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[BLOG] The Hybrid Building: The Workplace of the Future

Thursday, Dec 29, 2022
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As the business world shifts to a hybrid workforce, the physical location of where we do business has undergone a radical change. Just as a digital workspace connects team members from multiple remote locations via the application of new technology, a hybrid workspace takes advantage of technology to create what’s called a “smart building” helping businesses manage their hybrid workforces more effectively.

A smart building relies on the Internet of Things (IoT)—sensors and real-time monitoring software connected to specific pieces of equipment—as well as AI and algorithms to automate processes and recently Hybrid Work capabilities. These intelligent buildings provide contactless Access Control, Visitor Management with built-in safety screenings and vaccination uploads, Contact Tracing, Occupancy Control, and Environmental Monitoring. The smart building also offers flexible desk booking with AI-based recommendations, smart meeting room booking, and a host of digital amenities from smart parking, smart lockers, and smart cafeteria to booking space, gym time, doctor visits, and more.

Self-optimising, adaptive, and machine learning, smart buildings work by collecting data to predict how people use the space. This allows managers and workers to spot potential trouble spots and address shortcomings more efficiently. As a result, smart buildings make transitioning and maintaining the new hybrid work model far easier. Hybrid models entail a mixture of employees who work in a centralized office space, those who work remotely from home or a similar locale, and those who divide their time between the two. This improves productivity and collaboration while helping retain talented employees by offering a healthy work/life balance. Simultaneously, day-to-day operational costs can be cut considerably, freeing up resources for the company to move quickly on new opportunities. It also makes it possible to manage systems from one single, online dashboard. So it’s simpler to manage one or more properties.

The technologically integrated nature of a smart building makes all of this very easy. Smarten Spaces is dedicated to providing the tools to help businesses make use of smart buildings. In 2021 YIT, the largest Finnish and a significant North European urban developer and construction company, received the Smartest Building Award for their Workery+ Vallila building, an innovative Hybrid Work concept powered by Smarten Spaces technology.

Smart Building Digital Platform + Marketplace

Smart building integration relies on multiple interconnected business systems. When combined, they provide a dynamic solution of transparency, accessibility, and automation, allowing businesses to reap the benefits accordingly. Smarten Space’s Smarten Marketplace provides the ideal platform for smart building integration, helping your team get up to speed on a hybrid work model and sustain it going forward.

More specifically, the platform’s features benefit your company in six specific ways:

1. Workplace Engagement

Transparency and feedback create a healthy dynamic between management and their team. Indeed, hybrid workplaces often depend on it, since it lets employees in multiple locations share from a common source of accurate and updated information. The Smarten Spaces platform allows for the creation of a digital community, allowing work events to be shared and broadcast, surveys to be created and assessed, and hybrid work schedules to be optimized. Engaging and responding to your team’s needs helps them do their jobs while improving job satisfaction and employee retention: a key part of any company’s future success.

2. Amenities

Building amenities of all varieties can be booked in advance, allowing resources to be distributed effectively while keeping workers informed of their status in real-time. That’s vital for a proper hybrid building: allowing workers to book flex desks and meeting rooms in advance or in real-time and check on their status whenever needed. Similar building amenities can be booked in an identical fashion, including lockers, marketing, gym time, storage space, in-house medical appointments, and even food orders with the Smart Cafeteria functionality. Amenity scheduling can be done through the Workplace Experience App or integration with Google, Outlook, Zoom, Teams, and more.

3. Occupancy Status & Control

The platform works in sync with local health and safety standards, allowing you to tailor specifics such as social distancing and occupancy rules to meet the unique needs and regulatory requirements of your space. Get real-time notifications as sensors carefully track occupancy rates.

4. Smart Building Access Control

The Smarten Spaces platform is designed to manage all aspects of access control, from contactless entry via QR codes to contact tracing, health declarations, and vaccination status uploads and workflow. Smart Elevator functionality adds an additional layer of access control by limiting access to specific floors creating a unified user experience for building users. The platform can easily integrate with existing systems to create a seamless digital workplace experience.

5. Building Services

Smarten Spaces allows you and your staff to submit building service requests and access emergency building services through the Workplace Experience App. This simplifies Help Desk Requests, IT Requests, Cleaning Requests, Equipment Repair Requests, and other requests as well as speeds up the response time in case of an emergency.

6. Marketplace Integrations

The Smarten Spaces Marketplace offers 80+ out-of-the-box workplace integrations to increase automation and deployment speed for digital transformation initiatives. This means processes can be automated and synchronized with login authentication, wifi and networks, sensors, IoT devices, calendars, environmental monitoring (temperature, humidity, air quality), access control systems, visitor management systems, building management systems (BMS), printer management systems, and parking systems. Provide a Smart Cafeteria functionality through the workplace app allowing users to pre-order food and arrange for delivery/pickup and eliminate the need to wait in line.

All of those features contribute to the key benefit of a hybrid building: an interconnected workplace that saves time and money by making essential operational tasks easy and transparent. The Smarten Spaces platform works with your existing assets to make that happen, ensuring a smooth transition to a hybrid work model and allowing you to maintain it effectively with little effort.

Smarten Spaces Helps Optimize a Smart Building

Smart buildings make it infinitely easier to maintain the schedules and standards required by a hybrid workplace. Smarten Spaces is a comprehensive digital workplace solution designed to let your business take full advantage of this model. You can customize the features to meet your business’s unique needs, alter schedules based on changing health and safety standards, and update features in real-time based on changing events. Analytics offers insights to address problem areas, and the automated functions of a smart building provide maximum data accessibility and save countless work hours’ worth of time.

Smarten Spaces and its Smart Marketplace consolidate various types of smart building innovations into a single technology platform, making transitioning to and maintaining a hybrid work model even easier. If your business could use that kind of experience and technology in its corner, contact us today to schedule an interactive workplace demo.



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