It’s 10 am, do you know where your co-workers are?
If you had access to smart technologies such as live mapping, smart office applications, and location awareness platforms, you’d know. It’s an incredibly innovative employee experience that also produces valuable insights for the employer(s).
Location awareness is now a critical element of the modern workplace. According to Techopedia, location awareness is a “presence - technology component that provides information about the physical location of a device to another application or user.”
The workplace is becoming more and more connected, and location is a critical element digital workplace transformation. Technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), live mapping or wayfinding, and smart office apps establish an ever-evolving network of devices, people, and places. Welcome to indoor intelligence and smart(er) work communities!
A whopping 83% of organizations have improved their efficiency by introducing IoT technology. What’s more, the data generated by IoT devices — including IIoT — is expected to reach 73.1 Zettabytes by 2025.
Why Location Awareness Matters In the Office
Every day, more devices are coming online and entire workplace ecosystems are taking shape simultaneously. This is in addition to more partners and technology providers expanding offerings to create holistic and immersive experiences for end-users — the primary target being corporate employees.
It makes sense from a top-down perspective. The workplace of the future is gearing up to integrate and provide multiple functions to employees, all from a single entry point. The end goal is a seamless, connected experience that helps make the workplace more efficient, more productive, and derive even more value. From the moment you pull into the company parking lot, to the daily walk to your desk, and on to your regular routines and work habits, it’s all connected and synchronized.
Naturally, this creates many value propositions for a contextually aware experience in the workplace. Everyone is connected, everyone is communicating, everyone is informed, at all times.
The Value In Spatial Awareness For Employees
Understanding the value of a more contextual, data-driven experience in and around the workplace is the core of delivering a connected workplace. Interactions become smarter, information becomes more target, and use cases for employees become more personalized. For example, employees:
- At all times, know where they are in relation to other people, places, and things — including assets.
- Can reference what is nearby and orient themselves based on local landmarks.
- Can discover key hot spots and collaborative spaces, or find a colleague on campus.
- Have access to live mapping or wayfinding solutions with blue dot experiences and locational notifications.
- Will receive contextual messages based on their current situation or location, like alerts, promos, offers, and news updates.
- Can quickly identify exit routes or access points during an emergency.
- Can search for nearby, live, and active desks to reserve in a co-working office environment.
- Similarly, they can be notified when an ideal collaboration space or conference room becomes available that matches their preferences/requirements.
- Will build an understanding of a facility’s layout and inclement obstacles like elevators, stairs, service closures, and more.
We are merely scratching the surface and the related technologies are becoming more advanced every day. The examples you see here will be greatly expanded upon through new strategies, features, and deployments as the future of work continues to evolve.
With the introduction of COVID-19, for example, location awareness and connected solutions became integral to workplace safety - to keep employees informed of who is on site, how many people can be on site, safe areas, and even contaminated areas. Forrester Research predicts that at least 80% of companies will adopt new office safety and resource efficiency strategies in the wake of the pandemic. IoT and contextual employee experience solutions will play a major role in that movement.
Making It Happen: Workplace Automation
The next question is how do these systems become mainstream, or rather optimal and effective? Location awareness, contactless entry, touchless interactions, these are all things that can be automated with a great degree of efficiency, provided the right technologies are put into place.
The future workplace will achieve all of these strategies using machine learning, to really delve into user preferences, where people are, where they spend most of their time, and why that matters. The system will be about generating intelligent predictions, based on multiple factors — all contextual, all automated for a smarter, safer place to work.