Whether culture of error, greater flexibility or the rise of digital workplaces, everyday working life is subject to change and new working models are always emerging. An increasing number of companies are using insights into people’s needs to make their workplaces more agile and creative, while encouraging growth. In short, they are becoming smarter. The trend is for open-plan workspaces, conference rooms for collaborative dialog, and quiet areas where staff can retreat and work alone. Work processes become more efficient by combining innovative thinking with new technology; for example, office objects can be enhanced with digital features and connected with each other.
Smart offices are flexible
Switching desks then no longer means having to adapt to a completely new environment; the smart office knows every worker’s specific needs and adjusts the workspace accordingly – from the height of their desk, to temperature and lighting. The latest developments in virtual reality and speech recognition could soon give the smart office a further boost. Employees would be able to meet in virtual meeting rooms and order their hot drink by “talking” to the coffee machine.
Smart offices are more efficient
Such digital features can also control various technological components in a building, helping to balance economic and environmental sustainability. For example, if a presence detector finds that no one is using the office, the lighting switches off automatically, the air conditioning system will be lowered, and network access deactivated. In conjunction with electronic time recording, peripheral devices such as printers or small electrical appliances can be switched off automatically via switchable sockets when the employee leaves the building.
Smart steps at dormakaba
dormakaba has been working on its own Smart Office concept since 2017. The “Langhaus” project involves a building that is undergoing comprehensive restructuring at the site in Ennepetal (Germany, near Dusseldorf). It focuses on how the office can best support the employees’ work processes. Meeting zones, single work spaces and regeneration zones can be easily used according to the users needs. The comprehensive access and room system “Uniquin” creates a pleasant ambient feeling with integrated access control options with individually dimensioned acoustic modules
What’s more, all technical groundwork has been laid to ensure that digital technologies can make the office even smarter in the future. It is also particularly sustainable, as the building is heated and cooled with geothermal energy.
When the Langhaus opens in summer 2019, it will accommodate 200 employees from Research & Development and IT department over two floors.