Places People Prefer

The Office
Agenda

The Office Agenda brings together our extensive insight into what makes an office that people – from employees to the board – prefer.

Places People Prefer

The Office
Agenda

People

Smart offices: A 2017 vision for the future

Why should businesses be thinking ‘smart’ about their office? That’s the question our new report sets out to answer

Click here to download the full report

Not so long ago, smart office buildings were seen as something out of a sci-fi movie, but today the technology exists to make them a reality. So how will the smart office benefit the people and businesses that occupy it? British Land’s new report, written in collaboration with WORKTECH Academy, seeks to pinpoint these benefits and locate where we are on the journey towards seeing them becoming widespread.

In essence, the smart office is one that uses internet-enabled technology to gather data and bring all its key operating systems and services under central control, so that a range of different elements work together to create a better workplace. Smart offices can create an enhanced user experience that helps to increase productivity, attract and retain talent, support wellbeing and promote corporate brand values. Smart buildings can also use space more flexibly and efficiently, reducing costs and lessening environment impact.

Smart buildings are easier to run and maintain, and they can adapt to change.

They achieve all this by analysing data on occupation, movement and resources in real time and adapting their systems to optimise the performance of both the building and the people within it. In this way, they provide opportunities to address the challenges of productivity, innovation and wellbeing that are at the heart of contemporary debates about office occupation.

What makes the smart office so potentially significant for occupiers is the impact on human performance at every level – operational, environmental and strategic. Smart buildings are easier to run and maintain, and they can adapt to change. They thus offer real benefits to occupiers of every type.

Real business benefits

Our report identifies six key areas of people-centred opportunity:

Smart productivity – the smart building can help to increase levels of productivity, creativity and innovation because, in essence, it delivers a tailored experience that can positively influence how work itself is done.

Smart talent – amid increasing competition for top talent in key business sectors, smart buildings can play a key role in attracting and retaining premium employees by supporting more agile ways of working and enhancing employee experience.

Smart wellbeing – the ability of smart building management systems to adjust to individual need unlocks the potential to support employee health and wellbeing, which has headed to the top of the employer agenda.

Smart brand – the tailored, agile and responsive qualities of the smart office can play a key role in helping businesses to build brand values and strengthen corporate culture.

Smart cost control – the smart office’s systems and sensors generate large and continuous volumes of real-time data on the performance of the building and the behaviour of the people inside it. That enables cost reduction through clever optimisation of space or the early detection of component faults.

Smart sustainability – the smart office is more energy-efficient as technology monitors and optimises the use of water and electricity. Better system management leads to considerable reductions in energy consumption, reducing environmental impact through more efficient lighting, thermal and ventilation control.

The key pieces of this smart office infrastructure are already available, including intelligent building management systems, location-aware beacons and sensors, and workplace apps. Over the next 12 months, we are likely to see smart building systems starting to communicate with each other properly for the first time as open protocols come on stream. And by 2020, we can expect that the physical infrastructure of an office building, and what office workers themselves carry or wear, will be part of one complete smart system, generating and autonomously acting upon all kinds of data.

The future is coming

The smart office can be described as a journey, not a destination. Smart technologies are evolving all the time and the picture never stands still. But something important is coming into focus right now, and companies are beginning to understand the benefits of smart buildings; not just saving on energy bills, but also producing an environment that can be optimised for the tasks their particular business and employees need to achieve, which in turn leads to greater wellbeing and productivity and, ultimately, boosts talent attraction and retention.

Click here to download the full report – and look out for more in-depth analysis of the potential of smart offices on The Office Agenda over the coming weeks.

Tagged in: BRAND, COST CONTROL, PRODUCTIVITY, SMART BUILDINGS, SUSTAINABILITY, TALENT, WELLBEING

People

Filling the gaps: how businesses can help office workers feel happier

Filling the gaps: how businesses can help office workers feel happier

People

Workers on the move

The majority of UK office workers are considering a job move in 2016. How can you hold on to your talent?

Workers on the move