Office & Enterprise

Do Smart Buildings still have a future?

Mike Holmes Jan 5, 2022

The past two years has seen a major shift worldwide in the workplace. Many employees suddenly found themselves having to work from home, leaving a skeleton staff to man mostly empty offices. What are the consequences for Smart Buildings following this recent wave of furloughing and teleworking? Is the Smart Office doomed to disappear or does it still have a bright future ahead as many believed not so long ago?

Flexibility

Unsurprisingly, according to Swedish research company Memoori the demand for connected devices inside office buildings stalled during the pandemic years. However, they also expect to see a market increase of connected devices in the coming years

If there is one thing the pandemic has shown us is that there is now a demand for more flexible ways of working, and that we will most likely see  more people continue to work with a mix of time between home & office.  Even though nobody really likes to commute from and to the office every day, there are benefits to be gained by meeting colleagues face-to-face and share ideas. So operating a partially occupied building in a safe and efficient way makes managing that real estate all the more important.

Safe and efficient work environment

Smart Buildings can help employers maximise efficiency and achieve a safe work environment along with a healthy work balance. You would want to know where people are sitting and how they are organised.  It doesn’t make much efficiency sense to have one person sitting on their own occupying an entire office floor for example. So when employees do return in greater numbers to the office you need to ensure the available space isn’t over- or underpopulated and keep the flexibility to move them around if needed.

In summary we don’t think that the office as we know it is to become a thing of the past. But we do believe that, in a post-pandemic world, we will see a change in the way we work going forward. And with this the role of the Smart Building will become even more important than before the pandemic.

About the author

Mike Holmes

Mike has worked in the cable industry for over 35 years. Following a period at Pirelli, he joined Alcatel in 1994 as the UK Product Manager for fibre and copper LAN cables. Since 2001 he has worked in various product management and marketing roles within Nexans in UK & Europe, and is currently Marketing Manager within the Telecom & Data unit.

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