IoT, or The Internet of Things, is a growing infrastructure consisting of internet-enabled objects aimed at improving control, automation, connectivity, and data collection. Basically, its goal is to improve the way we do business. When used correctly, it can offer massive benefits for business offices. Let’s take a look at some ways IoT can improve your office.
1. Save Energy
One of the benefits your office can gain from IoT is saving energy. You can invest in IoT devices like lighting systems and thermostats to monitor the real-time energy consumption in your office. Facility managers can tap into these devices to schedule energy usage of some electronics in your office, such as reducing demand during peak office hours. In doing so, cheaper, you can use off-peak electricity prices to operate some of the larger devices, which lowers your electricity consumption. For instance, you can schedule dryers and washers to run only in the evenings.
Companies can deploy IoT sensors throughout the office building that can send real-time data on energy consumption back to the data centre for analysis. With IoT, businesses can individually monitor major electronic devices, such as air conditioning systems, machinery, water heating systems, lighting systems, etc. After the sensor collects enough data over time, AI algorithms can analyse the data and establish historical trends.
The massive amount of data that IoT collects can also be used in strategising ways to conserve energy consumption in the office. Real-time data can provide outlier trends in the energy use of major systems, which can indicate defective equipment. Organisations can utilise the data to establish quick maintenance checks and avoid energy wastage due to ageing or faulty machines.
2. Improve Productivity
Downtime and productivity are closely related since companies can lose up to 20% of their productivity due to downtime. One of the most common causes of production downtime is equipment breakdown. When used correctly, IoT can help minimise equipment failure and keep downtime low using a predictive maintenance strategy through analytics, cloud computing, and IoT.
Another way IoT can help increase overall efficiency and productivity is through the use of smart devices. For instance, companies can invest in smart virtual assistants to schedule interviews or meetings automatically. Smart speakers with voice recognition are also beneficial for the productivity of many offices. The ability of these devices to transform speeches into text allows for the easy recording of minutes during meetings. These devices can also set reminders for important tasks, allowing employees to stay on track with day-to-day work.
Productivity in the office can increase if there is a good work environment. For instance, you can install a smart lighting system to keep employees from getting bored, allowing them to stay focused and energised, which is essential for improving productivity. Meanwhile, a smart desk can help track down how long employees have been at their desks and will remind them to stand up every once in a while, so they can stay active instead of sitting around longer.
2. Automate Tasks
Companies can now automate everything, thanks to IoT. From the most basic office tasks to the more complex ones, IoT can make everything easier. For instance, Harley Davidson integrated built-in sensors, e-commerce integrations, and other IoT devices to automate many of its office tasks, which led to a lower operating cost, saving them as much as $200 million!
The automation’s primary goal is to reduce operating expenditures by automating sensors and devices. Sensors work by collecting data from the environment for the IoT device to process. It also functions as an actuator that allows devices to take action according to the data derived by sensors and network feedback. One of the advantages of automation is increased uptime. Employees can come in and work at specific times. Unless their shifts overlap, your business will only operate for a limited time. When you automate your business processes using IoT, there will not be any time restrictions, allowing your business to run around the clock. When integrating IoT to automate your business, consider hiring an IoT specialist to help implement automation. As an expert in this technology, an IoT specialist can apply IoT strategies to everyday objects and establish new functionalities to improve business operations.
3. Increase Cybersecurity
With the rapid development of innovative technologies, cybersecurity risks have also increased. IoT technology can protect your data and network from potential threats by making your devices invulnerable to hacking.
As more and more businesses and individuals use technology and smart devices daily, security will also become a primary concern. An IoT specialist can implement security measures in your workflow to prepare you for possible cybersecurity threats that could compromise your data. Many companies that manufacture IoT devices send regular security updates and security patches to protect these devices from cyber-attacks. Since these devices do not have any other layer of protection, a regular update is critical for improving their security. Regularly updating the devices can equip them with the latest antivirus countermeasures. In addition, it helps the system remove security flaws from the older software versions. Hackers are improving their plans regularly to invade privacy. So, it is best to update the software of your IoT device, equipping it with protection measures against cyber-attacks.
4. Improve Health and Safety
IoT technologies are able to monitor employees as they move around the office and alert them of any hazards. These are usually known as wearables and are often in clothing, watches, or other items.
With laser scanners to watch how equipment moves, this prevents any accidents from occurring as the IoT technology is able to give prior warning. These devices also offer location tracking, making it easy to locate employees that might be in danger. There are also IoT healthcare apps emerging, allowing for employee health data to be sent through to the application. This helps ensure that any medical conditions are recorded, so that others at work can deal with this in the case of an emergency.
Photo credits: Coworking London