Smart workplaces in smart cities

The uses of technology is so important that even the day to day activities are dependent on it and it also makes them work in a more efficient manner. writes Vishu Goel, Founder, Infinity Spaces. Excerpts below

In the changing world, where social media and technologies have impacted the existence of humans, the concept of a smart city has truly found its place, as it makes the living way easier. Smart cities are urban cities which make use of technology in its various versions like data, IOT, and more. Interestingly, the use of technology is so important that even the day to day activities are dependent on it and it also makes them work in a more efficient manner. 

While 2020 is already seeing a lot in terms of smart cities in personal space, the question of the hour is, how will it impact the office designs and the role of the office in the local community? 

According to experts, the evolvement of urban areas to smart cities will have a huge influence on office designs. It is expected that the change will bring in more employment opportunities, as the handling of technologies will call for more manpower. Also, the need will help increase the education level in society. The change in education is a sure shot thing because the research says that the cities who use information and communication technologies (ICT) need to be more intelligent and efficient in the use of resources, resulting in cost and energy savings, improved service delivery and quality of life, and environmental footprint - all supporting innovation and the low-carbon economy.

The concept will also give rise to the real estate sector of the cities, as the concept of smart cities will call for more concrete structures and in this way, it will the real estate sector a big rise. This will also, involve the conditioning of existing infrastructure, the degree of implementation of smart technologies as well as in their degree of attractiveness for companies that seek new office locations. For instance, if an existing building is a good location for a communication network company, but doesn’t have the infrastructure accordingly, it will surely give rise to the market players who can manage and revamp the space to offer the best services. 

The impact 

The evolvement of smart cities creates a new world of opportunities. Especially because of its overlap with other transformational technologies such as fast Wi-Fi connections, internet and cloud computing. 

To put this in context, consider the impact of having data about the use of office spaces based on meeting room booking systems, the use of IT and how these insights have helped businesses and facility managers to better support the needs of their employees. Now imagine the impact it will have if this spreads city-wide. If we go by the reports, the ISS 2020 Vision says that the Asian cities will have the biggest influence on office design in 2020 and this idea is deeply supported by McKinsey Global Institute and the World Bank.

It is expected that as a consequence, the rapid pace of growth, accelerated pace of change, growing urban populations and relatively low levels of building sophistication, will see a huge change in the cities and will also impact the economy. This will also call for the offices to have an easy system to manage and be more sustainable.

This will not only reinvent the cities but will also the very idea of a city and how these interact with their surroundings - including businesses and governments. If the plan goes successful, these smart cities will turn out to be megacities which will have a scale, and ultimately they will reach a global rollout, which will have an immediate impact on the economy. Now, as the cities are getting smarter, the world is becoming increasingly dependent on technology for efficiency and success. It has been proven through a report of IDC that reflects that the estimated two-thirds of global cities will be investing in smart city technology by up to $135 billion by 2021.

It is expected that the shift in change will give a boost to the concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), where the employees will be using their own personal tablets, smartphones, laptops and wearable tech to complete their tasks and send work-related communications. If you are wondering why? The research says that many employees work faster when using a personal device they are already familiar and comfortable with. It will not only reduce the establishment cost of the companies but will also increase the productivity levels. But, there are potential downsides to this trend though; as there are chances that the employees might take work home and that might reduce the work efficiency. It has been proven through research that the work environment at workplace is different as compared to work and it directly affects the efficiency of an individual. 

You will be surprised to know that 67% of employees say they now use personal devices at work, and 87% of businesses rely on their workers’ access to mobile business apps. The downside has not impacted the cities much, but experts feel that sooner it will start reflecting, as it has shown its effects in the Western countries. In simple words, the change will have its own pros and cons, it all depends on the cities and people, and how they make the best use of resources and boost the economy of the country at large. Are you ready for the change?

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workplaces smart cities wi-fi cloud computing