Businesses have been adopting smart technology as part of their operating practices for years now, but the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend of adopting smart building technology to improve efficiencies and save on unnecessary costs.
During hard lockdowns when businesses were forced to work remotely, smart technology allowed facilities managers to automate processes that would otherwise require teams on site.
Data insights from smart meters helped leadership make important decisions when cost-cutting measures were needed, and businesses were forced to take action. Many realised that the cost of implementing smart systems across their premises paled in comparison to the potential of inefficient operations to heavily dent already tarnished margins.
With vaccine roll-outs helping to ease concerns, and increasing public confidence around the prospect of returning to work full-time, facilities managers must now harness the untapped potential of smart building technology to ensure a healthy work environment, efficient operations, and reduced overheads.
Utilising smart sensors to their potential will mean that facilities managers can manage workspaces based on occupancy levels. From lighting and heating to ventilation and access control, IoT technology will allow facilities managers to automatically control workspaces and improve efficiencies.
David Williams, smart places and real estate industry lead at Microsoft, says that successful return to work programmes will need to focus on three key areas: human systems, building systems and communication protocols.
Facilities managers will need to develop stringent protocols around access, occupancy and space-booking systems. Human systems should be supported by technology that can measure compliance, automate functions and provide safe environments.
Building systems will include typical FM services such as cleanliness, noise, lighting, ventilation, air quality and temperature, but must be improved in line with an increased need for healthy work environments. In these scenarios, smart systems have already begun to improve efficiencies while simultaneously providing better, healthier spaces.
Lastly, according to Williams, is the need for businesses to effectively communicate solutions so that employees are aware of the measures taking place to ensure their safety.
As government guidelines for environmental compliance continue to clamp down on inefficient businesses, smart building technology is becoming key to improving efficiencies across the board.
Building energy management systems can dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of your business, by identifying areas where gas and electricity are not being utilised efficiently and providing automated systems that cut out the element of human error, spend energy only where it is needed, and improve working conditions for staff and customers.
Smart technology is no longer an expensive gimmick, it is a vital cog in understanding how your business runs. Facilities managers who harness the potential of smart building technology will improve how businesses operate. With the reduced cost of implementing smart solutions, and an increased need to reassure returning employees – now is the time to make the change to technology and data-driven facilities maintenance solutions.
At Voltix Services, our team is driven to understand how technology can improve our industry. Our technical experts can help your business cut down on unnecessary expenses and will give you the insight you require to effectively implement smart building technologies across your operations.