7 Smart Building & Collaboration Technologies that Enable the Hybrid Professional
Hybrid work is trending to be a permanent fixture of the modern office, meaning many workspaces will need to adapt to best serve their professionals. From smart building technologies such as intelligent and low-voltage lighting to collaboration technologies to making meetings with distributed teams more productive, the modern office is being reimagined.
With a hybrid workplace strategy, you can combine the best of the flexibility and mobility of a remote workforce and the productivity and collaboration of an in-office team. Making sure your office is set up for success is a crucial part of implementing an effective strategy for your hybrid professionals. This means having the right technology to allow for collaboration and communication between employees, whether they’re in the office or working remotely.
Align has the professionals and knowledge to guide you through the process every step of the way. Below, we will cover 7 of the top smart building and collaboration technologies needed to enable the hybrid professional of today's distributed workforce.
Collaboration Tools & Rooms
Hybrid professionals want technology that is easy to use. Collaboration tools and collaborative meeting/AV rooms employ innovative technologies that allow your professionals to work seamlessly across sites and locations within a distributed workforce.
Technologies like Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, and Zoom have become default places where remote and hybrid work happens. They allow professionals to remain productive, whether in the office or at home, by bringing together calls, chats, collaboration, and meetings into a single experience.
Other tools like room and desk management software help to navigate physical and hybrid spaces, improving the experience for everyone. These tools make it easier to schedule rooms and maximize available collaboration space.
Cloud Based Platforms
Like collaboration tools and rooms, conducting work on cloud-based platforms promotes efficiency within your hybrid teams. Cloud-based applications allow hybrid professionals access to the information they need to do their job while also making it easier for companies to control access policies, security, and identity. Microsoft 365 allows for ease of file sharing, revision tracking, and collaborative editing of live documents to minimize confusion and bottlenecks.
The importance of reliable and fast Wi-Fi connection in your office is unmatched in today’s hybrid office. As many businesses begin reimagining their offices as a more collaborative environment, you need to ensure your employees can be mobile and still easily access critical online resources.
Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6e provide significantly improved capacity and performance capabilities to enable hybrid users to be productive in the hybrid office environment. Wi-Fi 6E is an extension of the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless standard into the 6-GHz radio-frequency band. Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E access points offer a perfect fit for hybrid workplace demands, providing prioritized, high-bandwidth access in high-density areas.
Wi-Fi 6 allows many devices to be effectively connected via a single router. Wi-Fi 6E devices can transmit data rapidly and with lower latency. Enterprises that use the unshared 6E spectrum can reduce the lag time for critical applications like videoconferencing.
With the convenience and affordability of the hybrid work model also comes increased cybersecurity risk. Whether your professionals are primarily remote, primarily in the office, or a combination of both, cyber-attack threats must be addressed. These work environments continue to introduce new challenges that many companies are still preparing for.
Cyber threats are constantly increasing, and with the introduction of the hybrid workforce, employees can inadvertently make your sensitive data more vulnerable than ever. Hybrid work environments have had to adopt new technologies to accommodate remote workers and cloud based applications
With BYOD policies and connections to home networks potentially putting your information at risk, you need to have vigorous cybersecurity measures in place, along with regular training for employees. Organizations should guide and monitor how teams collaborate remotely and aggressively monitor system exposures and identify the risks associated with poor data storage and protection before bad actors have a chance to infiltrate your networks. Align Cybersecurity™ provides clients cybersecurity advisory services alongside a suite of cybersecurity solutions such as endpoint protection solutions.
Intelligent and Low Voltage Lighting
The term “smart building” implies that a company has a built-in infrastructure to automate as many day-to-day and long-term tasks as possible. One of the most basic features of smart building technology is the ability to control and monitor lighting systems.
Smart building technologies like smart lighting and window shades to monitor and reduce light and power consumption in a building can be a good start for companies looking to implement OPEX savings and green initiatives. Many technologies can auto-adjust light levels and react to occupancy, sensor data, ambient light, and scheduled occupancy, all while significantly reducing operating costs in the modern office.
Workplace Management & Occupancy Sensing
Smart buildings start by embracing building data via IoT (Internet of Things). When you employ a hybrid workforce, making sure your office space is flexible and right sized is paramount to ensuring that you can support fluctuating office occupancies. Investing in infrastructure that automates daily manual processes is crucial.
IoT devices such as occupancy sensors help to identify workplace utilization details to optimize workplaces for more efficient usage. These sensors monitor the presence of a person in the building by detecting motion, and are often used to do things like automatically turn on lights when someone walks into a room or adjust temperature or ventilation settings in the HVAC system.
Desktop management software helps employees to reserve a workspace ahead of their arrival on-site. That way, when employees arrive, they can get straight to work without the hassle of trying to find an open desk at the last minute. This can also help those in the office to determine which meeting rooms and “hot desks” are available to avoid interruptions or confusion.
Access management systems can help to keep your data and employees safe. In the new hybrid world, there are inconsistencies with employees coming into the office, and it can be hard to know who is meant to be there and who is not. Access control and security systems can also be used to limit access to certain areas or floors based on policies or needs.
Why Choose Align as Your Workplace Technology Partner
Smart office technologies increase your employees’ output and enhance innovations. No matter how the office evolves, Align works closely with businesses to provide a connected IT enterprise for today’s hybrid model that’s built to be secure, flexible, and reliable. We help businesses navigate, innovate, automate, and operate their workplace technologies.
Contact us today to get in touch with one of Align's Workplace Technology experts and learn more about how we can help you with smart technologies for your hybrid workplace.