Tag Archives: Smart Office

Smart Office – 3 Steps in Planning a Smart Office

3 Steps in Planning a Smart Office
First, what is a smart office? The BIoT (Building Internet of Things) is an environment in which everything is connected at the intelligent digital edge to reduce energy consumption, improve productivity and increase operational efficiencies.

If you’re considering investing in your building’s IQ, take a look at these guidelines.

Step 1: Identify goals
Currently, the rate of smart office adoption is low. Industry experts estimate that by 2020 only one in five buildings will be smart supporting up to 50 billion connected devices.1 That may be because there is no set standard as to what constitutes a smart office and each organisation has its own requirements. Here’s how you can establish yours.

Begin by enlisting all relevant stakeholders including representatives from IT, facilities, infrastructure, operations, business analysis, finance, and other affected departments, such as sales and marketing. Next, identify what problems need to be solved and what goals everyone wants to achieve. The key is to identify what can be fixed with intelligent solutions at the digital edge.

Next, consider which goals are the highest priority and should be implemented first. What’s more important, open space utilisation, automated HVAC or LED lights. Sometimes if a project is too complex, it becomes overwhelming causing deployment to stall or be abandoned. This is where an outside partner can help map out a smart building strategy and implementation plan.

Step 2: Budget
After you’ve established your smart office goals, work with a strategic partner to get accurate budget figures. As with any IT deployment, there is the cost of the actual products/solutions. Then there is the cost of the implementation. Both can vary greatly depending on if it’s a new building or a retrofit. Don’t forget to budget for end user education as well as post-deployment system management.

Step 3: RoI
This is probably the hardest challenge of all.

Some goals may be easier to quantify than others. For example, the EPA estimates that the typical commercial facility wastes 30% of its energy.2 So building managers and facilities teams may be able to easily produce numbers on how much energy can be saved with an IoT-enabled HVAC or smart lighting.

You may also be able to estimate the RoI from increased user productivity gained from unrestricted mobility and collaboration in terms of time efficiencies. Harder, though, is to estimate the RoI from increased user satisfaction.

A study by The World Green Building Council found 81% of workers have a difficult time concentrating if the temperature is higher than they’d like, while 62% say it takes up to 25% longer to complete a task when they are too hot.3 Lighting systems that mimic daylight and pump extra oxygen in the air after lunch to combat that mid-afternoon slump make workers more productive.4 Intelligent temperature, lighting and ventilation controls can seamlessly make workers more contented and thus more productive. A 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report cited a study in which 79% of executives said the employee experience was important/very important.5

Implementing a smart building now can pay back dividends well into the future. Smart buildings attract more tech savvy employees and the digitally literate workforce just keeps growing. It’s estimated that by 2025, millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce.6

The Master Plan
If you’re thinking about implementing intelligent digital edge technologies in your building, talk to Black Box first. With our extensive knowledge of technology, operations, and global deployments, we can design, deploy and manage a smart office solution customised for your organisation.

Contact us to learn how to begin your smart office transformation.

  1. Put Your Buildings to Work: A Smart Approach to Better Business Outcomes. 2015
  2. The Smart Buildings Sectors Needs to Get Specific on ROI; https://www.memoori.com/smart-building-sector-needs-get-specific-roi/
  3. Will a Smart Office Really Make Us More Productive?; https://www.memoori.com/will-smart-office-really-make-us-productive
  4. 2017 Deloitte Human Capital Trends
  5. Social Chorus, Rethinking Communication for a Multigenerational Workforce. 2016.
  6. How to Calculate the Value Proposition of Smart Buildings; http://info.osram.us/blog/how-to-calculate-the-value-proposition-of-smart-buildings

Five Benefits of the Smart Office

A smart office is most likely in your future whether you’re ready for it or not. Industry experts estimate that by 2020 one in five buildings will be smart offices and will need to support up to 50 billion connected devices.1  

Technology is driving digital transformation and changing our workplace behaviour and the work space itself. The smart office will enable your digital savvy employees to work whenever they want to and wherever they are. Millennials are an important force in driving this digital transformation. It’s estimated that by 2025, millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce2. Much of the smart office technology we’re seeing is a result of their cultural preferences.

Today’s smart offices are outfitted with technologies not possible so many years ago. Who would have thought that by driving into the parking garage at work, the building will act as a virtual secretary? Or that a sensor can recognise your license plate and tell your smart phone where there’s an open desk and when your next meeting is.

The smart office is one with unrestricted mobility, no assigned desks, anywhere connectivity, and IoT-enabled environmental elements such as doors, lights, shades, cooling and heat. It’s designed to help you increase productivity, reduce costs, streamline operations and improve end-user satisfaction across your enterprise. Here are five points to consider when evaluating your smart office evolution.

  1. Understand the opportunity 
    The smart office will enable your digital savvy employees to work whenever and wherever they want. A smart office will also help you optimise space and provide more dynamic, collaborative spaces designed to promote creativity and productivity.

2. Build on a robust foundation
A strong foundation is the bedrock upon which the smart office is built. An integrated wired and wireless network infrastructure will give you a flexible growth model and a way to implement the ever-evolving technologies of smart buildings and hundreds or even thousands of IoT sensors. It will also integrate existing equipment and new cloud-based applications.

3. A digital-ready network means smart business
63% of enterprises are still using manual or minimally enabled networks. But enterprises with digital-ready networks report two to three times the rate of growth in revenue, customer retention and profits compared to organisations with less mature networks.

4. Extend intelligence throughout the building
It’s estimated that 50% of all energy in a commercial building is wasted3. You can use smart building technologies to reduce costs, increase user comfort and monitor security. IoT sensors can close the shades on a sunny day; turn off the lights at night; regulate HVAC temperature/maintenance; and monitor building access and security.

5. Empower collaboration 
Provide communications capabilities that help employees and customers easily come together using a variety of devices and media such as interactive white boards, collaboration applications, and personalised customer communications.

Find the right partner
Implementing a smart office building requires a strategic partner that can guide you every step of the way from design, deployment and management. We can help with:
• Smart edge/IoT devices
• Unrestricted wireless connectivity
• Advanced network infrastructure
• Network switching and routing
• On-premises collaboration tools and cloud connectivity

For more information about Black Box smart office services, contact us

  1. Honeywell. Put Your Buildings to Work: A Smart Approach to Better Business Outcomes. 2015
  2. Social Chorus, Rethinking Communication for a Multigenerational Workforce. 2016.
  3. IBM, Energy and Environment. https://ibm.com/ibm/green/smarter_buildings