Smart assistants are becoming ever popular in many people’s homes.
If you’ve seen the adverts for these devices, you’re probably fully aware of all the cute little features they can complete for you with just the power of your voice. Things like setting a timer, checking what the weather forecast will be or even asking it to play your favorite podcast.
Of course, while all of these things are really handy in the home, you might think technology like this would be very little use at all in an office environment. In fact, smart technologies can do so much more than accompany you with music and time checks while you’re cooking away in the kitchen. They can help you complete tasks quicker, improve the usability of your building and even save you money by helping your office run more efficiently. Unfortunately, these systems are often a lot harder to set up than your average Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Here are some of the steps you should take to turn your traditional office into a smarter place to work.
Before you install any new gadgets into your office, it’s important to think about what will happen if any of those gadgets go wrong in your building. For example, if you install a smart lock on your front door and the technology fails, will that mean you won’t be able to get into your building? Or will it mean that you just have to use an alternative door? As pretty much all of these devices work by connecting to your wi-fi network, it’s important to come up with a plan of what to do if your wireless equipment fails. It’s important not to leave this planning until the moment in which your technology fails, or you could end up losing valuable hours of work time while trying to come up with a solution. If you can’t find an engineer that can come out and fix the problem on the same day, you could find yourself even losing days of work waiting for them to come and solve the problem.
The only way you can ensure that your business will never lose any time due to failing equipment is to get a team of experts to manage your IT systems. You might think the only way to do this is to hire someone full-time to look after your equipment. For a lot of businesses, this could be massively costly if you only have a few pieces of technology in your building. Instead, find an external team of experts who can be on call whenever something goes wrong. For just a small cost every month, you can partner with an experienced IT services provider that will be able to come out and fix any problems with your computer systems or wi-fi network as soon as they occur. As well as this, they will be able to regularly check your technology and constantly improve how it works, reducing the chance of any minor problems becoming major problems in the future.
One of the first bits of technology you should consider investing in is your lighting. It’s probably a bit of technology you rarely realise is even in your building unless something goes wrong with it. Some people may even class lighting as something so basic that they wouldn’t even describe it as technology. In fact, there are a lot of ways you can use smart technology to improve this essential part of every office. If there are some hallways of your building that aren’t used very often, you might be wasting a lot of money on energy bills to light a part of your office that people are very rarely in. Instead of having the lights on in that hallway all day, install sensors that can tell when somebody is walking through that part of the building and only turn on the lights when someone is there. If there are times of day where there is enough sunlight to light this hallway without additional lighting, you could even set this device to only turn on during the darker hours of the day.
On the other hand, these sensors could also make your workspace a lot safer, as people won’t have to wander into dark rooms trying to find the light switch, which would put them at risk of tripping or falling over something they can’t see. Instead, they’ll know that as soon as they walk into the room, they’ll be able to see all of the possible hazards. You could even get bulbs that can change colors to indicate different things. For example, red could mean no entry as an important meeting or a confidential process is taking place.
As well as making your building safe during the day, smart technology can even protect your workplace while you’re away from work. By installing a smart CCTV camera system, you are able to receive a notification whenever an alarm is triggered. If this is a criminal trying break into your building, you can then notify the police no matter where you are in the world. You’ll also have video evidence of them trying to break into the building that you can immediately send to the police to try and help them track down the suspects.
As well as protecting your building from criminals, a device like a smart doorbell could also notify you when somebody tries to access the building when nobody is there. If this is a potential customer, you could still be able to have a conversation via the app on your phone, which will broadcast you voice to the customer via the doorbell.
This means instead of simply walking away and trying a different business, you could help that customer arrange another time they are able to visit your store or another method they would be able to buy from you, either by visiting one of your other stores or accessing your website.