The Leader Magazine

MAR 2019

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Page 26 of 51

the leader March 2019 27 merit Y ou walk into your workplace and your chair automatically adjusts to your height, the air conditioning turns on, and your favorite cappuccino awaits you at the employee lounge. Does this personalization leave you feeling empowered and fulfilled…or ultimately threatened by the invasiveness of it all? In recent years, advances in technology such as sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) have transformed the workplace and will continue to do so. In fact, Gartner predicts there will be 20.8 billion connected devices by 2020, and the National Science Foundation says IoT is on track to connect 50 billion "smart things" by 2020 and one trillion sensors soon after that. There are numerous benefits resulting from smart technology, including enhanced user experience, operational efficiencies, maximized space utilization and improved safety. But collecting so much personal data is leaving many employees feeling unsettled and uncomfortable – especially since the technology is so new. How exactly is all this personal data being used? What happens if the building's technology gets hacked? Are your rights being compromised? While there may not be answers to all these questions, what we do know is that this technology isn't going away anytime soon. Instead, it's only getting more prevalent. Now more than ever, real-time analytics have become essential as data- fueled insights continue to highlight new efficiencies in how we work. This article explores the good and bad that comes with smart technology, and what companies can do to ease fears of the unknowns. t he good There's no doubt about it – IoT in the workplace significantly improves the health, productivity and comfort of its occupants. Smart building applications not only enhance the overall user experience; they can also optimize space utilization and improve safety within a facility. Enhancing the overall user experience Collecting data over time enables companies to fine-tune the employee experience by: • informing employers about the types of chairs people prefer, and the types of desks – height-adjustable or not – in which the employees are more productive • knowing the preferred temperature and lighting intensity in work areas • measuring the amount of time spent working heads-down versus collaborating with others • getting instant feedback • automatically generating service requests • optimizing traffic flows around common areas (cafés, parking, etc.) • offering a seamless security experience where biometric scanners eliminate the need for physical passes Having this information allows employers to meet employees' needs on a more consistent basis, which improves overall productivity and satisfaction.

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