Work & Wellbeing

Adjusting Your Workplace for a Four-Day Work Week with the Help of Technology

Pippa Boothman | 2 May 2022 | 2 years ago

four day work week

Employees are now working in a hybrid workplace, splitting time between home and the office. They are accustomed to “working from home,” and as a result, their expectations of what they want from the workplace are changing.

There is a greater expectation that the office protects people’s health and welfare while also providing optimal and comfortable working circumstances.

Smart technology to the rescue

Smart technology, which is currently commonplace in the home, is now used in the office to provide smart data and services that help make the working environment more efficient, safe, and sustainable. As a consequence, the Smart Office, a workplace that integrates digitally connected services and solutions to improve employee experience and efficiency, achieve cost and energy savings, and add value to the building, is rapidly becoming a reality. These technologies include Internet of Things (IoT), advanced communications technologies, automation, office occupancy detection, and energy efficiency technologies.

How the technology helps with energy efficiency and occupancy

With growing awareness and significance put on climate change and climate-related concerns, the trend toward sustainable office buildings is gaining traction. Businesses can now collect data on temperature, occupancy, doors and windows, building use and water waste. This way, they can benchmark their operations and realise what is driving unnecessary energy consumption. With the help of advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, companies can automate and optimise energy and resource use.

Having an occupant-friendly atmosphere will be crucial for most firms to guarantee that employees want to return to work. Companies must understand the utilisation/occupancy of their offices, workstations, and meeting rooms in order to improve employee comfort and happiness with the increase of resources while maximising the use of valuable real estate. Sensors can be used to capture real-time data on human presence in a meeting room,  to identify whether someone is sitting at a desk, and can tell employers whether meeting rooms are occupied or not. Data that tracks how frequently restrooms, desks, and meeting rooms are used can, for example,  help determine when cleaning is needed, making more optimal use of resources. The days of manual maintenance, cleaning, and real estate acquisition are now behind.

Moving to a four day workweek

If employees are at the office four days a week, instead of the usual five, companies must be ready to adjust their resources accordingly. By not adjusting maintenance, cleaning, and real estate strategies, companies will be paying for space, services, and energy that no one is using. Knowing how many employees are occupying the office space or meeting rooms can help determine working styles. By having data on how and when people use the office space, further analysis can help empower data-based decisions regarding how many resources to deploy, redesigning the office layout, downsizing, or acquiring more space. This not only makes for a more efficient use of resources as we are moving to a four-day workweek, but can also help increase productivity and overall comfort, as services are adjusted based on needs and traffic.

Pioneering companies are turning to sensor technology to help optimise their workplace occupancy and energy efficiency. This technology is now affordable and accessible to workplaces of all sizes. The sooner companies realise the potential of sensors and subsequent analytics in the workplace, the sooner they can implement data-driven decisions to ensure a safe, compliant, healthy and productive workplace for their employees.

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