Smart Automation is a relatively new idea for office spaces. It is swiftly gaining acceptance as office administrators and facility managers realize the considerable benefits that Office Automation can provide them in managing their office spaces more productively and economically. It also has the potential to positively impact the staff in the office space, by improving multiple aspects of their time spent in the office.
Office Automation helps with benefits in multiple areas, the most significant being: Safety, Security, Energy Efficiency, Comfort & Convenience. All of these elements also contribute to the working Productivity. To achieve these benefits, typically offices will have to invest in some new hardware in the form of sensors, actuators and controllers across the office. These can be connected via wired means or even wireless means thereby reducing any disruption to the aesthetics of finished offices. So they can be relatively easily retrofitted into existing offices. In addition to the hardware, there is usually software that allows individuals with different roles in the offices, such as office administrators, facility personnel, managers, staff and office boys can access with differing levels of permissions to access and use aspects of the Office Automation.
Automation brings benefits to some of these areas below as explored:
Smoke sensors across the office can help improve the fire safety. These sensors also can be connected to the web using the latest IoT (Internet of Things) technologies so that they can even send notifications when any fire or smoke is detected, even if no one is in the office. This can help quick response to the event to minimize damage, enhancing the Safety of the office
A variety of sensors such as Motion sensors, Door intrusion sensors and Glass Break sensors can serve to protect the office, especially when offices are closed. Even strategically located Panic Buttons can be of assistance to communicate an emergency in the office, especially if it is a retail location. Other measures that can add security include surveillance cameras, key card or biometric entry management and visitor entry management systems.
Air conditioning and lighting are two of the highest consumers of energy in any office, and generally also tend to be the aspects with the most energy wastage. For areas such as conference rooms, bathrooms and hallways it is always good to consider sensor control for lights and air conditioning so that they are automatically shut off when no one is present.
An Office Management System, which is very similar in concept to a Building Management System, is a way in which multiple electrical assets like lighting and air conditioning across the entire office can be centrally managed or scheduled as per office hours. This system can also manage other important facets of office such as managing facility services, housekeeping services, conference room reservation services, visitor entry services, all of which can be managed centrally. Another important area that such a system can monitor is the Server Room, which is inevitable in most offices today. The server room needs to be monitored for power availability, temperature, humidity, smoke and air conditioner performance. All of which can be managed by the Office Management System.
So Smart Automation is increasingly relevant to the modern day office for both financial efficiency of operation and to enhance the productivity and safety of all the people present in the office.
Attributed to Dr. Narendra Bhat, President, BuildTrack