if they prefer remote work over stationary one. A Gallup study found that 63 percent of employees are disengaged with their jobs (Harter, n.d.2). The data gained from IoT devices, in turn, allows managers to change policies to make them better align with established patterns and workers’ preferences.

IMPROVED ENERGY EFFICIENCY

One of the biggest benefits of smart buildings is the ability to improve energy efficiency. Heating and cooling account for a large portion of energy use in office buildings, so the use of smart technology can have a significant impact on both costs and the world environment. There are a variety of ways to improve energy efficiency in office buildings with the use of IoT applications. A great option is to use low-power devices or have a system that can optimize power consumption. When companies finally establish software for power monitoring and managing, they will be able to achieve optimal energy usage.

REDUCED COVID-19 RISK

In a new “COVID reality”, when we talk about a healthy office environment, we should consider social distancing necessities, and room requirements that can ensure sufficient ventilation. Smart room sensors, in turn, can reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks through data collection and analysis. For instance, there are some sensors, which can give valuable insights into air quality and its characteristics (temperature, humidity, light, barometric air pressure, CO2 concentration) while the World Health Organization has an interactive map that can help managers identify outbreaks of COVID-19. By tracking this virus and implementing data-driven asset management strategies, IoT can help manage risk from COVID-19 outbreaks. Moreover, IoT can help managers identify opportunities to automate tasks, such as asset management, asset valuation, and risk management.

Besides, by providing information about the health conditions of employees, smart sensors can alert the business when physical distancing limits are close. Asset management tools and IoT sensors make it easier to monitor and clean specific parts of a building. For instance, with the help of wearable devices, you can track when employees are sick and where they are located to ensure proper hygiene protocols and contract tracing. The IoT for smart buildings can be a principal weapon against a pandemic in the workplace. And as we continue to learn more about the capabilities of IoT, we will see its impact in the nearest future.

IMPROVED COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION

By integrating smart technologies, office workers can communicate and collaborate more effectively. For example, video conferencing and instant messaging tools can help facilitate remote meetings and team projects. Additionally, smart whiteboards can be used to capture meeting notes and ideas for better services. By integrating smart technology, companies gain the ability to connect the team and improve the understanding among the employees. It is a very important point since, without good relationships within a team, it is impossible to have a healthy work environment.

There are many benefits to smart buildings, which is why more and more office areas are incorporating smart technologies. By doing so, offices can improve worker productiveness, reduce energy costs, and make the workplace safer. If you’re looking to transform your office space, smart technologies should be at the top of your list.

About the author: TEKTELIC Communications is the leading supplier of Internet of Things (IoT) products, including Sensors, IoT Gateways, and End-to-End IoT Solutions. TEKTELIC products address the rapidly increasing data needs in a variety of vertical applications such as Smart Cities, Smart Metering, Agriculture, Asset Tracking, and other areas. As a LoRaWAN® ecosystem global association member, TEKTELIC ensures secure LPWAN connectivity for industrial facilities, critical infrastructure deployments, and smart cities.
1 EPA WaterSense (2017). Fix a Leak Week Fact Sheet [pdf]. Retrieved from https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/www3/watersense/docs/fix-a-leak-week-fact-sheet_revised_508.pdf
2 Harter, J. Dismal Employee Engagement Is a Sign of Global Mismanagement. Retrieved 26 April 2022, from https://www.gallup.com/workplace/231668/dismal-employee-engagement-sign-global-mismanagement.aspx

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