IoT, a.k.a Internet of Things technology, is all about smartness. You already own smartphones, and soon you will be living in a smart home, travelling in your smart car and working from a smart office!
How does IoT make things smarter? By embedding sensors to relevant gadgets, collecting data on required parameters, processing the data to gain intelligence and acting on the gathered intelligence. We have already heard a lot about how IoT is going to change our homes, now let us think about a few use cases as to how it’s going to impact our work place.
You can just walk in with your ID card to the company. The doors will detect your approach and open automatically to let you pass. If you are unable to make it to the company on a particular day, system will recognize your absence and initiate a leave request in your company’s leave management system.
Or consider this – You have a car and have marked your interest in getting an allotted parking space. Even if you don’t have your own space, a message will be sent to your phone as you approach the parking area indicating the availability of a space due to the absence of another employee. Convenient, isn’t it?
Analyze Employee Work Trend
If you are working later than 6 PM to meet a deadline, the system recognizes your presence and orders snacks for you. You are still in office at 9 PM? System asks whether it should initiate a dinner request for you.
But beware – the management too can analyze what you are working on while staying back late everyday in office, based on the sites accessed from your computer and your location within the office. So this may not be the best way to earn free meals!
Sensors are already extensively used in companies to manage the security detail. Biometric sensors for iris scanning, voice / face recognition and finger print scanning are just some samples. But using IoT, you can control different aspects of your work from another location altogether.
If your system has alerted you of a security breach, you can issue a voice command over your phone to detain the suspect. Or you can ask your office computer to initiate a backup and erase information from its hard disk using the touch of a button on your phone.
If you are working from home, your laptop can scan your retina and provide you access to your company’s internal network data, and disconnect the line the moment you get away from your laptop.
We can have a workplace with sensors that track employee movements to recognize areas of employee inactivity and conserve power accordingly. For example, when all the team members from a section of the office are gathered in the meeting room for their weekly status update meeting, lights in that section could be dimmed to reduce electricity consumption.
Employee Engagement Initiatives
Employees can have a sensor in their company ID card to track the restaurants they visit in their office building, so the company can negotiate with the restaurant management to avail special discounts / offers for their employees.
The use cases that can be thought of with respect to IoT are endless. It just depends on how creative you are. Technology is progressing at such a high pace that soon reality will look like the science fiction movie you had watched last week.
Companies are already working on ambitious projects – Microsoft, Google, and IBM, to name a few big shots. As with all technologies, whether smart offices will become a blessing or a curse depends on how your company uses all this information. But this is definitely an area with possibilities galore!
Want to find out how IoT can improve your business?