Have you ever scheduled a meeting and went into the conference room to realize it didn’t support your laptop or the power connections you need? When you have work to do, it can be frustrating and time-consuming to deal with a space that doesn’t support technology like it’s supposed to.
The modern workplace is always changing. It should easily adapt to technological advances and provide technology that’s user-friendly and consistent from room to room. Most importantly, it should seamlessly integrate people, place and technology.
Here at Egyptian Workspace Partners, we’re dedicated to integrating technology into the workplace and helping clients keep up with ever-changing trends that not only inspire productivity but encourage teamwork and innovation.
In this article, we’ll break down the main roles of technology, what these technologies can help your organization accomplish and how you can successfully integrate technology into your workplace.
How Can You Use Technology to Enhance Your Workspace?
1. Room Scheduling System
The workplace should provide people with an ecosystem of interconnected zones, so they have more control over how and where they work. Whether they need to complete everyday tasks or focus on a project, they should be able to find space to work without any issues.
Finding and booking space can be time-consuming, especially if you have to look for somewhere to work. If all the rooms are being used, that means you’ve wasted time walking around the building and you still have work to do.
To help your employees stay engaged, they need a system that makes it simple to locate and book the space they need, whenever they need it. A room scheduling system seamlessly connects to your email calendar, so open spaces are always visible and available for booking.
A room scheduling system has a touch screen panel that lives outside the meeting room and displays real-time information right at the door, including the day’s full schedule and room availability.
As an example, the Crestron Room Scheduling system has an illuminated indicator that indicates the status of your meeting room. It also has a touch screen panel that shows meeting and reservation information and can be customized with company logos and color schemes.
It also has a PoE occupancy sensor that communicates directly with the touch screen to instantly update the room status, gather usage data and release the room if a meeting ends early or no one shows up.
2. Digital Media & Signage
Technology is everywhere. From retail stores to auditoriums, it’s not uncommon to see video walls displaying live news feeds, advertising and other forms of digital content. Regardless of your industry, digital media and signage can be valuable to your employees and potential visitors.
Typically, digital media and signage are used to inform or advertise. Unlike traditional static signs, you can update the content from one remote location to provide wayfinding for visitors or display company announcements and upcoming events across multiple offices.
Digital media and signage are also highly customizable. You can update the content to display whatever you want it to, and even customize it to include your logo, colors and branding to add visual appeal and reinforce your company culture and values.
The Crestron DigitalMedia family, for instance, is a reliable, secure platform that uses a wide range of connectivity options to accommodate any combination of digital sources and send content wherever it needs to go.
3. Unified Communications
Collaboration is at the heart of every successful organization. To bring people together, you need conference rooms and huddle spaces that provide easy access to power and collaborative technology without extensive set-up.
High-performing technology is key to inspiring teamwork, creativity and communication. After all, no one wants to waste time setting up the audio equipment for a video presentation or calling IT because the technology doesn’t work like it’s supposed to.
Conference room technology should support everything, whether it be a Mac or PC, or video conferencing solutions like Microsoft Teams and Google Meet. It should also allow you to present information and invite remote co-workers into virtual meetings without any issues.
There are several solutions that support collaborative technology, including the Crestron Flex, a tabletop device that provides touch-screen capabilities and the ability to collaborate on any platform, from anywhere, so people can work together from different locations.
4. Sound Masking
Noisy, unwanted interruptions can create a workplace full of distractions. Whether it’s the hum of the air conditioner or a loud conversation between colleagues, these distractions can keep you from getting your work done.
Fortunately, there is a solution. Sound masking is a specifically tuned ambient background noise that targets the same frequency as human speech and reduces its clarity, to provide sound privacy without physical barriers.
With sound masking, conversations are less noticeable and less distracting. It promotes speech privacy, reduces distraction and prevents accidental listening, resulting in a more productive workspace where employees can focus on the task at hand.
The Steelcase QtPro, for example, is a direct-field system that supports multiple zones with exceptional sound masking. It supports music and paging and offers a wide range of control modules and volume adjustable emitters to fine-tune the best solution for your office.
Similarly, the Crestron Sonos Sound Machine provides sound masking by streaming music legally in restaurants, retail stores and office settings. It can be controlled from a website browser, a hardware player or a mobile app, so you can remotely manage the music and users from one central location.
5. Data-Driven Space Management
As employees return to the post-COVID workplace, business leaders need to make important decisions. They need to decide how to control occupancy, support social distancing requirements and provide workers with spaces based on the type of work they have to do and the level of privacy they need to do it.
Organizations should use real-life occupancy data to understand how current spaces are being used, and by how many people. This information analyzes how, when and why people use space to help you create a workspace that supports the different types of work.
For instance, the Steelcase Workplace Advisor uses infrared sensors to track space usage and a cloud-based platform to receive weekly reports. It also has a user-friendly dashboard that features a summary of key metrics and an interactive office layout that delivers precise, trustworthy data in real-time.
Likewise, the Crestron XiO Cloud uses workplace analytics to understand how rooms and systems are being used. It can manage up to thousands of devices from one remote location and integrates with Business Intelligence applications or management tools for more powerful insights.
6. Centralized Control Systems
The modern workplace isn’t a building or a single destination. It’s an ecosystem of digital and physical spaces that provide workers with flexibility over how they work. Whether people work from home or in the office, organizations should be able to manage everything from one central location.
From a meeting room to a college campus, a centralized control system enables organizations to efficiently configure, manage, monitor and deploy hundreds of devices and building systems from a single central point.
One example is the Crestron 4 Series Control Platform, which can manage AV, voice and data, lights, shades, security and HVAC systems from one secure, manageable system. It’s also the only platform that can run on application appropriate hardware or software.
How Can You Incorporate Technology into Your Workspace?
Technology has changed the way we work, and it’s definitely not going anywhere. Now, people need an ecosystem of spaces that support the different modes of work.
They also need technology that’s smart, easy-to-use and seamlessly connected so they can share information from anywhere, whether they're working remotely or in the office.
When it’s time to reconfigure your office layout, you should choose an office furniture provider who can design a workspace that gives people easy access to data and collaborative technology.
By creating a workspace that successfully integrates people, place and technology, you can improve how your employees work individually and collaboratively, and help your organization stay one step ahead of the competition.
Ready to Take the Next Steps?
Want to integrate technology into your workspace? Your partners at Egyptian help you design a work environment with furniture that’s designed for your employees and the technology they use every day.