If you thought that COVID-19 signaled the end of workplaces, then it was a misconception. Though the number of people opting for remote work would be very high post the pandemic, it isn’t going to be an all-out 100% work-from-home model of business that will return post recovery from the pandemic.
A McKinsey survey pointed out that only around 20 to 25% of the total workforce in some of the most advanced countries will be able to work from home between 3 and 5 days a week. Several organizations may opt for a hybrid workplace model where they would let employees work fewer days from the office, as long as their work is not disrupted.
However, the real question isn’t about employees returning completely or partially to their workplaces. It is – How should the workplace be transitioned to accommodate newer models of work in the new normal beyond COVID?
Utilization patterns of the workplace will certainly be transformed as employees return and organizations need to uncover ways to make productive use of their office infrastructure to ensure sustainable operations at lowered costs. The safety of employees is a top priority that cannot be compromised since agents that caused the pandemic will still lurk in the dark waiting for a chance to attack vulnerable populations who may not have been vaccinated for various reasons.
That apart, worldwide, there is a growing concern about climate and environmental disasters that may cause even more widespread damage than pandemics. Hence businesses need to pay attention to the call for sustainable practices while setting up their offices.
The global market for green construction materials is expected to hit a record size of around USD 377 billion by 2022. This is a testament to the rising demand for sustainable workplace operational models worldwide.
So how can your workplace address the need to prioritize the safety of employees, empower productivity, enable flexible utilization of the workplace, and ensure sustainable operations for a better future? The solution lies in the extent to which you can transform your workplace into Intelligent Spaces.
What are Intelligent Spaces?
Intelligent Spaces or buildings are facilities that leverage modern technology innovations to deliver beneficial experiences to all stakeholders i.e., employees, the business organization, partners, and the environment as well. By combining the power of sustainable workplace design, with innovations in analytics, cloud, and smart connectivity, Intelligent Spaces re-defines the traditional workplace experience for every occupant. Let us examine how Intelligent Workplaces allow businesses to uncover hidden value and better ROI on their infrastructure investments:
- Enforcing Safe Occupancy Conditions: As seen during the pandemic, there will be an increased demand for limiting occupancy within the workplace and keep them at safe limits to ensure a safer experience for all. This will help employees maintain social distancing and allow better utilization of office infrastructure. Intelligent Spaces can empower businesses to set up safe workplaces with occupancy constraints with powerful access control and surveillance systems. They prevent crowding of meeting rooms or work floors and prevent unauthorized personnel from entering areas not designated for their work.
- Pro-active Lighting and HVAC Controls: By leveraging data from smart sensors that detect occupancy as well as sensors that capture workplace conditions like ambient lighting and temperature, Intelligent Spaces can autonomously eliminate power wastage by switching off or controlling lighting and HVAC infrastructure in areas where occupancy is low, and assets do not require temperature regulations to work. This helps in lowering operational costs significantly as well because the workplace in the new normal will mostly witness a lower number of occupants inside office buildings daily as employees would frequently opt for working from home as well.
- Encourage Energy Saving: One of the most significant abilities of intelligent workplace environments is being able to enable a seamlessly monitored energy consumption practice for the physical office space. From connected lighting and HVAC networks to intelligent elevator occupancy systems, Intelligent Spaces enable optimum utilization of energy within the workplace. With powerful data analytics, they can predict usage patterns of the workplace depending on factors like employee strength, external weather and lighting trends, security policies, and much more. This will be a huge bonus for enterprises that aim to meet sustainability standards for their workplace.
- Smart Power Backup: While metering the consumption of energy efficiently is a powerful feature of Intelligent Spaces, ensuring constant availability of power through a network of the grid and backup power options is also a key necessity. Intelligent Spaces allow uninterrupted work operations by ensuring that backup power options are up and running and synchronized to the power available from the grid. They eliminate the need for manual oversight and switching of power infrastructure in the event of a grid failure. This is a huge benefit at times like the pandemic when most staff work from home and access critical digital assets that may be running on infrastructure within the office that require constant power availability.
The workplace in the new normal has to accommodate a diverse set of requirements that relate to occupancy as well as energy consumption and optimized infrastructure usage. Switching over to Intelligent Spaces is the best way to ensure a sustainable working model for your workplace beyond the COVID era. Get in touch with us to know more.