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IoT & Workplace Collaboration

How The Internet of Things Can Enhance The Workplace


The current falling broadband costs, alongside exponential increases in data transfer speeds, have created the perfect environment in which tech innovators all over the world can work towards realising the full potential of this field. The growth in this technology over the past few years has been astronomical, with the total number of devices connected to the internet surpassing the number of human beings on earth in 2008, and expected to reach the 50 billion mark within the next five years or so.  

Speculation has arisen about the impact IoT will have on the way we do business and manage our work lives – whether all of this machine-to-machine technology will actually empower people in their work or increase isolation, digital dependence and an individual approach to work. Here are three key ways that we can realistically expect the continued development of IoT to affect the office.

Increasing Workplace Collaboration With IoT

Counter to the argument that IoT will create a more insular workplace experience, it gives the potential for the development of new useful technologies that will help encourage collaboration. In a recent Harvard Business Review some 58 per cent of early adopters of IoT technology in the workplace, stated that it increased and promoted collaboration.

This technology now allows standard video conferencing, which has until now been fixed to a device such as a computer or a smartphone, to provide a physical presence with freedom of movement within a space.  

Simplifying the collaboration process will form a key part of office technological advancements, with wearable technologies such as the Apple Watch already bypassing traditional means of communication in favour of a more immediate and personal connection

Opportunities For Change & Growth

For various size businesses, IoT can be a useful way of increasing efficiency in business model operations. One of the most significant ways that this will potentially occur is through the analysis of data collected by IoT devices when used by company members, customers or clients.  

Items that are connected to the internet constantly, give a good opportunity to collect and analyse various data streams.  Hence, in terms of a product that you have created, this will allow you to gain a comprehensive snapshot of the ways in which your customers and clients are using it. In turn, this opens up the opportunity for alterations and improvements that may otherwise have been almost impossible to accurately identify a need for. 

An added level of connection to customers and clients means that businesses should be able to grow stronger relationships with the people who use their products, pre-empting potential problems, predictive maintenance and devising new revenue streams based on automatically collected feedback.

Large companies already use real-time data collection technology, but as it becomes ever more accessible to startups and SMEs, it could introduce the opportunity for accelerated growth and development. It may prove to be especially useful in creating targeted and highly specific marketing campaigns.

Developing Your Workplace With IoT

IoT technologies will most certainly bring some very useful alterations to the fabric of the modern work environment, and the way that we interact with it. Although the main aim of these technologies are for practical purposes, they are still rather intriguing:

• Printers that order ink automatically when running low.

• Automatically adjusting heating, air conditioning and lighting based on workers’ personal preferences.

• Seat cushions that can communicate with you (and each other) through Twitter.

• Smart locks whose code can be changed from anywhere in the world with your smartphone.

• Window blinds that can automatically adjust their position with the track of the sun to prevent employees from being dazed by glare.

These may seem somewhat basic uses for such advanced technology, but they give us a sense of how the continued growth of the IoT is likely to have a major impact on the current workplace environment. If you’re interested in developing a safe and progressive workplace with IoT, please get in touch with any questions you might have.

Author

Brian McGlynn, Davra, COO

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