Internet of Things — The Workplace’s New Geeky Friend
October 13, 2021
When people hear the term ‘Internet of Things’, they’re often unsure what to make of it. And why not? It can be a confusing term.
On the one hand, people naturally assume it means ‘things’ connecting to the Internet. But in reality, the Internet of Things just means objects that can communicate with other objects to create a network. Importantly, this also presumes no human interaction is needed – objects can reach out to the Internet itself, but it’s not a requirement to join the IoT.
The IoT (Internet of Things) revolution is well underway, and it has the potential to transform the way we do business. Much like how computers became ubiquitous in all aspects of our lives thirty years ago, IoT will soon be an integral part of our day-to-day lives. The office is no exception to this trend.
In fact, according to Mckinsey, 58% of workplaces that implemented IoT saw their revenue increase by at least 5%. Additionally, 46% of workplaces also reported a 5% decrease in costs. This just shows that the workplace is well on its way to becoming one of the most exciting places for innovation with IoT.
The meaning of a workplace took on a different meaning with the pandemic, and it has continued to evolve with IoT. With the advent of wearables and self-driving cars, the sky seems to be the limit for mobile workplaces.
As connected devices and employees work together in harmony, they are creating creative intelligence together. This collective intelligence is having quite an impact on asset management, employee productivity, workplace security, and comfort. By constantly thinking about how to ‘intelligentize’ the workplace, organizations are leveraging their greatest asset to be more productive and work smarter. Well, who might be the greatest asset for organizations? Obviously, it’s the employees.
Furthermore, employees who use IoT devices in their workspace may become healthier because they are less stressed out!
In other words, work. IoT is silently working for you, triggered by proximity and presence. In a workplace setting, this translates to efficiency.
IoT in the Workplace is all about Presence and Efficiency
Implementing IoT in the workplace correctly leads to the 3 E’s — efficiency, efficiency, and more efficiency.
That was me probably being a tad too dramatic, but it’s a fact. Let’s see how!
The primary purpose of any business is to grow and increase revenue. But this gets hampered at times due to the attention demanded by manual systems, which require multiple aspects to be monitored simultaneously. This ends up affecting productivity and efficiency.
However, thanks to IoT, workplaces can now be equipped with automated systems connected to the Internet. Taking the example of access control, IoT helps in solving numerous issues.
Smart access control will significantly improve the efficiency of entrance management. Since it's Internet-connected, it would allow you to track entry requests in real-time. Moreover, you could also manage access control and time spent in the workplace with the equipped IoT ecosystem. This would help to shore up security measures and maintain corporate regulations.
With the IoT ecosystem in place, ID cards will be redundant. IoT automation systems will help provide authentication for entry in specific areas within the building itself.
IoT-based access control would also help reduce intruders’ risk, thus vastly boosting employee and workplace safety.
With the pandemic, meetings that were held face-to-face soon had a new venue, the Internet. And with the help of IoT ecosystems, even these virtual meetings have become easier. You can sync meeting rooms, videoconferencing devices, whiteboards, databases, and other collaborative tools to enhance productivity.
Smart Furniture and Office Ecosystem
As a result of intense challenges over the past couple of years, organizations have had no choice but to reduce costs while sustaining revenue streams. With the implementation of an IoT ecosystem, this becomes easier.
One of the critical features of this ecosystem is that it can help reduce energy consumption in the workplace. For example, the ecosystem can shut off appliances when not in use or close the blinds when the sun increases the temperature inside the office. These are just two sample use-cases, with the IoT ecosystem offering much more.
IoT in the Workplace Face Key Obstacles
The Internet of Things brings many benefits to businesses regarding efficiency, productivity, safety & security, but there are also some caveats. For example, connecting devices directly into one network means they're more vulnerable than ever before — both from hackers looking to steal your information as well as device malfunction, which could cause a serious injury or worse! Hence, this must be implemented into the business infrastructure by an IT professional who has experience in IoT technology. If not, these risks become much too high.
Secondly, implementing such an ecosystem in the workplace requires high investments. Initially, you can bide your time by implementing small IoT infrastructure integrations or pilot programs.
Thankfully, this would become easier in the long run. How? Fortunately, as with most technologies, the price of connected ecosystems and integrations will reduce due to the rapid adoption and scale of manufacturing.
Thankfully, things are looking up for IoT with the introduction and subsequent implementation of standards. These standards help in defining neutral IP protocols that would provide pre-determined outlines for connected devices. In addition, these standards will help regulate the IoT hardware, individual partnerships, third-party integrations, standardize device certifications and production, and significantly boost security.
Thus, working towards building a unified connected world (or a unified connected workplace in this case 😉). Some of these standards that have already had an impact are Matter (previously known as Connected Home over IP, which comprised a working group of Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Connectivity Standards Alliance) and Thread.
Get a Move-On With Mutual Mobile
IoT means more than just increased productivity for us; it also makes our lives easier by streamlining processes and allowing employees to spend less time doing tedious paper-pushing tasks. It will be interesting to see how things evolve as more companies adopt IoT technology into their office!
With IoT becoming more popular than before, you should jump in at the ground floor for that first-mover advantage. Partnering up with us is the best way to make that happen. With multiple use-cases for IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and app development; and our industry expertise, we are perfectly positioned to drive success to your company.