The Importance of Smart Technology
in the Workplace
Technological advancements, formerly thought of as just advancements in computer electronics, have found their way into the office. Just because a piece of equipment has a circuit board, it is not considered smart. What constitutes smart technology is the ability of the device or component to respond to its environment, draw conclusions, learn, adapt and have awareness. Smart technology frees people up to complete more important tasks. Smart technology in the workplace helps to save money and energy and uses the natural environment strategically.
Smart technology is changing the face of the workplace altogether. With a web-based time and attendance system for instance, sales or field personnel can work from wherever they connect to the Internet as opposed to clocking in and sitting in a cubicle at an office. For the right business, this not only allows a more flexible work schedule, but it cuts down on the necessary costs to run the office. For those in the office, smart technology will regulate the air-conditioning or heating system, the windows or shades in the office and much more.
For instance, an office building constructed with windows that contain smart glass can automatically respond to the environmental conditions exterior to the building by letting in more or less light as needed. The windows automatically become translucent Sensors situated through an office building can control the environment automatically, allowing people to work in comfort. A smart system control center can access weather forecasts and turn the heating or cooling systems on or off or even open up closed windows to take advantage of the air outside. Other sensors can monitor electrical usage, turn overhead lights on or off or dim them based upon the amount of light in the room or whether people are present or not.
Smart technology in the office can also determine the environmental settings for a conference room to be used at 11:00 a.m. by 45 people. The smart system will adjust the heating or cooling settings for the room at the appropriate time to ensure the comfort of the people who attend the conference. This type of system is tied to employee’s calendars that reflect the scheduling of events for the room.
The same system will work to control the entire office environment based on the work schedules of those who work in the office. If the people in a section of the office are scheduled to work offsite or attend a meeting away from the office, when scheduled into the calendar, the building’s control system won’t turn on the HVAC system or the lights for that area, saving money and energy.
At the heart of an office building’s smart technology is a control center that has access to the Internet, the heating and control systems, the lighting circuitry, office calendars at individual work stations and more. Along with this, you have an internal local area network (LAN) that connects workstations, printers and faxes, each with their own Internet Protocol address on the internal LAN. For instance, if one employee is placing too much of an electrical load by powering a small heater and several other devices, smart technology will send a message to that person’s workstation advising them to cut down on their power consumption. This kind of system allows everyone to be aware of energy usage and reduce consumption on items not needed. For more information on how smart technology is being applied in and outside the office, review any one of these many resources:
- Smart Office Buildings – How smart office buildings will affect the construction industry.
- Energy Efficient Office Buildings – Smart technology helps to make office buildings more energy efficient and “green.”
- Smart Office Buildings Promote Energy Savings – Smart technology helps office buildings conserve energy and use it more efficiently.
- Designing Smart Lighting Systems – Smart lighting systems can help people be more productive as well as promote health.
- Smart Office Power Strips Saves Money – By using smart power strips, Cal Poly in Pomona is saving up to $30,000 annually.
- Developing Sensor Networks – Embedding networked systems in smart offices, homes and more.
- Smart Technology Grant – UCLA and Rutgers Awarded Grant to Develop Smart Technologies for Urban Congestion and Pollution
- Duke Pratt School of Engineering’s Smart Dorm – The Duke School of Engineering Built a Smart Dorm that also Combines Green Living Principles.
- Smart Technology Saves Government Money – The government is making strides in using smart technology.
- Smart Controllers Interface with Environment – How smart controllers are used in irrigation.